Big news in New York: Gov. Cuomo calls for huge offshore wind commitment

Big news from my home state of New York this afternoon: Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for enough offshore wind development to power 1.25 million homes.

While delivering his state-of-the-state address, the governor also asked the Long Island Power Authority to approve a 90 megawatt (MW) project off the coast of Long Island, which would generate enough electricity to power 50,000 homes.

Beyond that, the Governor stated his desire to develop another 2.4 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2030, providing electricity to millions of New Yorkers. Gov. Cuomo asked state agencies to develop an offshore wind master plan by the end of 2017 to make this vision a reality.

“New York’s unparalleled commitment to offshore wind power will create new, high-paying jobs, reduce our carbon footprint, establish a new, reliable source of energy for millions of New Yorkers, and solidify New York’s status as a national clean energy leader,” Governor Cuomo said. “The Offshore Wind Master Plan will establish a bold strategy to harness this untapped resource in New York and provide a new source of energy to power a brighter, greener future for all.”

Just last month, Statoil paid a record $42 million for the rights to develop a wind farm 12 miles off the coast of Long Island. Bidding lasted for over 30 rounds, and the winning offer more than doubled the combined winning bids from all previous Department of Interior offshore wind auctions. This clearly proves demand for New York offshore wind is sky-high.

These efforts will play an important role in helping the Empire State achieve its 50 percent by 2030 clean energy goal. And New Yorkers are on record in their support for wind—89 percent want to see more of it according to a recent poll.

Land-based wind already creates jobs and economic development throughout upstate New York, offering a low-cost energy source for thousands of families and businesses. There’s currently enough in-state installed capacity to power 362,000 homes. Here’s a look at the benefits wind brings to New Yorkers today, offering a strong opening chapter in the state’s clean energy story.

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