U.S. Department of Energy

    Long Island Power to Negotiate with FPL Energy for Offshore Wind Plant

    June 2, 2004

    Photo of wind turbine surrounded by ocean.

    The proposed Long Island facility will use GE's 3.6-megawatt wind turbine, shown here installed off the coast of Ireland.
    Credit: Robert Thresher, NREL

    The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) unveiled its comprehensive plan to meet the island's energy needs on May 26th, including new details on the utility's plan to develop an offshore wind power plant. In January 2003, LIPA requested bids for an offshore wind plant that would produce 100 to 140 megawatts of power. According to the newly released plan, LIPA now aims to negotiate with FPL Energy on its proposal to build a 140-megawatt wind energy facility using 39 of General Electric's 3.6-megawatt wind turbines. The facility would be located three miles southwest of Robert Moses State Park, which is on the far western tip of Fire Island. LIPA notes that the project "will undergo extensive environmental and regulatory review by numerous regulatory entities before any construction can begin."

    LIPA's energy plans aren't just for offshore wind power, however. LIPA is also planning to contract with six companies for a wide range of energy efficiency services, which are expected to yield 73 megawatts of long-term energy savings. LIPA will also pursue three new fossil-fueled power plants on Long Island, as well as a 660-megawatt power cable that will connect the island to power sources in New Jersey. All of the energy proposals still need to go before the LIPA Board of Trustees for approval. See the LIPA press release.

    To date, no offshore wind plant has been built in the United States, although at least 10 have been built in Europe. Currently, the only other offshore wind energy project that is making serious progress is the 420-megawatt Cape Wind project, proposed for Horseshoe Shoal, five miles off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Cape Wind Associates, LLC is currently in the process of applying for permits for the project. See the Cape Wind Web site.