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December 15, 2009

NYC Mayor tours North Sea wind farm

In another indication that the U.S. is getting serious about offshore wind, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg yesterday visited the Horns Rev 2 wind farm in the North Sea off the coast of Denmark.

Horns Rev 2 has 91 wind turbines and a total production capacity of 209 megawatts of electricity. The Long Island - New York City Offshore Wind Project, a public-private initiative, is exploring a project in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 15 miles off the Rockaway Peninsula, which would be several times larger than Horns Rev 2.

"Energy-saving efforts like the landmark Greener, Greater Buildings Plan will take a big bite out of our peak power demand, but we also need to pursue renewable forms of energy, like offshore wind power," said Mayor Bloomberg. "I was amazed by the wind farm I saw in the middle of the North Sea and I would like to see the same thing off the coast of New York. For almost a year we have been working with the State and Con Ed to plan a large offshore wind farm that would be three times the size of Horns Rev 2 and could cut New York City's carbon footprint by 430,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent."

"To meet the aggressive emissions reductions in PlaNYC we have to both reduce electricity demand through conservation and increase the supply of energy produced from renewable sources," said Rohit T. Aggarwala, Director of the Mayor's Office of Long Term Planning & Sustainability. "Right now wind can't be our only source of energy, but an offshore wind farm would help smooth out spikes in our electricity costs which fluctuate along with the price of natural gas."

Approximately 30 wind developers and firms responded to the Long Island - New York City Offshore Wind Project's Request for Information, which gauged interest in developing a wind farm in the Atlantic Ocean.

Next year, the Offshore Wind Collaborative expects to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for private firms to construct the project and sell the clean energy it produces.

A transmission interconnection study by the Offshore Wind Collaborative concluded that an interconnection for up to 700 megawatts of wind power, located at a proposed location in the Atlantic Ocean, would be feasible with upgrades to the current transmission systems. An application to integrate the offshore wind project into the power grid has been filed with the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) for up to 700 megawatts by 2015.

The Long Island - New York City Offshore Wind Project is a collaboration between:

Long Island Power Authority (LIPA); Con Edison; New York Power Authority (NYPA); New York City; The City Economic Development Corporation; New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA); The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey

The New York State Department of State, Department of Environmental Conservation and Office of General Services are also participating by providing the Collaborative with input and guidance.


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