The Trump administration is expanding offshore wind power.
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Interior approved a second major offshore wind project in New York. The $350 million deal will provide clean energy to New York City, as well as the northern bays, during a seven-year development process. The project is adjacent to the SUNY Stony Brook campus, but has no immediate plans to construct turbines.
U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the deal on Friday at an annual conference in New York City for the U.S. Council on Renewable Energy and the Natural Resources Defense Council. President Donald Trump is expected to attend the annual event on Monday, the day after Zinke is scheduled to deliver his speech.
New York City is one of 13 U.S. states, and Washington, D.C., that have already built dozens of offshore wind projects. More than 37,000 megawatts of offshore wind will be needed to match what U.S. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has pledged to provide, according to the latest estimate from the Natural Resources Defense Council. The Trump administration’s support for the new project will be yet another step toward achieving that goal.
“This announcement marks the largest federal investment in offshore wind in history, and will provide critical, critical momentum for further deployment and production of clean energy,” Zinke said in Friday’s speech.
The new project approved by the Obama administration was set to be the most advanced off the East Coast when it was built. Unlike the first wind farm to be built off New England, the Eyre Project in Maine, the Buffalo Bay Wind Project is meant to be used to supply power to a New York-area population of 8.7 million people.
Currently, New York has 20 sites where offshore wind turbines could be constructed. Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., said that Trump administration backing for a wind farm in his state was a sign of things to come.
“Efforts like this are proof that President Trump and the Administration are listening to New Yorkers on his campaign pledge to make the U.S. a leader in the global renewable energy market,” Zeldin said.
During his campaign, Trump promised to boost offshore wind power by boosting the offshore permitting process.
The New York State grid operator awarded the contract for the Buffalo Bay Wind Project last year. Developer New World Renewables and Barclays Cleantech will begin negotiations with utilities to connect the wind farm to New York’s electric grid in 2022. Construction, which would include hundreds of square miles of waves, would begin roughly three years later.