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Deepwater Wind weighs Brooklyn to stage potential LI project

Wind-energy developer Deepwater Wind completes the foundation work

Wind-energy developer Deepwater Wind completes the foundation work for a five-turbine solar array off the coast of Block Island. Credit: Deepwater Wind

Deepwater Wind LLC, a Rhode Island company building the country’s first offshore wind farm, near Block Island, has taken an early look at the Brooklyn waterfront for a staging site to build a project off the South Shore of Long Island, a company official said Wednesday.

Eying the waterfront site, the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, could be Deepwater’s first step toward building a South Shore wind farm that would generate power for New York City. But any such project is still at least seven years away.

“It’s really nothing more than us doing long-term planning for a point when the city is looking to procure offshore wind” power, said Deepwater chief executive Jeff Grybowski. Deepwater’s interest in Brooklyn was reported earlier by Bloomberg News.

Several entities have already proposed wind farms in the federal waters off the coast of Long Beach.

LIPA, Con Edison and the New York Power Authority have proposed a 200-turbine wind farm 11 miles from shore and extending east. Two other companies have floated competing proposals.

“That general area is a great wind resource and a really good location for an offshore wind farm,” Grybowski said. “It’s an interesting site for sure. But there’s nothing imminent in terms of any type of arrangement in securing rights for that site.”

Federal authorities examining the proposals last year estimated any project would take at least seven years to study, approve and construct. Long Island fishing groups have opposed the location.

Deepwater, which last year proposed a 15-turbine wind farm 30 miles from Montauk to supply LIPA with power for the South Fork, would build any South Shore wind farm well beyond 11 miles, Grybowski said.

“We would never build anything that close to the Island,” he said, calling 15 to 18 miles more appropriate. He also said 2022 was a “conservative estimate” for construction of any project. The South Fork wind proposals, if accepted by LIPA/PSEG, would produce energy by 2019 or 2020. PSEG is currently evaluating the proposals.

LIPA and PSEG separately are seeking bids for proposals to supply capacity in Far Rockaway. Grybowski said Deepwater doesn’t plan to offer a wind farm for that bid request.

Offshore wind in the United States has long been stymied by high costs. The LIPA/ConEd/NYPA project when first proposed in 2011 had a price tag of up to $4.6 billion.

Providence-based Deepwater in July began construction of a 30-megawatt wind farm to supply power to Block Island. When completed it would be the first in the country. Deepwater has also announced plans for projects near Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts and along the New Jersey shore.

With Bloomberg News

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