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North Babylon man running 100 miles on Long Island to promote wind energy

Matt Kearns of North Babylon is running the

Matt Kearns of North Babylon is running the roughly 100 miles from Montauk to Long Beach on Saturday to bring attention to the renewable energy potential of Long Island's offshore winds. Credit: Sierra Club

Matt Kearns of North Babylon is running more than 100 miles from Montauk to Long Beach on Saturday to draw attention to the energy potential of Long Island's offshore winds.

Kearns began the Wind 100, as the run is called, at 12 a.m. at the Montauk Lighthouse. He is expected to end between 8 and 9 p.m. at the Long Beach Boardwalk, after traversing many areas hit by superstorm Sandy.

At 11:40 a.m., he left the Moriches Bay Diner in Moriches, where he had stopped -- about 56 miles into the journey -- for one of many planned breaks before getting back on Montauk Highway.

By 2:30 p.m., he was in Patchogue, about 67 miles from the lighthouse, where he stopped to take a break and greet family and friends, organizers said.

At 3:17 p.m., he was on the road again, headed toward his next major stop in Freeport, about 30 miles away. At 4:30 p.m., he was in West Sayville.

The run links two areas dear to offshore wind-power advocates on Long Island. Offshore wind power potential is highest in the two locales because of physical location and the fact that the federal Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management has approved offshore land use, said Kim Teplitzky, a spokeswoman of the Sierra Club, the environmental advocacy group that is hosting the event.

At the end of the run, Kearns is expected to be greeted by a Wind 100 rally and concert, hosted by the Sierra Club.

"Long Islanders know the dangers posed by climate disruption, and we want to be part of the solution," said Kearns, a volunteer at the Sierra Club, in a news release. "We're particularly vulnerable to stronger storms and rising seas, but this unique geography also gives us access to one of the most reliable renewable energy sources in the world just off our shores."

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has espoused the use of more clean energy, but activists have pushed for him to implement stronger policies.

Teplitzky said the Sierra Club has been after the state to seriously consider offshore wind-power. "It's one of the faster and more reliable forms of renewable energy," she said. "When you see energy bills go up and down, it's because the cost of coal and gas is going up and down. With wind power, it's steady and should help stabilize energy costs for Long Island in the long term."

Deepwater Wind, an offshore wind-power developer based in Rhode Island, was given the right to develop a 256-square-mile wind farm roughly 30 miles east of Montauk.

According to the project summary on the developer's website, the farm, Deepwater ONE, "will produce enough electricity to power approximately 350,000 homes and displace over 1.7 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually."

The power could be sold to Long Island, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

The Long Island Power Authority and Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) are expected to decide this fall whether to buy power from Deepwater, Teplitzky said.

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