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OpinionColumnistsMichael Dobie

Wind power in the forecast for New York

An aerial view of the Deepwater Windfarm, located

An aerial view of the Deepwater Windfarm, located 2 miles south of Block Island, RI and 12 miles east off the coast of Montauk Point, as seen on Nov. 23, 2016. Photo Credit: AllIslandAerial / Kevin P. Coughlin

The weathervane is pointing to Thursday for the big announcement from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on the state’s first round of major offshore wind farm awards — assuming the off-and-on event doesn’t get canceled again.

And figure on it taking place in Manhattan, to lure the national media the governor seeks for the occasion.

At stake: At least 800 megawatts (or more) of wind energy awarded to two (or more) of the four proposals before the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

Meanwhile, a smaller project further along in the pipeline — a 130-megawatt farm off Montauk from Danish giant Orsted, which has a power-supply contract from LIPA — is facing opposition in East Hampton Town and especially in Wainscott, where the cable would come ashore. Permits still are needed.

Two hearings in East Hampton on Tuesday hosted by the Public Service Commission drew dueling marches, rallies and testimony from supporters and opponents — though some wind fans who might have attended instead joined a demonstration in Albany in favor of climate change legislation. It’s a busy time for NY’s environmental advocates.

Even though three of the four large-project proposals Cuomo will announce are also for ocean areas off the East End, the current battle might not be a dress rehearsal for approvals to come. That’s because the power they generate likely would come ashore much further west than East Hampton. One likely site would be under Jones Beach, where the cable would parallel the existing Neptune cable up the Wantagh Parkway before veering off and plugging into an existing substation in Melville on Ruland Road. The same scenario could work for a wind farm pitched for the New York Bight, 14 or so miles off Nassau County, which also has two logical landing spots in Brooklyn.

Then again, wind advocates say Tuesday’s competing press events might be repeated in the next go-round.

“You never know what people are going to be opposed to,” Citizens Campaign for the Environmentm executive director Adrienne Esposito told The Point. “We don’t know what communities are going to come up with.”

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