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Wind, Belmont developments are coming

The Alstom turbine that Deepwater Wind is using

The Alstom turbine that Deepwater Wind is using for its Block Island Wind Farm on Dec. 15, 2016. Credit: Deepwater Wind

Daily Point

A mega bid on wind

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo returns Friday from a quick trip to Israel. Environmental activists and wind developers hope that the next big event on his schedule will be the long postponed announcement about the granting of offshore wind leases. 

The administration missed the state’s own June deadline, and now a new baseline has been set for such projects. Last week New Jersey selected Danish giant Orsted to build the nation’s largest wind farm at 1,100 megawatts, some 15 miles off of the coast of Atlantic City.

Cuomo will not settle for playing second fiddle, so figure New York’s solicitation will be somewhere between 1,200 megawatts and the maximum he can award at this time, which is around 2,400 megawatts. That’s not only bigger, it’s big.

In the meantime, another fascinating offshore wind drama is playing out on the federal level, which could shape future solicitations in the region. Remember: New York’s target for wind, codified in the recently passed climate change bill, is 9,000 megawatts by 2035, while New Jersey is shooting for 3,500 megawatts by 2030. But how will all that energy be plugged into the region’s electric grid? 

Enter the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which last week published a request for competitive interest from companies interested in developing what essentially would be a transmission grid built in the ocean. The federal agency was responding to an unsolicited request from transmission developer Anbaric Development Partners to create what it calls the New York/New Jersey Ocean Grid Project — a 185-mile system of transmission lines and nine collector platforms off the Long Island and New Jersey coasts. This ocean grid, with a proposed capacity of 5,900 megawatts, would collect the power generated by all the wind turbines awarded by the two states and distribute it to the onshore grid via as many as six landings located from Long Island to Cardiff, New Jersey.

A transmission system like the one Anbaric is proposing could deliver wind energy to different places depending on where it’s needed, an important consideration with a resource that is intermittent. And it would save wind developers the headaches associated with trying to get permits to bring their own transmission lines ashore, opposition to which on Long Island is never intermittent.

 - Michael Dobie and Rita Ciolli @mwdobie and @RitaCiolli

Talking Point

Waiting at the station

It’s the end of the second quarter, which was supposed to mark the next time we’d hear big news on the redevelopment of Belmont Park. Instead, the final environmental impact statement, or EIS, isn’t out, and there has been no announcement on a potential new train station on the Main Line, at the north end of Belmont. 

But multiple sources familiar with the project tell The Point that there is nothing standing in the way of Belmont’s redevelopment timetable. There are no complications in the studies or documents. Everything is on schedule.

The problem, instead, is a logistical one. Last week was the end of the legislative session. This week, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (a key player in everything Belmont) has been in Israel. Next week is the July Fourth holiday.

So, expect an announcement, and the release of the final EIS, as soon as the week of July 8. So far, the calendar is clear, with not even a Belmont race on the schedule, since racing there ends on July 7.

- Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall

Pencil Point

Remember the children

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Final Point

Some family

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand nabbed some of the spotlight during Thursday’s Democratic debate to talk about a family bill of rights and national paid leave, plus a pointed exchange about abortion. 

It’s the latest way in which New York women seem to be leading on women and family issues. 

Liuba Grechen Shirley’s Vote Mama PAC, which is focused on electing mothers, claimed some local victories in the state this week, including Angela Riley, who won a City Council primary in Binghamton. 

One of Grechen Shirley’s causes has also made it to the U.S. Senate. 

The former NY2 Democratic congressional candidate gained national headlines by pushing for federal campaign funds to be eligible for child care during her unsuccessful bid against Republican Pete King. 

This month, Texas Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful M.J. Hegar made a similar request to pay for a portion of full-time day-care expenses for her run. 

The former Air Force helicopter pilot is looking to challenge Sen. John Cornyn, who sent a letter to the Federal Election Commission supporting her request. The FEC is slated to issue a response by early August. 

States from Utah to Louisiana have approved child-care campaign-fund uses on the state level. Grechen Shirley has been cheerleading that issue while pondering another run against King. 

Grechen Shirley says Hegar is a friend and a member of the PAC’s advisory committee.

“I encourage the FEC to continue to expand their support for working parents and grant MJ’s request,” she tells The Point in a text. “I’m thrilled that so many states have approved the use of campaign funds for childcare and understand the importance of removing obstacles for working parents to run for office.”

- Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

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