Deepwater Wind on Monday announced a new proposal for an offshore wind farm and two battery operated storage systems in East Hampton as part of a request for proposals by PSEG Long Island seeking a solution to the South Fork’s growing need for energy sources.
The 90-megawatt, 15-turbine wind farm pitched by the Rhode Island developer would be located 30 miles southeast of Montauk, far enough to be over the horizon, while the energy storage systems, consisting of lithium-ion battery technology, would be built on Industrial Road in Montauk and at the Wainscott Commercial Center, said the company’s Vice President of Development Clint Plummer.
Mr. Plummer said the plan builds from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “Renewing the Energy Vision” initiative in that it would provide a clean, renewable option for the South Fork, the fastest growing part of Long Island.
“It’s intended to be the most attractive option for South Fork communities,” he said. “We don’t have to build a busy, noisy plant and deliver all the energy that’s needed.”
In particular, offshore wind farms provide one of the most reliable renewable energies, said Gordian Raacke, executive director of Renewable Energy Long Island. He called Deepwater “an ideal match.”
“[The wind farm] would generate the most energy during times when we need it,” said Mr. Raacke. “Anything that generates clean energy and makes it available when we need it is definitely a good [choice].”
Deepwater previously submitted a proposal for an offshore wind farm to the Long Island Power Authority in 2014 after LIPA said it wanted to add 280 megawatts of renewable energy to the utility’s resources. However, the plan, which looked to render 210 megawatts of energy, was rejected last December.
In the meantime, Deepwater has been actively constructing the first offshore wind energy program in the United States off Block Island—15 minutes south of the coast of Rhode Island and 15 miles east of Montauk Point.
Mr. Plummer said the construction is halfway through and it will be fully operational by next year.
The potential for this enormous step toward reliance on renewable energy has many activists excited at the prospect of a shift in perspective for not only the East End, but the entire country.
“[Wind is] such a huge natural resource that can be harnessed with very little impact to the environment. It is something that I want to see developed in the U.S.,” said Frank Dalene, former chairman and current member of the East Hampton Sustainability Committee.
Mr. Dalene said many European countries such as Norway and Germany have already found success with the use of offshore wind farms.
“With everything they’ve been doing we have to look at them as leaders,” he said.
If PSEG decided to go with Deepwater’s plan, Mr. Dalene said he was certain that East Hampton would fulfill its commitment to replace 100 percent of the community’s electricity consumption by 2020, a plan initiated by the East Hampton Town Board last year.
Mr. Plummer said PSEG is set to make its decision in May 2016.