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LIPA expected to approve contract for largest US offshore wind project

TheLong Island PowerAuthority board of directors is expected to approve a contract withDeepwater Wind tobuild what would become the largest U.S. offshore wind farm.

LIPACEO Thomas Falcone, in an interview with The Associated Press published July14, said the board is expected at its upcoming meeting July 20 to approve the90-MW, 15-turbine Deepwater One-South Fork project that will be about 30 milessoutheast of Montauk, N.Y., off the eastern end of Long Island. The proposedoffshore wind farm is three times larger than Deepwater Wind's 30-MW offshore windproject off of Rhode Island that is expected to come online later in 2016. LIPAis a municipal-owned corporation whose transmission and distribution system isoperated by Public ServiceEnterprise Group Inc. subsidiary PSEG Long Island LLC.

TheSouth Fork project, which will be built alongside two proposed battery storagefacilities, is in response to a PSEG Long Island for resources serving the SouthFork of Long Island.

Falconesaid an agreement between LIPA and Deepwater Wind could be reached by early2017 and construction of the project could be finished so that it is online bythe end of 2022.

DeepwaterWind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski in a statement said New York is boldly leadingAmerica's clean-energy revolution. "Our project is not just the best sitefor offshore wind in the country," Grybowski said. "It's also the rightsolution to meet the South Fork's energy demands in a clean and cost-effectiveway. There's real momentum for offshore wind in the United States, and LongIslanders are leading the charge."

NewYork Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a news release urged the utility's board to approvewind project and help the state achieve its goal of supplying 50% ofelectricity from renewable energy by 2030.

"Thisis what our clean energy future looks like," Kit Kennedy, energy andtransportation director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in astatement. "Greenlighting the nation's largest — and New York's first —offshore wind farm would be a giant step forward in finally unleashing thelargely untapped potential of this plentiful source of clean energy. Approvingthis project is critical to putting Governor Cuomo's bold climate goals for thestate into action."

Theexpected approval of the offshore wind project by LIPA has also receivedsupport from the Sierra Club. "Offshore wind will help power Long Islandwho is in desperate need of new power sources," Jeff Tittel, director ofthe Sierra Club's New Jersey chapter, said in a news release. "Thisproject will help avoid a new natural gas power plant from being built thatwill cause more air pollution."