ALBANY - State officials are studying 16,740 square miles off the coast of Long Island and New York City to find areas suitable for offshore wind turbines.
The state Energy Research Development Authority, or NYSERDA, issued a blueprint report Thursday laying out the area the state plans to examine to boost the state’s capacity to produce electricity from windmills off the state’s coastline.
The push for offshore comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration has pledged to produce 50 percent of the state’s energy from renewable sources by 2030.
The blueprint, which will be developed into a full Offshore Wind Master Plan by the end of 2017, focuses exclusively on Long Island and the New York City area, not in the Great Lakes or other water sources.
“This blueprint lays out how New York will responsibly harness clean and cost-effective energy from offshore wind, and drive clean energy development to benefit all New Yorkers and fight the dangers of climate change,” NYSERDA President and CEO John Rhodes said in a statement.
The blueprint lays out a series of current and future environmental studies, site assessment work and future plans to support wind development offshore.
The state authority has begun surveying wildlife in the 16,740-square-foot area, with the first round of surveys completed in August. The state expects to conduct four surveys a year over the next three years.
The blueprint comes after NYSERDA announced in June that it intends to participate in a federal auction for an 81,000 acre wind energy area 12 miles off the coast of Long Island.
The full report can be read at NYSERDA’s website: www.nyserda.ny.gov/offshorewind.