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The US’s second offshore wind farm coming to NY

The 90MW project has received approval from Long Island’s power authority two weeks after the state’s Governor announced plans to develop 2.4GW of offshore wind by 2030.

In a bid to generate cheap and clean energy, New York moved the US’s nascent offshore wind industry one step forward this week with the approval of a 90MW project at the eastern tip of Long Island.

The South Fork project is a 15-turbine facility that will be the nation’s second offshore wind farm. Located in a 256 square-mile area between the tip of Long Island and Martha’s Vineyard, the plant will power around 50,000 homes.

Trustees from the Long Island Power Authority have now given the greenlight to Deepwater Wind to begin construction on the $740 million project. Along with the turbines, the developer will have to lay a 50-mile undersea transmission line from the plant to Long Island.

The move comes two weeks after Governor Andrew Cuomo said offshore wind would be a critical component in New York’s future energy plan, announcing his intent to develop 2.4GW in the state by 2030. Cuomo has set a goal to generate 50 percent of New York’s electricity from renewable energy by then.

The US lags far behind Europe when it comes to offshore wind, but there are signs the industry is beginning to take off.

Deepwater Wind recently finished the US’s first offshore wind farm last autumn when five turbines off the coast of Block Island, near Rhode Island, began generating electricity. And in December, Norwegian oil giant Statoil won a lease from a federal agency to develop plans for an offshore project elsewhere near Long Island.

Other states are taking action to tap the fledgling market. Massachusetts will hold its own auction next year to sign long-term power offtake agreements. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation last August requiring utilities to generate 1.6GW of electricity from offshore wind farms within a decade.

Down the East Coast in North Carolina, another auction is planned in March for developers to bid on over 120,000 acres of water designated for offshore wind.