The New York Offshore Wind Alliance (NYOWA), Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) and the NY League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV), representing a broad and diverse group of environmental, labor and community advocacy organizations, today applauded the Bureau of Offshore Energy Management (BOEM) for releasing the draft supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Vineyard Wind Offshore Wind project.
Located in federal waters off the Massachusetts coastline, if approved the project would be the first large-scale offshore wind project in the United States, providing 800 megawatts (MW) of clean and reliable electricity into the Massachusetts grid and setting a strong example for the kind of clean energy project that can help transform our economy and fuel renewable energy development to combat climate change. With the start of the public input period kicking off this Friday, the NYOWA, CCE and NYLCV plan to submit comments to BOEM and participate in virtual public meetings voicing their strong support for this project and encouraging BOEM to approve it a manner that not hinder or unreasonably restrict the responsible development of offshore wind.
“We are at a pivotal point in the development of a new American clean energy industry,” said the New York Offshore Wind Alliance Director Joe Martens, “Advancing the Vineyard Wind project is critical to providing the pathway for the responsible development of offshore wind up and down the east coast. We urge BOEM and its sister federal agencies to complete their review of this project so we can reap the economic, environmental and public health benefits of offshore wind.”
“As the first large scale offshore wind farm in the US, this project is critically important to demonstrate the immense environmental, economic, and community benefits of wind power, not only for Massachusetts but for the entire east coast. The more wind power is advanced the less fossil fuels are needed. We are very hopeful that in the near future we can say that fossil fuels are gone with the wind. As New York, Connecticut, and other states work to meet our ambitious renewable energy standards and offshore wind goals, we urge a quick approval for the Vineyard Wind Project and look forward to seeing these turbines lead the way for US offshore wind,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment.
“Clean energy for all means our approach to renewable energy must be regional,” said New York League of Conservation Voters President Julie Tighe. “Offshore wind is an integral component needed to meet New York’s goal of 70% renewable energy by 2030. The Vineyard Offshore Wind project will set the stage for other developments across the Eastern Seaboard. We need the environmental, public health, and economic benefits that this and other offshore wind projects will bring to our region. We applaud the Bureau of Offshore Energy Management for taking this step and urge the quick completion of its review and approval of the project.”
The Vineyard Wind project would generate enough carbon-free electricity to power some 400,000 homes, generate $2.8 billion in direct private investment and provide 3,600 family-sustaining jobs, all while saving ratepayers of $1.4 billion over the life of the project. Having released the draft SEIS on June 11, the BOEM now plans to hold five virtual public hearings, beginning Friday, June 26th. Following the close of the public comment period on July 27, BOEM will review the comments, finalize the Environmental Impact Statement in November and issue a Record of Decision in December.
About the New York Offshore Wind Alliance: The New York Offshore Wind Alliance (NYOWA) is a diverse coalition of organizations with a shared interest in promoting the responsible development of offshore wind power for New York. NYOWA is a project of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY). http://www.aceny.org/NYOWA
About the Citizens Campaign for the Environment: Citizens Campaign for the Environment is a grassroots environmental organization that works to protect our natural resources and public health. Through extensive education, research, lobbying and public outreach CCE increases citizens influence and participation in important environmental protection campaigns. Through such activism, the public has a stronger voice in the development of public policies and legislative agendas.
About the New York League of Conservation Voters: The New York League of Conservation Voters is the only non-partisan, statewide environmental organization in New York that takes a pragmatic approach to fighting for clean water, healthy air, renewable energy, and open space. For more information, visit http://www.nylcv.org.
APPEARED YESTERDAY IN THE EAST HAMPTON STAR.
September 1, 2019
To the Editor:
If you were enjoying a glorious ocean beach day, or hoeing your garden in hot sun, you might think East Hampton could achieve energy sustainability just by exploiting solar power. You would be wrong. Gordian Raacke, former executive director of the federal court-appointed citizens advisory panel created in 1993 to represent Long Island’s electricity consumers, has been studying the options for the last 26 years.In 2014, Raacke advised East Hampton Supervisor Larry Cantwell and the town board that they could not reach their goal of full sustainability through solar power alone.
In 2018, Raacke updated his research in a highly technical study of the estimated achievable potential of renewable energy sources over five years within the geographical boundary of East Hampton Township. Using authoritative data sources, the study assumed solar panels of every known type covering every feasible site in East Hampton, whether on rooftop or ground. It estimated that solar could provide a maximum 14 percent of annual electricity consumption over the next five years. For full sustainability the bulk of our power would need to be generated by offshore wind.
The reasons are plain. Much of East Hampton, ground and rooftop, is covered by woods and forests. Most of the sunny open space that could support panels on the ground is protected by law from further development. The rest is privately owned property too expensive for the town to rent or buy.
Our town board faced hard facts when it decided in 2014 that the town would need a major infusion of wind power to meet its sustainability goal. The current town board is doing the same. So should members of our community to resist the impacts of climate change on our beautiful environment.