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Offshore Wind Power Already Creating Local Jobs, Commits to Creating Hundreds More
Deepwater ONE, an offshore wind power project to be built 30 miles east of Montauk, can send 200 MW of its home-grown clean energy to Long Island. But first, Governor Cuomo, PSEG-LI, and the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) need to commit to buy the power – and that offer just got a whole lot more enticing with yesterday’s announcement promising to create hundreds of local jobs. Offshore wind power has grown into a massive and prosperous international industry, which has yet to make its way to US waters. With America’s first two projects scheduled for construction in 2015, southern New England will lead the nation to finally start harnessing the wealth of renewable power off our shores. If the past two decades of progress in Europe are any indicator, we will be eager to quickly scale up from there and realize the massive economic and environmental benefits this new clean energy frontier promises.
Offshore wind industry leader Deepwater Wind plans to play an integral role in launching America’s wind energy portfolio to the next level. In July of 2013, they won the U.S. Interior Department’s first-ever competitive lease auction for a Wind Energy Area in federal waters. The geography of the leased area offers benefits to the entire northeast region – even to the New York Metro area’s massive demand center. The pending proposal before LIPA to buy Deepwater ONE’s power would position New York to join those at the forefront of a new American industry that is destined to make up an increasing portion of coastal energy portfolios nationwide. State officials spoke up on the project’s behalf at a rally in the end of October, highlighting the growing political support for offshore wind power in New York.
A Seal of Approval from the Long Island Labor Community
Yesterday, presidents of the Long Island Federation of Labor and the Nassau-Suffolk Building and Construction Trades Council joined Deepwater Wind’s CEO to announce the significant economic benefits Deepwater ONE would bring to Long Island if the Long Island Power Authority commits to purchasing its power.
“There is an opportunity associated with offshore wind energy to safeguard our environment and, at the same time, bring hundreds of jobs to our region. Long Island has a skilled workforce in place to jumpstart a new American industry.”
– John R. Durso, President of the Long Island Federation of Labor
“The Nassau-Suffolk Building and Construction Trades is delighted to have the opportunity to put hundreds of highly trained and skilled men and women to work on this project, which will also help keep our air clean and provide good paying jobs for them and their families.”
– Richard O’Kane, President of the Nassau-Suffolk Building and Construction Trades Council
Deepwater Wind’s First Project Striding Toward the Finish Line
We are already seeing the job creation opportunities that a commitment to offshore wind development will bring to local communities. The Block Island Wind Farm cleared its final regulatory hurdle this past Monday, earning its right-of-way grant for the project’s transmission line through federal waters. Last week, the project made local headlines by contracting a partnership between offshore construction experts in Louisiana and Rhode Island’s own Specialty Diving Services (SDS) for the construction of its Block Island Wind Farm. For several months at the start of next year, local tradesmen and women based at Quonset Point in North Kingstown, RI will make components of the foundations that will support five of the nation’s first offshore wind turbines, and help Rhode Island model the job-creating benefits of clean energy.
“Rhode Island is leading the way in this new industry and it is great that Rhode Islanders will be building part of this project. This is a great opportunity for SDS and other Rhode Island companies to get involved in a new field.”
– Nick Tanionos, CEO of Specialty Diving Services, Inc.
The National Wildlife Federation stands firmly behind the environmental necessity of rapidly advancing responsibly developed large-scale clean energy solutions. Offshore wind power is an American opportunity we can no longer afford to ignore. Its ability to help project wildlife, their habitats, and future generations from the dangers of climate change makes it increasingly imperative that we move forward swiftly and responsibly in pursuit of this clean energy frontier. Layer on the facts that it will create thousands of U.S. jobs, help buffer ratepayers from the volatile fossil fuel market, and send clean power into the grid when and where we need it most – and offshore wind power is a solution that ought to unite us all.