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Turns Out The Answer Really Is ’Blowin’ In The Wind’ As The South Fork Wind Farm Keeps It Clean And Affordable

This endeavor will place New York State firmly in the forefront of utilizing cost effective offshore wind as a viable energy source. (Photo: www.facebook.com)

For those of you who may not recognize the title of the great Bob Dylan tune, perhaps you do recognize the importance of renewable energy as both a reliable and cost effective alternative to our continued reliance on non-renewable electricity as something that is greatly needed. Since we will always desire and consume energy that continues to charge our plethora of electronic devices, as well as illuminate, keep our appliances running, and sometimes heat our homes, it is time to recognize that we must move towards a more renewable energy future.

South Fork Wind Farm is going big and doing just that, and "construction could start as early as 2019, and the wind farm could be operational as early as 2022." The project will endeavor to provide the Town of East Hampton with support to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by the year 2020 with the aid of the Long Island Power Authority.

Among the first offshore wind farms in the country, South Fork Wind Farm "will consist of 15 advanced offshore wind turbines able to generate 90 megawatts of the world's cleanest and most efficient energy, and a state-of-the-art electric transmission system buried beneath the ocean floor that will deliver that energy directly to East Hampton."

According to their website, "The South Fork Wind Farm was proposed in response to New York State's Reforming the Energy Vision initiative and designed around the premise that renewable energy can be a reliable and cost-effective solution to modern electricity challenges. By delivering clean energy reliably when and where it's needed, the South Fork Wind Farm will not only help the Long Island Power Authority reach its goal of adding 280 megawatts of renewable capacity, and help the Town of East Hampton accomplish its goal of moving to 100 percent renewable energy, but it will also help defer the need to build costly new energy infrastructure on East End, saving money for all Long Island ratepayers."

With costs decreasing and technology increasing around the globe, ocean wind can be harnessed allowing the South Farm Wind Farm to avoid the need to build dirty fossil-fueled power plants or controversial transmission lines. 15 turbines "will work to generate enough energy to power 50,000 homes, while reducing carbon emissions on Long Island by nearly 20 million metric tons over its lifetime. All electrical cables on the island will be buried beneath existing roads, and as the project will be located 30 miles off the coast of Montauk, the wind farm will not be visible from Long Island's beaches."

A contract has been negotiated between Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and Deepwater Wind. "The LIPA Board approved a contract submitted by Deepwater Wind for the South Fork Wind Farm after a year-long process engaging the private sector for the best available clean energy generation ideas and detailed cost modeling. Other elements of LIPA's South Fork energy portfolio include transmission enhancements and additional clean energy solutions such as battery storage and consumer electricity demand reduction. The LIPA Board approved a 20-year pay-for-performance Power Purchase Agreement, allowing the utility to only pay for delivered energy without taking construction or operating risk. Advancing technology and innovation reduced the projects all-in wind energy price to be competitive with other renewable energy sources."

This endeavor will place New York State firmly in the forefront of utilizing cost effective offshore wind as a viable energy source, as well as an economical alternative so that we can all "see the light" of its tremendous benefits.

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.

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