A triangular sliver of Atlantic Ocean off the mouth of the Hudson River could generate nearly as much electricity as a nuclear power plant, an estimate suggests.
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has designated the 329-square-kilometre area, 21 kilometres south of Long Island, for wind development, Bloomberg Business reports. Based on developers using six- or eight-megawatt turbines, University of Delaware Prof. Willett Kempton, who studies offshore wind, estimated the field could achieve a capacity of 900 megawatts—on the scale of commercial nuclear generation stations.
“Given the site’s proximity to load centres in New York and Long Island, it has the potential to be a very desirable location,” said Thomas Brostrom, North American general manager for Denmark-based Dong Energy A/S.
Wind development offshore North America has lagged behind similar European initiatives. However, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has mandated his state to begin phasing out its remaining coal-fired generation by 2020 and produce 50% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Deepwater Wind LLC began construction last year on a 30-MW deployment off Rhode Island, the first in American waters.
BOEM expects to hold a lease auction for the area off Long Island by the end of the year.