Wind farm project off Rockaway coast expected to be ‘an economic generator for the state,’ Queens lawmaker says

Windmills and Sailboats on the Ocean
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

As the West Coast is overwhelmed with wildfires of epic proportions and the Gulf Coast is hit hard by hurricanes, New York state is moving forward with innovative climate change measures and natural energy resources. After state Senator Joseph Addabbo virtually met with the state’s Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), he was pleased to receive a positive update on the wind farm project off the Rockaway shores.

NYSERDA also informed Addabbo that New York’s second offshore solicitation is seeking up to 2,500 megawatts, including a complementary multi-port infrastructure investment, totaling more than $400 million in public and private dollars for port infrastructure in New York since last year.

Included in this new procurement with the Empire Wind Project is the Sunrise Wind Project and several land-based renewable energy projects issued by NYSERDA and New York Power Authority (NYPA).

The project will also study the impact offshore wind turbines have on marine wildlife and its effects on ocean users, such as commercial and recreational fishing. The project will provide financial and technical support to regional monitoring of wildlife and key commercial fishing stocks.

As New York continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, these solicitations, combined with a competitive multi-port funding opportunity, are expected to create about $7 billion in direct investments and to create nearly 4,500 jobs, both short and long term. This will add a major boost to the economy, which has been heavily impacted by the coronavirus shutdown.

“This project will also be an economic generator for the state. Thousands of workers will be hired to plan and construct all aspects of the project, and many more will be needed to run and maintain the facilities and wind turbines once they are operational,” Addabbo said. “I look forward to working with NYSERDA and other entities towards having local residents obtain access to these job opportunities.”

Addabbo added that the creators of this plan will also work with environmental groups to study and monitor the project’s effects on wildlife and fishing.