AWEA supports first freshwater, offshore wind project

The New York State project would place 120 MW in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA, Washington, D.C.) announced on April 23 that it welcomes the Earth Day announcement from the New York Power Authority (NYPA) aimed at installing the first freshwater offshore wind energy project in the world. NYPA president and CEO Richard M. Kessel released a Request for Expressions of Interest for projects of at least 120 MW in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

"This is a great sign for offshore wind energy in the U.S.," said Denise Bode, CEO of AWEA.  "As we seek to dramatically expand wind energy, both on- and offshore, it is vital that we commit to long-term stable policies such as the Renewable Electricity Standard to allow the market to reach its full potential and enable businesses to build new factories and create new jobs."

Peter Mandelstam, chairman of AWEA's Offshore Wind Group, and president of Bluewater Wind, commented: "The entire Offshore Wind industry applauds Governor Paterson and NYPA President Kessel for their historic announcement proposing the world's first utility-scale, freshwater wind park. NYPA's announcement supports President Obama's goal of providing well paying wind energy jobs, fighting climate change and reducing use of foreign energy. The offshore wind industry eagerly awaits a competition to build this project and provide vitally needed economic development and green jobs in Upstate New York".

Carol E. Murphy, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, said:  "Offshore wind energy presents an important opportunity for job creation and growth for local economies from Buffalo to Watertown, and it would further solidify New York's place as a clean energy leader. We commend NYPA for launching this bold initiative and look forward to working with leaders across the state to make it a reality."