For Lease: Windmill Space in the Atlantic Between Long Island and New Jersey

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Friday introduced that it might start the formal strategy of promoting leases to develop offshore wind farms in shallow waters between Long Island and New Jersey as a part of its push to transition the nation to renewable power.

The proposed sale, the first of the Biden administration, consists of eight lease areas in the New York Bight, a triangular space in the Atlantic Ocean between Cape May in New Jersey and Montauk Point on the japanese tip of Long Island. Administration officers estimated wind generators there might generate greater than seven gigawatts of electrical energy — sufficient to energy greater than 2.6 million properties.

The transfer is a part of efforts by the Biden administration to jump-start the nation’s offshore wind sector. Last month, it gave closing approval to the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard and stated it might open California’s coast to wind farms. Earlier this week, the administration stated it was inspecting whether or not to deliver wind farms to the Gulf of Mexico. President Biden has set a aim of producing 30,000 megawatts of electrical energy from offshore wind nationwide by 2030.

That contrasts sharply with former President Donald J. Trump, who disparaged wind generators, claiming that they destroyed property values, triggered most cancers and killed birds. His administration favored the improvement of fossil fuels and disputed the scientific consensus that the emissions produced by the burning of oil, fuel and coal are driving local weather change. Mr. Trump started his administration by providing 73 million acres in waters off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida for oil and fuel exploration and ended it by promoting oil and fuel drilling rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. The Biden administration final week suspended the drilling leases in the Arctic refuge.

“Climate change poses an existential threat, not just to our environment, but to our health, our communities, and our economic well-being,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland stated in a press release. She known as the improvement of offshore wind and different renewable power sources “an important piece of addressing this reality.”

Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which oversees offshore exercise, designated the New York Bight a “priority offshore wind area” in March, a primary step earlier than issuing new leases to wind builders. That was slated to happen in 2019 however the Trump administration didn’t meet the deadline.

A 2020 examine by Wood Mackenzie, a world power consulting agency, discovered that the improvement of offshore wind in the New York Bight would assist 32,200 jobs and $three.three billion in wages yearly.

The lease sale “not only opens a door to investment in New York, but will support jobs and businesses throughout the U.S.,” stated Erik Milito, president of the National Ocean Industries Association, which represents offshore oil, fuel and wind producers.

But the fishing trade says that the wind farms will battle with prime areas the place scallops, clams and different seafood are caught, and that the federal authorities has ignored its issues.

“Fishermen really haven’t been included as co-planners or trusted participants in offshore wind planning. Everything is really one-sided,” stated Annie Hawkins, govt director of the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, which advocates for the fishing trade.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is proposing a number of stipulations as a part of the lease sale — together with a provision that may require labor agreements.

The new guidelines would require corporations that win lease awards to “make every reasonable effort” to enter right into a undertaking labor settlement protecting building in the lease space. There is also a proposed requirement for corporations to create “mechanisms to provide benefits to underserved communities” in addition to enhanced communication with fishing communities and others.

The Interior Department will maintain a 60-day remark interval for public suggestions on the lease sale and the proposed new necessities earlier than it points a closing discover asserting the date of the lease sale.

Offshore wind has been booming for greater than a decade in Europe, the place 1000’s of generators now dot the coasts. The expertise has been slower to take off in the United States, which at present has simply two tiny wind farms working close to Rhode Island and Virginia.

But wind energy is primed to develop shortly alongside the East Coast, with current commitments from Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Virginia to purchase greater than 25,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2035, in response to the American Clean Power Association.