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South Fork Wind Project Approved by Biden Administration

The Department of Interior and Commerce’s approval Wednesday brings the South Fork wind farm closer to being able to provide enough electricity for 70,000 homes in Long Island, New York, along an undersea cable. Officials said developers were still required to obtain other documents, including a design report.

The project will be smaller than originally designed – 12 turbines instead of 15 – and has been adjusted to avoid “high value fishing areas” and shipping lanes.

Failure to approve the offshore wind farm, officials said, would lead power developers to build new power generation in the region that “could be powered by natural gas, oil or coal, emitting more than air pollutants and would produce greater impacts on air quality in the region by comparison.

Officials said the decision includes measures to “avoid, minimize and mitigate potential impacts,” and those requirements were developed in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, including tribes, state and local officials, l industry and ocean users.

But the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, which defends the interests of the fishery, said regulators had ignored its concerns by implementing “time-of-year restrictions on cod spawning, replacements for long-standing biological investigations that will be prevented from functioning, or safe shipping lanes “.

RODA Executive Director Annie Hawkins told CNN the project “generated a small amount of power and has little or no proven benefit in alleviating the climate crisis.”

In its mission to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, the Biden administration has set a goal of generating 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power in the United States. The Interior Ministry had previously estimated that achieving this target would create nearly 80,000 jobs. The South Fork project will produce around 130 megawatts, according to a press release.
Last week, authorities inaugurated the 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts, which is expected to eventually power more than 400,000 homes. The Biden administration also announced moves to a large wind power project in the waters between New York and New Jersey, and to offshore projects along California and the Carolinas.

“Just over a year ago, no large-scale offshore wind projects were approved in US federal waters,” Home Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement. “Today there are two, with several more on the horizon.”


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