Watch CBS News

Energy companies rebid for offshore wind project approval on Long Island

Future of wind turbines up in the air in New York state
Future of wind turbines up in the air in New York state 02:07

NEW YORK -- The offshore wind industry was hit with soaring costs and has to rebid for a stake in Long Island's power future.

New York state has four weeks to decide which, if any, energy companies will be awarded. Proponents are lobbying for needed green energy approval.

"We need power, ladies and gentlemen. We are a power hungry society," Suffolk County Comptroller Robert Kennedy said.

Powering with wind brought a roomful of supporters together, endorsing Sunrise Wind's plan to build turbines off Rhode Island with a cable connection at Smith Point.

"There are 900,000 homes in Suffolk County, and this program is going power 600,000 homes, which is almost two-thirds," Suffolk County Legislator Jason Richberg said.

Brookhaven town hamlets and villages came out in support of the expected millions in local contracts and community benefits.

"This is a spectacular bipartisan-supported project for the county because it really is gonna bring great jobs, it's gonna transition us from fossil fuels to renewables," said Adrienne Esposito, with Citizens Campaign for the Environment. "If this project is re-selected by the state, then we can actually see construction starting next year."

Sunrise Wind was slated to be underway in 2019, but as New York Sen. Dean Murray explains, "We had COVID. We had the war in Ukraine. We had the supply chain issues, inflation."

When the industry was hit with soaring costs, the state required rebidding.

The Suffolk County executive says it is still to be determined what impact this wind shore project will have on electric rates or the costs for taxpayers.

The group Protect Our Coast Long Island is trying to stop wind farms from Long Beach to the East End.

"I'm all for green energy. I just don't think there's been enough research for this, and we are not for industrializing our ocean," said Jennifer Sarafin, with Protect Our Coast.

But the county executive is steadfast.

"The time for wind and alternative power has been long overdue and it is now, and I will stand with that, against all odds, with my fellow Long Islanders who can see the future," Suffolk County Executive Edward Romaine said.

The governor will announce award winners later in February.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.