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New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and CEO Richard M. Kessel has announced a major public-private initiative for the potential development of wind power projects in the New York State waters of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

NYPA has released a request for expressions of interest (RFEI) to initiate efforts to develop offshore wind projects in the Great Lakes. A request for proposals (RFP) to examine technical issues related to the viability of such projects is expected to be released before the end of the month.

To carry out the initiative, known as the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project, NYPA - with the support of wind power proponents including National Grid, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, state and local environmental organizations, wind power developers and the University of Buffalo - is gathering a wide range of environmental, economic development, technical, financial and other information to serve as the foundation for the possible installation of wind power projects by one or more private wind power developers, sized to a minimum of 120 MW.

"We have an opportunity to ensure that New York is the national leader in the clean energy economy, which will create thousands of jobs across the state," says Gov. David A. Paterson, D-N.Y. "To get there, we must take full advantage of our natural resources, including hydropower, solar and wind. I have set the goal for New York to meet 45 percent of our electricity needs through renewable power by 2015. Harnessing the power of wind is critical to achieving that goal, and the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project will help us reach it."

NYPA intends to hold public and community forums to gather input as the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project initiative proceeds. In parallel to the RFEI process, NYPA will arrange, through the RFP on technical issues, to have siting studies conducted to ascertain optimum areas for locating the Great Lakes projects.

The studies will review the wind resource, impacts on birds, visibility, vessel traffic and lake bottom conditions. It is anticipated the results of the studies will be included in the RFP. It is expected that this power will be sold to NYPA and others for resale to upstate customers.

For more information, visit nypa.gov.

SOURCE: New York Power Authority


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