Plan details NY state's vision for offshore wind energy

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FARMINGDALE -

New York state on Monday released the blueprints for a plan to harness the power of wind through offshore farms.

State officials released the 60-page report detailing plans for a wind farm that includes hundreds of turbines. The site would be 21 miles off the South Shore of Long Island -- not visible from the shoreline -- and would be expected to produce 2,400 megawatts. The state estimates that more than 1.2 million homes would be powered by the farm.

Adrienne Esposito, of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, says the extensive report was long-awaited. She says researchers examined the impact that a wind farm would have on marine life, migratory birds and bats.

"We've been expecting this report for the last two years," Esposito says. "We need to move forward with renewable energy, and stop the oil and gas drilling that is planned for the East Coast."

MORE: More on this story at Newsday.com

But commercial fishermen see it differently. They say an offshore wind farm would destroy marine habitats -- as well as the commercial fishing industry.

Bonnie Brady, from the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, said in a statement to News 12, "Through eminent domain, they are taking away historic fishing grounds and now they are destroying it in the name of green energy. The only green here is about making money."

Esposito disagrees, saying, "The commercial fishing industry has to realize that if we keep saying no to wind then we are saying yes to our fossil-fueled power plants."

According to the state report, an offshore wind farm would result in a $6 billion industry and would employ 5,000 people by 2028.

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