LIPA rejects wind farm, approves solar projects
The LIPA Board of Trustees has rejected a proposal to build an offshore wind farm off the coast of Montauk.
They cited the cost of the project as their main obstacle.
Environmentalists and wind energy advocates said they were disappointed with the decision.
"Once again, LIPA has said 'no' to wind with the same old antiquated thinking that holds Long Island back," said Adrienne Esposito, of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment. "They really aren't forward-thinking and they've missed a golden opportunity once again."
Several LIPA board members individually expressed support for wind power, but said it just cost too much. Deepwater Wind, the company proposing the wind farm, previously estimated the cost of construction and operation at $1-$1.5 billion.
"We're trying to maintain an economic balance," said LIPA board member Mark Fischl. "I understand people are upset, but it's a fine line we're walking and we're trying to make sense for everybody."
Deepwater Wind issued a statement saying it was disappointed with the decision. The company's CEO says he will "continue to advance the project."
LIPA did approve 11 solar projects in Calverton, Manorville, East Shoreham, Medford, Yaphank and Kings Park as part of its plan to increase renewable energy options. The company was not able to give a dollar amount for the solar projects, but a spokesman said the wind farm would have cost seven times as much as all of the solar projects combined.
The 11 solar projects are expected to be completed in 2016.