Long Island’s First Land-Based Wind Generator Dedicated

Governor George E. Pataki, recently joined with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and the Long Island Farm Bureau to formally dedicate LIPA’s first land-based wind generator located on a working farm in Suffolk County.

Albany, New York – September 12, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] The wind turbine, the first of five that will be erected by LIPA on farm sites in Suffolk with the cooperation of the Long Island Farm Bureau, will generate 100,000 kWh of electricity annually. That’s enough to power about 12 average-sized homes on Long Island. The primary purpose of the turbines, funded through LIPA’s US$170 million Clean Energy Initiative, is to demonstrate how the wind can be harnessed on Long Island to generate electricity. “This is an exciting step forward for the development of wind power as an alternative energy technology on Long Island,” Pataki said. “Working in partnership with the Long Island Farm Bureau, LIPA is demonstrating how innovative thinking can bring new and environmentally sound solutions to help address New York’s energy needs.” The wind turbine is located on the Zeh Farm behind the Windy Acres Farm Stand on Route 25 in Calverton. It cost approximately US$225,000 to construct and put into operation. In return for allowing the wind turbine to be placed on their farmland, the Zeh family will receive an annual energy credit on their electric bill equal to 25 percent of the power generated by their farm’s wind turbine. This credit is expected to be worth about US$3,000 per year. The term of the lease is 20 years. “This small, land-based wind turbine project is a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of wind energy to Long Islanders,” said Kathleen Whitley, Program Director for the Sustainable Energy Alliance. “We are thrilled that Governor Pataki is here today in support of bringing more Renewable Energy resources such as wind generation to our region.” To help identify the availability of the Zeh Farm as a possible location for a land-based wind generator, LIPA began to work with the LI Farm Bureau in March of 2001. Over 1,200 letters were sent to Farm Bureau members indicating LIPA’s willingness to erect a wind turbine on leased farmland. Initially, 40 farm owners expressed interest. Sites were reviewed for favorable wind characteristics and favorable distances from residential areas and nearness to LIPA’s distribution system. LIPA has also begun an initiative, under its CEI program, to develop 100 MW of offshore wind turbines. These turbines are significantly larger than the land-based units LIPA is using now. They will be located off the south shore of Long Island in a yet-to-be identified area one to six miles offshore. LIPA will issue a formal Request for Proposals for its offshore generation project by the end of the year.
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