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Ackerman seeks $500,000 for Rockaway wind study

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A collaboration between Con Edison and the Long Island Power Authority to discuss the feasibility of constructing a wind farm off the coast of the Rockaways may soon have a large infusion of cash blowing its way, thanks to U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside).

Ackerman said $500,000 he requested for the study was included in energy legislation expected to be voted on this week in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The congressman said the money was earmarked to study environmental issues, transmission infrastructure and whether a wind farm would be realistic for the area.

“These funds will help LIPA and Con Ed continue to examine the viability of developing this important project,” the congressman said in a statement.

“Federal support for renewable energy projects is crucial to their success, and we are very pleased Congressman Ackerman is taking a lead role in this effort,” said Con Ed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Burke. “Our proposed offshore wind project holds great promise for New York and the environment.”

The study group between Con Ed and LIPA came out of Gov. David Paterson’s Renewable Energy Task Force last year.

When the partnership was announced, the governor said the wind farm would be built 13 miles off the coast of the Rockaways and has the potential to become the largest offshore wind farm in the country if constructed.

LIPA President and CEO Kevin Law said a wind farm “will help increase the state’s renewable energy portfolio, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create new energy jobs.”

Energy created from the windmills would be shared between state and city agencies, including the New York Power Authority, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. They would also share the costs of building the windmills.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

Posted 6:34 pm, October 10, 2011
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