Feds Pitch Wind Farm Off The Hamptons

One of the Block Island Wind Farm structures sits in the Atlantic Ocean in New Shoreham, Rhode Island
FILE PHOTO: One of the Block Island Wind Farm structures, part of the first commercial offshore wind farm in the United States, located 3.8 miles (6km) from Block Island, sits in the Atlantic Ocean in New Shoreham, Rhode Island, U.S., August 5, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

An offshore wind farm would be built off the coast of the Hamptons under a White House plan to dramatically increase wind energy production in the coming decade, officials announced Monday. 

The U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s plan would create five new offshore wind development zones in the New York Bight — the seafloor between Long Island and New Jersey — including a zone dubbed Fairways North that lies in the Atlantic Ocean south of the Shinnecock Inlet.

“President Biden believes we have an enormous opportunity in front of us to not only address the threats of climate change, but use it as a chance to create millions of good-paying, union jobs that will fuel America’s economic recovery, rebuild the middle class, and make sure we bounce back from the crises we face,” said National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy.

The zones are part of a plan to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind in the United States by 2030 to generate enough energy to power more than 10 million American homes for a year, as well as avoid 78 million metric tons of CO2 emissions.

Fishing industry groups were skeptical of the plan and its inclusion of $1 million to study the effects of offshore wind farms on fisheries.

“Where’s our roadmap to not completely stomping out one of our main sources of food production and our main source of jobs in coastal communities?” Annie Hawkins, executive director of the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, told Reuters.

The proposal comes after the New York State regulators recently approved a plan to run through Wainscott the cable from an offshore wind farm off the coast of Montauk. Opponents plan to challenge the construction in court. That project is pending federal approval.