Second Long Island wind energy project proposed
A Hauppauge company is proposing its second wind energy project south of Long Island, this one to serve Nassau and Suffolk electricity customers instead of those in the city.

Winergy Power president Dennis Quaranta said Tuesday his company applied for approval of the $600 million to $700 million plan Jan. 16 from the nonprofit New York Independent System Operator, which coordinates electric power generation and transmission.

The plan is for 86 wind turbines with a peak output of 300 megawatts. "As well as New York City, Long Island needs clean reliable energy," he said. "It's just a matter of going out and getting it."

The project also needs federal and state government approval and an arrangement made with the Long Island Power Authority to handle the electricty it produces, Quarantro said.

LIPA spokesman Ed Dumas said it had not been approached officially by Winergy but would consider its proposal. Winergy's proposed connecting point, known as the Sterling Substation and located in West Amityville, can handle only 167 megawatts more, he said, and any costs of an upgrade would have to be borne by Winergy.

The proposed location, Quaranta said, is about 15 miles east of the 167 turbine, 600 megawatt project that Winergy proposed in November for a site 15- to 18 miles south of Jones Beach to feed electricty into the Con Edison grid.

Both Winergy projects would be much farther out to sea than the 40-turbine field proposed jointly by LIPA and FPL Energy 3.5 to 5 miles south of Jones Beach and, said Quaranta, would be nearly invisible from land. It was the LIPA/FPL project that was ultimately rejected last year by LIPA itself as too costly. Some environmentalists and Long Island residents saw the eight-square-mile array of turbines rising 400 feet in the air as an eyesore.

Winergy is arranging private financing. It is proposing construction starts in 2012 for both its projects south of Long Island but, Quarantro said, realistically both couldn't be built simultaneously so that whichever gets approved first would likely be built first.

Babylon Town Supervisor Steve Bellone said Winergy's projects seem to make more sense economically and probably will have less environmental impact so far out to sea, but he was still concerned about effects on the Great South Bay ecosystem of any transmission line crossing Great South Bay. "Under no circumstances will we permit them to run transmission cables through Babylon Town waters," he said.