By SEAN EGAN
Environmental groups met on Friday night at St. Peter’s Church in Midtown Manhattan to discuss details of possibly using offshore wind energy as a part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s OneNYC plan.
Sane Energy Project hosted the event, and among the groups attending were the National Wildlife Federation, Uprose, and Deepwater Wind. Representatives of each group spoke and opened dialogue about the offshore wind project, and what it would mean for the city.
“We know that offshore wind is on its way for New York, and we want to consider how it will impact life for all New Yorkers,” said Patrick Robbins of Sane Energy.
“It’s creating jobs for people that need them,” said Dan Sherrell of the Sierra Club. “It is making huge dents in our carbon emissions.”
Offshore wind turbines would not only affect people. Many in attendance had questions about how such a project would affect birds.
“Offshore wind power can be developed environmentally responsibly. We’ve been watching the process very closely,” said Catherine Bowes of the National Wildlife Federation. “It comes down to picking the right sites for where you put them.”
Birds are much less active farther out over the water because the fish are deeper, making it less hazardous for birds if the turbines are further offshore, Bowes explained. The turbines will be over 15 miles out, according to Sherrell.
“When they’re doing the construction and the operations we’ll just make sure that they have strong environmental protocols in place,” Bowes said. “The good news is that what we’ve learned from the industry overseas and here is that we believe what’s needed to ensure all wildlife are protected is all very workable for the industry. In our view it’s one of the most environmentally responsible energy sources out there.”
According to a study done at Stanford University, 40 percent of New York City could be powered by offshore wind by 2030.
De Blasio plans to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent in New York City by 2050, and spoke Friday on the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC Radio about how offshore wind will help achieve that.