Sierra Club pushed offshore Long Island wind

The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) is set to continue a two-year search for new generation when it convenes a board meeting on Oct. 2 to consider proposals for up to 2,500 MW of new resources.

The Sierra Club on Sept. 17 launched a campaign calling on LIPA to choose clean, renewable energy like offshore wind. LIPA is currently debating various sources for new power for its customers including new dirty energy plants and offshore wind. LIPA is expected to announce a decision on the future of Long Island’s energy at its Oct. 2 Board of Trustees meeting.

“LIPA’s 2010-2020 Electric Resource Plan identified a significant need for additional electrical resources in the 2016-2020 timeframe,” the document said.

A LIPA spokesperson said under state law the authority could not discuss proposals it had received.

 “This is one of the best opportunities in the nation to make offshore wind a reality,” said Lisa Dix, Senior New York Campaign Representative for the Sierra Club. “LIPA has the incredible opportunity to both make New York a clean energy leader and open the door for offshore wind across the region, but they must make the right choice in October.”

The Sierra Club has rented billboards on Long Island highways near LIPA headquarters. The billboards are part of a multipronged new effort by the Sierra Club that includes an online ad and petition campaign and new organizing efforts on Long Island engaging a broad coalition of supporters.

At the October meeting the LIPA Board of Trustees are expected to make an announcement about the next steps in their ongoing RFP process for new power generation – a process that has already been delayed twice.

Neither the State of New York nor LIPA are currently on track to meet renewable energy goals set by the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS), the Sierra Club says. The RPS sets a goal for all New York utilities to get 30% of their energy from renewable sources by 2015. As a public authority, LIPA is technically exempt from the standard, but the LIPA Board has committed to meet the goal.