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NYPA wants Great Lakes wind farm first in the water

photo courtesy of Buffalo Rising

By Joyce Kryszak

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-899536.mp3

Buffalo, NY – The oil spill in the gulf is creating a greater push to develop wind power. The New York Power Authority wants to take advantage of the momentum. In fact, NYPA wants to beat out the Cape Wind project in the race to erect the first off-shore wind farm.

Click the audio player above to hear Joyce Kryszak's full story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.

Western New York's off shore wind plans do lag behind the Cape Wind Project. The Secretary of the Interior recently gave the green light to the project off the shore of Massachusetts. NYPA only announced plans last year to erect a wind farm off the shores of lake Erie or Ontario, or possibly both.

But NYPA President Richard Kessel said those plans are humming right along. And he said permitting for the Cape project puts wind under the wings of the off shore project here too.

Kessel said they have received 14 notices of intent to bid on the one billion dollar wind project. Bids are due back on June first. He said that means they are getting closer to possibly making a Great Lakes off-shore wind farm the first in the nation.

But the process will take years. There are still studies to be done to determine everything from the best siting for the turbines to the potential aesthetic and environment impacts. Kessel said there are a lot of positives to consider, including the economic impact to the region.

NYPA says preference in awarding the contracts will be given to developers who agree to use local labor and materials.