Eric Adams’ plan: Turn NYC into wind energy manufacturing hub

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Mayoral candidate Eric Adams says the solution to reviving New York City’s economy amid the coronavirus pandemic is blowing in the wind.

Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, unveiled a plan Wednesday to make the Big Apple the wind power hub of the Northeast by building wind turbine manufacturing plants at ports throughout the city.

The factories on Gotham’s waterfront would design, construct and ship the components necessary to build off-shore wind farms planned for the region and create green jobs for city residents, Adams said.

The wind power plan would also help the city and metropolitan region achieve clean energy goals by moving away from fossil fuels.

“New York City has always been a hub for innovation, new ideas, and progressive
thinking. There is no reason New York City shouldn’t be a leader in wind power. We have the resources and we can foster the talent — we just have not had the leadership to get it done,” Adams said.

“With forward thinking and smart planning, the wind power industry can be a tailwind for our new economy as we emerge stronger from COVID-19. And, most importantly, since we are building this new industry from scratch in New York, we can ensure that the jobs
and prosperity that comes from it goes to the lower-income communities and communities of color that are struggling the most.”

He noted that the city already has a foothold in the wind power industry. A wind turbine plant is already in the works at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal.

Adams identified Arthur Kill and Port Richmond in Staten Island, the Brooklyn Navy Yard and at the Red Hook Container Terminal as additional sites to build wind turbines.

He also proposed opening a wind power jobs training center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Adams said his plan would also prepare young people for jobs through new wind energy programs established at Career and Technical Education high schools and CUNY campuses, including Kingsborough Community College on the Brooklyn waterfront.

The training programs “guarantee the industry hires locally as it grows,” he said.

Adams would commit city capital dollars to help provide the infrastructure at the city’s ports and harbors to accommodate the wind energy industry. He would also leverage private capital and federal dollars that could become available under President Biden’s infrastructure plan.

He noted that New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maryland have committed to buying 30,000 megawatts of offshore electricity over the next 14 years — enough electricity to power 20 million homes and create tens-of-thousands of new jobs.

But off-shore wind developers do not develop the port infrastructure to produce needed components and equipment for their wind farms themselves. They require manufacturing partners and port operators to complete and maintain their projects.

“That is where New York City and its famous ports can play a role — as they have for centuries as the facilitator of commerce and new industries,” Adams said.

“If we do this right, we will create one of the city’s largest industries from scratch, adding thousands of good jobs and hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars to our local economy in the coming years — potentially reaching billions-of-dollars in the near-future,” said Adams.

The wind power projects currently planned in New York with support from Gov. Andrew Cuomo are estimated to reduce carbon emissions by almost 16 million metric tons per year, and the wind power industry is key to reaching the State’s goal of 100 percent carbon-neutral electricity by 2040.

“With waterfront assets like SBMT, the Red Hook Container Terminal, Port Richmond, the
Brooklyn Navy Yard, and others, we have an opportunity to corner the market on wind power,” Adams said.

A Mayor Adams would also create a wind power development team at City Hall that would be staffed by industry experts and staff from the Economic Development Corporation, City Planning, Department of Environmental Protection and other relevant agencies to attract industry and cut through red tape to open wind farms.

“In order to spur the wind power industry and create new jobs while meeting our climate change goals, I will commit the City to purchasing a certain percentage of its electricity from wind sources regionally,” he said.

Other mayoral candidates are promoting their own renewable energy plans.

Andrew Yang recently embraced a plan to turn the East River waterfront in Long Island City, Queens, into the city’s first green energy hub powered by recycled river water, as well as solar and geothermal energy.

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