Some 20 miles off the coast of the Rockaways, the wind roars on the open ocean with enough force to power a large swath of New York City. And that is just how Clint Plummer likes it.
Deepwater Wind, where Plummer is vice president of development, is a Providence, R.I.-based wind-power company in the business of harnessing that force. The Rockaways are where he aims to build what could become the largest offshore wind farm in the U.S., with turbines that would reach as high as 500 feet and have wingspans wider than three Airbus A380s.
In its first phase, the project could generate enough electricity for a quarter of the state of Delaware. Eventually, it could include 500 turbines or more, with the capacity to produce a quarter of the city’s power.
Although a windmill-powered future may seem far off, it can’t come soon enough for Plummer, who is based in New York. Many of the Northeast’s power plants are at least 40 years old and nearing replacement, creating what Plummer says is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transition the power grid from carbon-belching plants to green infrastructure.