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Offshore wind energy farm. (Image: Håkan Dahlström via Flickr)

Feds solicit bids for wind farm off coast of NY, NJ

NEW YORK (AP) — The federal government says it will auction off the rights to build an electricity-generating windfarm on 81,000 acres of ocean off the coast of New York and New Jersey.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the lease sale Tuesday.

Officials say seven companies have expressed an interest so far in bidding for the lease on the waters, which are about 11 miles south of Long Island.

Public hearings on the plan are scheduled to be held in June.

A group of New York utilities initially approached the government about leasing ocean in roughly the same area in 2011, but the idea now seems to be gathering momentum.

Federal authorities say part of the delay was due to Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Commercial fisherman have also raised concerns about the project’s impact.

Related news: High court allows western Ohio wind farm to proceed

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