By Carolyn Gusoff

LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Offshore wind power is coming to New York for the first time, and it would be the largest wind farm in the nation to date.

As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reports, a video simulation of what’s called the Empire Wind Project, off Long Island and New Jersey, shows what it will look like from shore.

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A video simulation of what’s called the Empire Wind Project, off Long Island and New Jersey, shows what it will look like from shore. (Credit: Equinor)

Winds of change off Long Island, where offshore wind turbines will one day bring clean energy. To visualize the nation’s first large scale offshore wind farm, with its 174 turbines, the developer created a simulation from Jones Beach, which has some relieved they’re further offshore than first proposed.

“I actually don’t think that it would be so bad,” one person said. “You have the cargo ships out there. I’d rather look at wind turbines than the cargo ships.”

“I’m all for it. I have solar panels on my roof,” said another person.

“They’re going to be so far out, especially with the haze we have,” another person said.

Not everyone likes the view, which is coming in four years.

“I would hope in time they can find modifications of it so it wouldn’t be so apparent when you’re looking in the water,” one person said.

“Doesn’t look great,” another person said.

“It’s going to kill an awful lot of birds,” another person said.

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But beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

“I understand that we’re actually going to have to see sometimes a little dot on the horizon in order to save the planet,” said Adrienne Esposito of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “I’m going to think of it as a beacon of hope for the future, for cleaner air, energy independence, and keeping our energy dollars here at home in America.”

The site off Long Beach is one of five under consideration off Long Island and the one closest to the shore, at 15 miles. Each wind turbine is more than 950 feet tall. In New York terms, that’s the size of the Chrysler Building.

The public can weigh in through virtual hearings in the next 30 days.

The scallop industry objects to its placement.

“Fishermen can’t fish in a wind farm, and so building a wind farm on fishing grounds takes those fishing grounds out of play for the fishermen,” said David Frulla, an attorney for the scallop industry. “You are looking at people losing their livelihoods.”

“Frankly, the biggest threat to our fishing industry is climate change,” Esposito said.

The Bureau of Energy Management invites comment before impact studies are launched.

The Empire Wind Farm would be some 19 miles off Long Branch, New Jersey.

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Carolyn Gusoff