Increasing indigenous renewable generation and the overall efficiency of energy generation are priorities articulated in the New York State Energy Plan. Developing a pipeline of renewable resources is necessary to meet the state's renewable power generation (RPS) and energy efficiency (EEPS) goals and address the combined threats of climate change and dependency on volatile fossil fuel markets. Performance improvements and cost reductions require continued investment in technology innovation and marketplace acceptance. The development and testing of new power conversion systems and supporting technologies – such as energy storage that fosters integration into the power grid– will benefit New York State’s economy and exploit more fully the value of clean resources.
The contribution of land-based wind projects to long term clean energy goals will be challenged by increased siting limitations and transmission constraints. Offshore wind energy, often considered the next frontier of renewable resource development, faces the additional challenges – as identified by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) – of high capital costs, lengthy permitting, and insufficient site characterization. All such challenges will continue to be addressed as New York directs its focus on the offshore marine environments of the Great Lakes, Long Island, and the Atlantic Ocean.
This program will focus on activities that can stimulate development of new renewable energy supply and technologies and businesses with the greatest potential to meet near-to-intermediate-term energy and environmental goals. Similar to previous efforts that supported land-based wind development in the upstate region, emphasis here will be given to offshore wind energy. As the federal research agenda for offshore wind and kinetic hydro energy matures, ample opportunities will arise for New York’s industries, academic institutions and government to collaborate in support of transformational advances in technology.
The program will address market barriers through collaboration, planning and education; assessment, modeling and surveying; and supply chain, service industry and infrastructure development. Most program funds will be dedicated to characterizing operating environments, developing assessment practices, understanding resource usage and market perceptions, and conducting site and resource-specific assessments (e.g., geophysical, meteorological, biological, and energy production). Remaining funds will be used to conduct assessments of New York’s infrastructure including the capacity to manufacture, construct and service kinetic hydro and offshore wind generating project components (e.g., transmission, ports, and vessels). Competitive solicitations will be issued to the maximum extent possible, and cost sharing will be pursued as appropriate. NYSERDA would consider pursuing recoupment of public funds where public funding is used to support permanent offshore surveying structures or similar devices that capture data valuable to private interests.
Marine resource and site assessment activities will result in increased knowledge of coastal marine energy assets and their suitability for power development. Such information can stimulate developer activity and support expedited federal permitting for sites with the potential to produce 1,000 MW of rated capacity at peak and almost four million MWhr of electric energy annually.
The following outcomes are expected from the Initiative:
- Demonstrated capacity to exploit available tidal/current, ocean and offshore wind energy, with an emphasis on meeting the needs of the New York City load center
- Increased probability of project development and success through standardization of designs, business models and analytical tools
- New clean power product options with demonstrated performance improvements