New York State to Participate in Offshore Wind Lease Auction

NYSERDA to advance offshore wind, reduce project development costs, and protect the environment

June 02, 2016

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced today it will participate in the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) auction for a commercial offshore wind energy lease off the coast of Long Island. Offshore wind is a critical component in meeting Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's aggressive clean energy goals, including generating 50 percent of the state's electricity from renewables by 2030. By taking this action to participate in the lease auction, NYSERDA will seek to ensure offshore wind in New York will be developed at the lowest possible cost for electricity consumers while protecting the environment and growing the economy.

"Offshore wind will bring clean energy and economic development to New York's coastal communities, growing the state's economy and supporting Governor Cuomo's commitment to protecting the environment," said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. "Offshore wind offers our state great promise and NYSERDA is committed to ensuring this vast renewable energy resource is developed in a cost-effective way to augment New York's energy infrastructure."

The 81,000-acre lease area is located south of Long Island, off the Rockaway Peninsula. If NYSERDA is chosen as the winning bidder, it will be able to lead the development and timing of the site's progress, providing the state the opportunity to benefit consumers with lower project costs and ensure that any project minimizes impacts on coastal communities, the environment, fisheries and maritime industries. NYSERDA will conduct robust stakeholder outreach and work closely with community members, environmental advocates, and federal and local partners.

As part of its pre-development work, NYSERDA will produce environmental studies and a resource assessment and site characterization to further reduce project costs and impacts. NYSERDA will then package this work with a power purchase mechanism and select a project developer through a competitive process. This strategy minimizes project risks and provides developers certainty to secure financing, maximizing competition and ultimately lowering project costs for consumers.

"The New York Power Authority, on behalf of the Long Island Power Authority and Consolidated Edison, originally proposed an offshore wind power project at this site and conducted initial assessments to confirm it was suitable for development. We are pleased to support NYSERDA as it will now advance what will be a transformational renewable energy project," said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA President and CEO. "Harnessing offshore wind will not only help address growing energy needs, it will also offer the clean power more consumers are demanding as part of their energy mix."

In his 2016 State of the State address, Governor Cuomo outlined his commitment to offshore wind by announcing the creation of an Offshore Wind Master Plan. Today's announcement is the first step in furthering the state's intentions to harness the power of clean, affordable offshore wind as part of its Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to build a cleaner, more resilient, and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers.

About Reforming the Energy Vision

Reforming the Energy Vision is New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's strategy to build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. REV places clean, locally produced power at the core of New York's energy system which protects the environment and supports the State's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent while generating 50 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. Successful initiatives already launched as part of REV include NY-Sun, NY Green Bank, NY Prize, K-Solar, and includes a commitment to improve energy affordability for low-income communities. To learn more about REV, please visit www.ny.gov/REV4NY or follow us at @Rev4NY.

About NYSERDA

NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities, visit nyserda.ny.gov or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.

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