Plan Outlines Strategic Approach to Responsibly Develop Offshore Wind Resources and Meet Clean Energy Standard Commitment of 50-Percent Renewables by 2030
September 15, 2016
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the release of the New York State Offshore Wind Blueprint. First announced in the 2016 State of the State address, the strategic plan will advance the development of offshore wind along New York’s coastline. New York State is home to some of the world’s strongest offshore wind resources, which will contribute to the Governor’s aggressive mandate to supply 50 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable energy resources by 2030.
"New York is a national leader in combating climate change and now we are taking the next big step forward,” Governor Cuomo said. “By developing a viable offshore wind energy source, we will continue to provide New Yorkers with clean, affordable power and lay the foundation for a thriving clean energy economy. This plan represents the future of New York and will cement our role as a leader in the renewable energy industry for generations to come.”
The Blueprint creates a framework for the responsible development of robust wind energy generation off the coast of New York through a comprehensive Offshore Wind Master Plan. To lead on offshore wind development in the U.S. and ensure responsiveness to the communities involved, New York State is committed to responding to feedback from a wide range of stakeholders, including energy consumers, utilities, environmental groups, coastal communities, commercial fisherman and the maritime industry. The Blueprint covers current and planned environmental studies, and strategic options to support sustainable and properly-sited offshore wind development, including site characterization and site assessment work.
The Blueprint also defines the New York Offshore Study Area and identifies Wind Energy Areas outside of the study area that will be reviewed with respect to grid interconnection, costs, and benefits they may bring to New York. All of these options will be included in the final Offshore Wind Master Plan, expected at the end of 2017.
Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York Richard Kauffman said, "The Blueprint is a critical step to ensure New York State will realize its aggressive clean energy goals under Governor Cuomo’s leadership. Offshore wind will be a critical contributor to achieving the State’s Clean Energy Standard mandate to serve 50 percent of the state’s electricity demand from renewable resources by 2030."
In June, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority announced its intention to participate in the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management auction for an 81,000-acre Wind Energy Area located 12 miles off the Long Island coast. NYSERDA is the first state entity to participate in a BOEM auction. If it were to win the auction, NYSERDA would be able to lead the development and timing of the site’s progress, ensuring that any project will be developed at the lowest possible cost for electricity consumers while protecting the environment and growing the economy. The Blueprint will help inform NYSERDA on this auction process.
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.
Additionally, as part of New York's commitment to address concerns over possible offshore wind impacts, NYSERDA is undertaking the world’s largest-ever digital aerial survey of offshore wildlife. The first round of survey flights ended in August. The survey of a 16,000-square-mile area off the Long Island coast will provide baseline data on offshore wildlife. Aerial, high-resolution digital still imagery will be used to collect data on birds, marine mammals, sea turtles, fish and other wildlife encountered offshore. Surveys will be conducted four times a year over three years using the latest digital and sensor technology in coordination with visual surveys planned by other state and federal entities.
President and CEO of NYSERDA John B. Rhodes said, “Offshore wind offers significant potential to help New York State meet Governor Cuomo's nation-leading 50 percent renewable power goal by 2030. This blueprint lays out how New York will responsibly harness clean and cost-effective energy from offshore wind, and drive clean energy development to benefit all New Yorkers and fight the dangers of climate change.”
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Responsibly sited renewable energy developments are a critical part of the state’s comprehensive efforts to tackle climate change. Through creation of the draft Ocean Action Plan, DEC and partners have continued to work with many stakeholders to identify sensitive offshore habitats that potential energy developments should avoid. We look forward to working with NYSERDA, DOS, the commercial fishing industry and other partners as this process advances to ensure potential energy developments do not degrade our economically important marine ecosystem."
New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, “I applaud Governor Cuomo for his commitment to making New York State a leader in renewable energy. This blueprint provides the State with a clear path to clean and affordable offshore wind energy that will benefit New York’s communities for generations to come. The Department of State looks forward to leading the State’s efforts on the BOEM Offshore Renewable Energy Task Force as we ensure that offshore wind leasing moves forward efficiently and in the most appropriate locations.”
About Reforming the Energy Vision
Reforming the Energy Vision is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York's economy. REV is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency, in part through the recent adoption of New York’s Clean Energy Standard which requires that 50 percent of the state's electricity needs be generated from renewable energy sources by 2030. Already, REV has driven 600% growth in the statewide solar market, enabled over 105,000 low-income households to permanently cut their energy bills with energy efficiency, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors. REV is ensuring New York State reduces statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030 and achieves the internationally-recognized target of reducing emissions 80% by 2050. To learn more about REV, including the Governor's $5.3 billion investment in clean energy technology and innovation, please visit www.ny.gov/REV4NY and follow us at @Rev4NY.