Governor Cuomo Issues New York's Large-Scale Offshore Wind Solicitation

First Phase of Bids Advances Development of New York's 2,400 Megawatts of Offshore Wind; Supports Governor Cuomo's Mandate of 50 Percent Renewable Energy by 2030 to Combat Climate Change

November 08, 2018

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today issued a comprehensive solicitation seeking 800 megawatts or more of new offshore wind projects for New York. This highly anticipated first offering, issued by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority kicks-off competition for New York State's first large-scale offshore wind development contracts, an initial step toward its goal of 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind by 2030 to combat climate change. The solicitation accelerates New York's progress towards Governor Cuomo's mandate for 50 percent of the state's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 and significantly jump starts the emerging offshore wind industry in New York.

"This action is a watershed moment in New York's renewable energy development efforts as we work to establish a secure, reliable and cost-effective clean energy future," Governor Cuomo said. "New York will continue to combat climate change, investing in robust offshore wind development and clean energy that provides a path toward a greener and more sustainable future in our state and around the world."

"This solicitation for offshore wind projects advances our commitment to reach our aggressive clean energy goals," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "We are continuing to advance renewable energy developments across the state to ensure a cleaner and greener environment for future generations. New York is leading the way in our efforts to grow the industry and combat climate change."

This historic offering marks an important new chapter in New York's nation-leading offshore wind planning efforts, which have been conducted over three years and have included extensive stakeholder, agency, and public consultation along with detailed technical and financial analysis. These planning efforts provided the basis for New York's Offshore Wind Master Plan, released in January of 2018, and the Public Service Commission's July 2018 Order Establishing the State's Offshore Wind Standard, which established the foundation for this important step forward.

Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance, said, "With this solicitation, New York takes a momentous step toward a clean, renewable energy future. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York is creating a nation-leading offshore wind industry, bringing high quality jobs and greater economic opportunities for New Yorker's with a lower costing, cleaner, and a more efficient energy system. New York is ideally positioned to capture this growing technology and demonstrates that investments in clean energy can benefit New Yorkers both economically and environmentally."

A rapidly growing state-of-the-art global industry, offshore wind is expected to bring an estimated $6 billion of investments to New York that will support approximately 5,000 highly-skilled new jobs in manufacturing, installation and operation of offshore wind facilities and nearly 2,000 jobs in long-term operations and maintenance. The NYSERDA solicitation includes first-of-a-kind requirements for wage and labor agreements by offshore wind developers to ensure that the projects deliver high-quality jobs for New York workers.

To facilitate the ability of New York businesses to participate in the delivery of these projects, NYSERDA will host the New York Offshore Wind Supplier Forum on November 15, 2018 in New York City to connect local suppliers and service providers to global offshore wind developers and manufacturers. More information on the Forum is available here.

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, "Offshore wind is poised to be the next major clean energy resource for the United States, and thanks to Governor Cuomo's steadfast commitment to developing new renewable energy and fighting climate change, New York is now positioned at the forefront of this burgeoning new industry. With the issuance of today's solicitation New York will kick off development and construction of the first generation of large-scale offshore wind projects, and NYSERDA has structured the solicitation to ensure that these projects will fully deliver on their environmental and economic development promise."

Under the solicitation, NYSERDA has the ability to award 25-year long-term contracts for projects ranging from approximately 200 megawatts to approximately 800 megawatts, with an ability to award larger quantities if sufficiently attractive proposals are received. Each proposer is also required to submit at least one proposal of approximately 400 megawatts. Bids are due in February 2019, and awards are expected in Spring of 2019 and contracts are expected to be executed thereafter to take advantage of expiring federal tax credits.

Other notable provisions in this comprehensive solicitation include:

  • Ensuring that coastal communities are fully engaged and informed during the development and construction process;
  • Requiring Project Labor Agreements and prevailing wage for workers associated with the construction of any awarded facility;
  • Incentivizing associated jobs, project spending, and infrastructure investments in New York State by requiring awardees to provide an economic benefits plan for evaluation, backed by independent audit and verification of the realization of these claims; and
  • Actively addressing the interests of ocean users such as commercial and recreational fishing and environmental stakeholders as reflected in mitigation plans which are informed by New York's technical working groups.

Under the New York State Public Service Commission's July 2018 Order, which adopted New York's 2,400-megawatt goal and set the framework for the first phase of solicitations, NYSERDA will award proposals according to both the price offered by the proposer as well as economic benefits and project viability. Through these solicitations, NYSERDA will procure Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Certificates, ORECs, from awarded facilities.

As the cost of offshore wind has declined significantly over the last decade in Europe and around the world, New York is leading the nation's efforts to bring this renewable technology to the Atlantic coast of the U.S. In June, NYSERDA was awarded $18.5 million in funding by the U.S. Department of Energy to lead a nationwide Research and Development Consortium to advance offshore wind nationally. Industry, academia, and national laboratories will support Consortium initiatives to reduce cost and risk of offshore wind development projects throughout the U.S. while supporting U.S.-based manufacturing and the offshore wind supply chain. The Consortium strengthens New York's leadership role in advancing the cost effective and responsible development of offshore wind.

Public Service Commission Chair John B. Rhodes said, "The development of offshore wind energy is central to achieving Governor Cuomo's goal of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030 with good, clean well-sited projects. With this step, New York is leading the development of this great resource and industry, and set to achieve great quantities of good clean power as we drive costs down dramatically, as well as to create thousands of good-paying jobs and millions of dollars of investment in our coastal communities and in New York."

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, "Offshore wind is a critical piece of our state's renewable energy future and growth in this industry means high-quality jobs for New Yorkers. This solicitation not only supports the state's ongoing commitment to the environment it also benefits workers by requiring project labor agreements, guaranteeing prevailing wage and incentivizing jobs."

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Offshore wind development is a critical part of New York's comprehensive clean energy agenda to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change. DEC worked closely with key stakeholders and partners, including the commercial fishing industry and our state partners at NYSERDA and the Department of State, to ensure sensitive offshore habitats are avoided by potential energy developments, and this solicitation will be guided by these recommendations to ensure offshore wind is responsibly sited and protective of our natural resources."

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "Clean energy is a vital component of New York's economic future and this competition will take the state's commitment to offshore wind to the next level, leading to new green jobs and generating billions of dollars of investment."

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, "This announcement is a huge step for Long Island and New York on our mission to build a clean energy economy. Governor Cuomo continues to be a champion for the environment and offshore wind, and we thank him and his administration for remaining focused on forging a road to a cleaner, greener New York."

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, "Today's announcement represents a significant moment for the future of Long Island, as we work to mitigate climate change and establish New York as a leader in clean energy. I commend Governor Cuomo for his unwavering commitment to a clean energy climate here in Suffolk County and around the State of New York."

Joe Martens, Director, New York Offshore Wind Alliance, said, "The release of the state's first ever competitive offshore wind procurement by NYSERDA is momentous and is the next step in the Governor's unwavering commitment to secure at least 800 MW of this clean, renewable, carbon-free energy source by 2019. Thanks to Governor Cuomo, New York's path to offshore wind energy has been thorough, thoughtful and smart. The state's leadership in moving aggressively to harness offshore wind power will lead to thousands of jobs, greater energy diversity, new businesses and indeed, a new American clean energy industry."

Kevin Law, President and CEO of the Long Island Association, said, "Today's solicitation represents an important step forward in building Long Island's clean energy economy, creating new jobs in this industry and diversifying our fuel sources which is why the LIA has supported the development of this resource."

Lisa Dix, New York Senior Representative, Sierra Club said, "We applaud the Governor and his Administration for this historic action on offshore wind that will help ensure New York will be a regional hub for the offshore wind industry and a national renewable energy economic and jobs powerhouse. The Governor kept his commitment to rapidly advance offshore wind and has done it in a way that provides maximum benefits to New Yorkers. We commend the Governor and the state for holding to their commitments to responsible offshore wind contracting by ensuring strong environmental and labor standards, and supporting local businesses, communities and a local supply chain."

Catherine Bowes, Program Director for Offshore Wind Energy, National Wildlife Federation said, "Today's announcement marks historic progress in New York's pursuit of responsibly developed offshore wind power, and we applaud Governor Cuomo and NYSERDA for their leadership in committing to a process that can maximize both the environmental and economic benefits of this critically needed climate change solution. We look forward to working with the Cuomo administration to advance this national model and ensure that all projects built to power New York are developed responsibly with the highest standards of wildlife protection in place every step of the way."

Gordian Raacke, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Long Island, said, "Today's request for offshore wind proposals for New York marks an important milestone in our state's transition to local and renewable energy sources. We commend Governor Cuomo for his visionary leadership and thank NYSERDA for moving rapidly to establish New York as a leader in offshore wind power."

Lara Skinner, Executive Director, ILR Worker Institute said, "NYSERDA's release today of an 800 MW RFP for offshore wind marks a historic moment in New York State's commitment to establish a robust and equitable offshore wind industry that will transform NY's economy over the coming decades. In particular, this RFP includes labor provisions that put New York State at the forefront of tackling the climate crisis and creating high-quality jobs that support working people. From the manufacture of offshore wind component parts, to offshore wind port facilities, and thousands of jobs in the construction of offshore wind farms, New York is seizing a major jobs and economic development opportunity with today's announcement."

Anne Hawkins, Executive Director, Responsible Offshore Development Alliance said, "Our coalition looks to provide a unified voice for the commercial fishing industry regarding issues related to the siting and operations of offshore developments, and to ensure that any advances in offshore wind occur in a way that minimizes conflicts with existing traditional and historical fishing. RODA is encouraged by the uniquely collaborative and forward-looking approach that New York has taken in this solicitation to require commercial fishing involvement, through a joint approach with developers and states, to implement fisheries mitigation frameworks that address potential direct and indirect fisheries impacts."

Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment said, "Our transition from fossil fuels to renewables has just taken a giant leap forward with this historic commitment. This is a game changer, a legacy that all New Yorkers will be proud of. By tackling climate change head on New York is proving to be a global leader. This solicitation is a tremendous win for renewable energy, the climate, and the people."

Gary LaBarbera, President, Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York and Co-Founder, Climate Jobs New York, said, "The New York City Building Trades is excited about the State's historic RFP on Offshore Wind. While several states have joined the effort to develop an Offshore Wind policy and industry, it is New York State that has gone the farthest to make certain that this new industry produces high quality employment opportunities. The New York City Building Trades thanks Governor Cuomo and NYSERDA for the leadership in progressive procurement policies in renewable energy procurements, such as the inclusion of prevailing wage and Project Labor Agreement requirements in this RFP. These policies ensure the jobs created by this new industry will be good middle class careers that provide excellent wages, health and retirement benefits, as well as safety and skills training for this new sector. New York State's plan for Offshore Wind procurement is a "win/win" for New Yorkers."

“This is an exciting milestone in New York State’s continued national leadership to combat climate change, and The Nature Conservancy applauds Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYSERDA for crafting an RFP that will ensure an environmentally conscious process, modernizing our energy grid while protecting our valuable marine resources and industries,” said Amanda Lefton, Deputy Policy Director for The Nature Conservancy in New York. “It’s past time that New Yorkers – and all Americans – accept that the only path forward in addressing climate change is the aggressive support for and adoption of cleaner and greener energy sources like solar and wind, both onshore and off. The only way to effectively reduce our greenhouse emissions and safeguard the environment is to embrace next-generation energy technologies, and New York continues to take the lead in realizing a cleaner, more resilient future.”

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