NYSERDA Announces Contracts for Collecting Environmental and Metocean Data in Support of Offshore Wind Energy Development

Will Provide Relevant and Timely Information to Ensure Offshore Wind Development is Environmentally Responsible and Cost-effective

January 31, 2019

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced the execution of two multi-year contracts to study the meteorological and oceanographic (“metocean”) conditions in the waters off the Atlantic coast of New York, called the New York Bight. Executing this multi-year project advances and supports Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal, a nation-leading clean energy and jobs agenda that puts New York on a path to carbon neutrality through a globally unprecedented ramp-up of renewable energy including an increase of New York’s offshore wind target to 9,000 megawatts by 2035, up from 2,400 megawatts by 2030.

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, "As New York works to become a national hub for offshore wind, access to better metocean and environmental data will further advance offshore wind projects in the most informed and responsible manner possible. Deploying this data collection technology will help protect the state’s coastal resources and marine environment and is a significant step towards meeting Governor Cuomo’s offshore wind and clean energy goals.”

Today’s announcement will result in metocean Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) system(s) being mounted on buoys 20 miles from the shore in the New York Bight. LiDAR is remote sensing equipment that uses pulsed laser light to determine wind speeds. Each of the metocean buoys will be deployed for two years, potentially in multiple locations, to measure turbine hub-height wind speed and direction, wave and current measurements, as well as other environmental data. Better metocean characterization of the wind, wave, and ocean currents will also help increase certainty of development conditions which is valuable information for planning project layout, turbine siting and engineering. More efficient design of offshore wind sites will help maximize renewable energy output, delivering more clean energy to the electric grid in a smaller physical and environmental footprint.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “This important initiative will provide essential information to better understand New York’s offshore resources and strategically tailor efforts to protect our economically important marine ecosystem. Offshore wind energy has the potential to provide our communities with a major source of clean and affordable electricity, supporting Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change, and the data generated from this study will help ensure we responsibly develop this important resource.

These sensors will provide data that will inform avian ecologists and marine biologists of the presence, frequency and distribution of birds, bats and marine mammals and will inform future environmental impact assessment studies for offshore wind. Environmental data is critical to understanding more about marine ecosystem function, timing and relative density of wildlife in the area, or underwater noise. Data collected will be made available to the public on an ongoing basis to encourage broad use and inform additional studies.

Contracts were awarded to:

  • Ocean Tech Services: Will serve as a Floating LiDAR System Supplier (FLSS) and will be focused on permitting, hardware, deployment, maintenance, and decommissioning the LiDAR system.
  • DNV GL: Will serve as the Data Management and Analysis Contractor (DMAC) with the primary focus on data analysis, data storage, and data presentation.

Both companies will support the deployment of two floating LiDAR systems more than 20 miles off the Atlantic coast for a period of two years. The target date for deployment of both systems is May 2019 to begin collecting wind speed and direction within anticipated rotor swept zones, wave and current measurements, as well as other environmental data.

“We are honored to be awarded this contract with NYSERDA, and look forward to providing and operating the advanced technology systems required by this campaign. By coupling lidar wind measurements and biological detection systems onto single buoy platforms, NYSERDA will be provided with a full suite of environmental assessment tools in an efficient and cost-effective package. This project award reflects a decade of effort by the Ocean Tech team towards advancing offshore wind along the U.S. east coast,” said Stephen O’Malley, President, Ocean Tech Services, LLC.

“DNV GL is pleased to work with NYSERDA to de-risk offshore wind power development, and contribute to lowering the cost of offshore wind power for the state of New York. By hosting the offshore wind data for industry stakeholders and the public on our Veracity platform we hope to advance the offshore wind industry by providing clarity and transparency into the industry,” said Richard Barnes, Executive Vice President for DNV GL Energy.

This project is supported by the Clean Energy Fund. More information is available on NYSERDA’s offshore wind website.

New York State’s Green New Deal

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Green New Deal, the nation’s leading clean energy and jobs agenda, will aggressively put New York State on a path to economy-wide carbon neutrality under a strategy to be developed by the Climate Action Council of state, workforce and environmental justice experts. It provides for a just transition to clean energy, spurring the growth of the green economy and, when passed, will statutorily mandate New York's power be 100 percent clean and carbon-free by 2040, one of the most aggressive goals in the U.S. The cornerstone of this newly proposed mandate is a significant increase of New York's successful Clean Energy Standard to 70 percent renewable electricity by 2030. As part of the unprecedented ramp-up of renewable energy, New York has already invested $2.9 billion into 46 large-scale renewable projects across the state as it significantly increases its clean energy targets, such as: quadrupling New York's offshore wind target to a nation-leading 9,000 megawatts by 2035 to doubling distributed solar deployment to 6,000 megawatts by 2025 to deploying 3,000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030. To support this ambitious work, NY Green Bank intends to use its expertise in overcoming financing gaps to foster greater environmental impacts per public dollar by raising over $1 billion in third party funds to expand climate financing availability across New York and the rest of North America.

Reforming the Energy Vision

The Green New Deal builds on Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's landmark Reforming the Energy Vision 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. Already, REV has driven growth of nearly 1,500 percent in the statewide solar market, improved energy affordability for 1.65 million low-income customers, and has led to more than 150,000 jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors across New York State.

To learn more about the Green New Deal and REV, including the Governor's $5 billion investment in clean energy technology and innovation, visit rev.ny.govLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

About the Clean Energy Fund

The 10-year, $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund (CEF) is a core component of New York State's Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to achieve a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. The CEF includes a focused effort to bring more clean energy opportunities and benefits to low- to moderate-income communities and is designed to deliver on New York State's commitment to accelerate the use of clean energy and energy innovation and drive economic development, while reducing ratepayer collections. NY Green Bank, a core component of the CEF, has generated $32.6 million in positive net income as a result of $457.5 million in investments in clean energy transactions across New York. Its $1 billion NY-Sun initiative has already helped facilitate a more than 1,500 percent increase in solar deployment since 2011. The CEF supports New York's ambitious Clean Energy Standard proposed mandate requiring 70 percent of the state's electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.

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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