The strong wind resource off the U.S. Atlantic coast has tremendous renewable energy generation potential. New York State is working to responsibly and cost-effectively develop renewable energy sources to provide 70% of the State’s electrical power by 2030. Offshore wind is poised to become a major asset in the State’s transition away from harmful fossil fuels towards a 100% carbon-free energy future by 2040.
How Big Are Offshore Wind Turbines?
How It Works
Offshore wind turbines work to harness the ocean’s vast wind and convert it into 100% renewable electricity.
Overview of Power Generation
Foundations, Array Cables, and Offshore Substation
Export Cable and Onshore Connection
The Role of Government
Offshore wind development in the U.S. is overseen by both federal and state agencies. Local governments may also be involved for local land-use approvals.
The Federal Role
The federal government has jurisdiction over all ocean activities more than three nautical miles from the shore. Specifically, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is responsible for selecting areas of the ocean that are appropriate for wind energy development, leasing the wind energy areas (WEAs) to project developers, and reviewing and approving all aspects of plans to design, develop, and decommission offshore wind farms in federal waters as part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Through competitive solicitations, NYSERDA contracts with offshore wind developers who want to deliver power to New York State. Specifically, NYSERDA purchases offshore renewable energy certificates (ORECs) from the developers in order to account for the beneficial environmental attributes associated with generating clean power. Contracts with offshore wind developers include important provisions that dictate how New York State will benefit from the project, such as economic benefit commitments and environmental and fishing mitigation plans.
The Local Role
Renewable energy from offshore wind farms connects to New York’s existing electricity grid at onshore substations. When determining an optimal route from the shore to a local substation, project developers consult with relevant local governments and may enter into easement agreements if the route transacts government-owned roads or property.