Technical Working Groups (TWGs)
Offshore wind technology has the potential to provide significant amounts of clean, reliable power to New York and the broader Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Offshore wind energy will be near energy load centers, supporting the transition of our electricity grids away from carbon-emitting generation sources and towards a renewable energy future. This technology has been refined and utilized in European countries for over three decades, and while the U.S. will benefit from the significant expertise developed overseas, we must also recognize the challenges presented by our unique environment, regulatory structure, and existing ocean uses.
NYSERDA established four Offshore Wind Technical Working Groups (TWGs) in commercial fishing, the environment, maritime commerce, and jobs and supply chain to bring key stakeholder groups together with state and federal regulators and the global offshore wind industry. These working groups tackle some of the most pressing challenges to offshore wind development in the U.S. at a regional scale, helping to inform and shape development practices.
The TWGs (pronounced “twigs”) provide:
- Knowledgeable and representative voices
- A unique forum to discuss points of view and interests
- Regional perspectives that cross state and federal boundaries
- Active problem-solving skills and barrier-breaking in New York State policy and program development
- Greater cross-sector understanding of perspectives and limitations to promote coexistence of offshore wind with incumbent users of the ocean and its many inhabitants
Fisheries Technical Working Group (F-TWG)
The F-TWG is an independent advisory body led by NYSERDA and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and comprised of regional commercial fisheries representatives and offshore wind energy developers who provide guidance on how to responsibly implement New York State’s efforts to advance offshore wind energy development in the eastern U.S. Regional state and federal fisheries managers are also engaged in this group to learn from the discussions, provide technical experience and assist with coordination.
The F-TWG provides a forum for stakeholder discussions and advises the State on how to develop offshore wind energy in a way that protects the State’s and region’s valuable fisheries and fishing communities by
- Enhancing communication and coordination to encourage a two-way flow of information
- Disseminating information from new data and existing research
- Review of New York supported offshore wind projects
- Supporting scientific and technical research to address issues related to offshore wind project planning, siting, construction, operation, and monitoring For regular updates and resources from the F-TWG, visit: nyftwg.com
Environmental Technical Working Group (E-TWG)
The E-TWG is an independent advisory body to the State of New York, led by NYSERDA, with a regional focus on offshore wind and wildlife issues in the eastern U.S. It is comprised of offshore wind developers and science-based environmental non-government organizations (NGOs), as well as regional state and federal wildlife regulatory agencies.
The E-TWG provides a forum for stakeholder discussions and advises the State about measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate anticipated impacts on wildlife during offshore wind energy development activities, including:
- Development of wildlife best management practices
- Review of New York supported offshore wind projects
- Identification of research needs and coordination
- Multi-agency coordination for adaptive management
- Creation of a framework for an environmental conservation fund
For regular updates and resources from the E-TWG, visit nyetwg.com .
Maritime Technical Working Group (M-TWG)
The M-TWG is an independent advisory body led by New York State Department of State and supported by funding from NYSERDA. The M-TWG is comprised of regional stakeholders in shipping and navigation, as well as state and federal partners such as the United States Coast Guard and the United State Army Corp of Engineers. The group advances New York’s offshore wind development goals by focusing on identifying issues and potential resolutions related to the safe navigation of vessels to and from New York Harbor and areas adjacent to offshore wind project sites during all phases of development. The M-TWG provides a forum for stakeholder discussions and advises the State about:
- Current and future trends in the industry relevant to offshore wind development
- Specific measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate anticipated impacts as the State moves toward achieving its goal of 9,000 megawatts of installed offshore wind projects
- Navigation best management practices gleaned from the navigation community
As an initial task, BTMI Engineering, P.C. was retained on behalf of the Department of State by NYSERDA to develop the M-TWG Support Summary Report that characterizes regional stakeholder perspectives and effective management options on key topics like setback distances, radar, transmission cables, and vessel traffic. A copy of the final report [PDF] and a presentation [PDF] are available for download.
Jobs and Supply Chain Technical Working Group (JSC-TWG)
The JSC-TWG is an independent advisory body led by NYSERDA and focused on advancing workforce development, the broader supply chain, and private development in port infrastructure in New York State. The group is comprised of offshore wind developers, global manufacturers, local economic development stakeholders, academia, and state agencies. The JSC-TWG is engaged in:
- Expert feedback on the development of New York State port facilities and other critical infrastructure to support offshore wind development
- Identification of near- and long-term workforce development need
- Development of a local network of offshore wind supply chain participants.