Greening the electricity grid with Offshore Wind
Achieving 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind will help deliver New York’s goal of 70 percent renewable energy by 2030
New York’s transition to a clean energy future will require 70 percent of our electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030. To support the rapid growth of renewable energy generation in the State, including 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035, New York will develop a plan for upgrading our electricity grid with smart new technologies that increase the capacity and effectiveness of our transmission system. Authorizing and building new transmission capacity will prepare the way for new renewable energy sources and bring clean power to areas of the state with the greatest need.
Transmission and interconnection strategies play a considerable role in offshore wind cost, feasibility, scalability, sizing, and implementation approaches. In its Offshore Wind Policy Options Paper, NYSERDA explored two of these strategies—direct radial and backbone. Direct radial transmission facilities are developed, sized, and constructed to support one offshore wind facility. Backbone transmission facilities are expandable to accommodate an initial facility as well as facilities built in the future. While there are advantages and disadvantages to each offshore design concept, both structures must reconcile their design with the physical parameters of lease locations, opportunities for coordination, and ultimately, with the technical constraints of interconnecting to New York’s electrical grid.
NYSERDA recommended a direct radial transmission approach dedicated to specific projects and owned by the developer in the State’s first and second solicitations for offshore wind energy. Going forward, the State will continue to evaluate the potential of a backbone approach – or offshore transmission grid – in its effort to provide an optimized set of solutions to New York’s ratepayers.
In 2020, New York State passed the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act [PDF] to accelerate progress towards the State’s nation-leading clean energy goals. The Act instructs the State to conduct a Power Grid Study to inform transmission system investments that will be necessary to achieve the clean energy goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act). The Power Grid Study is comprised of three component studies: 1) a joint utilities study on local transmission and distribution needs; 2) an offshore wind study of bulk-power transmission needs; and 3) a statewide transmission analysis to achieve the Climate Act goals. To read the studies, review public comments, and engage in the public process, visit the Department of Public Service Matter Master 20-00905/20-E-0197 [PDF].
- Initial Report on the New York Power Grid Study and Appendices A-E (January 2021) [PDF]
- Utility Transmission and Distribution Investment Working Group Report (November 2020) [PDF]
- Offshore Wind Transmission White Paper (Business Network for Offshore Wind, October 2020) [PDF]
- Offshore Wind, A European Perspective (NYPA)