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Offshore Wind Solicitations

How NYSERDA competitively selects offshore wind projects

As the State authority charged with advancing the development of renewable energy sources, NYSERDA is coordinating offshore wind opportunities to bring clean, locally produced renewable energy and clean economic development to New York State. NYSERDA receives authorization from the New York State Public Service Commission to issue competitive solicitations for offshore wind energy.

What are Offshore Wind Solicitations?

Solicitations are calls for proposals from offshore wind developers to deliver offshore wind energy to New York State. Competitively selected projects will enter into contracts to sell Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Certificates (ORECs) to NYSERDA on behalf of New York's electricity ratepayers statewide. To be eligible to bid into NYSERDA’s solicitations, developers must agree to and meet certain requirements such as having obtained an offshore lease from the federal government and a commitment to deliver the offshore wind energy to New York’s electricity grid. Solicitations will also list requirements that would be included in a contract with a winning developer. For example, NYSERDA’s solicitations include commitments to project labor agreements and prevailing wage for awarded projects, among other important provisions.

What are ORECs?

Development of renewable energy resources has tremendous benefits for the environment and is a critical component of New York’s fight against climate change. By replacing traditional energy generators that burn fossil fuels, offshore wind farms reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere. The New York State Offshore Wind Master Plan found that development of the first 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind energy would provide an emissions-reduction benefit equal to about $1.9 billion, based on the “social cost of carbon” published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Certificates, or ORECs, represent the positive environmental attributes associated with one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity generated from offshore wind resources and consumed by retail customers in New York State. ORECs represent an important source of revenue to enable renewable energy development from offshore wind, recognizing that New York’s electricity markets do not directly value the environmental attributes associated clean electricity generation. As part of NYSERDA’s contracts with offshore wind developers, NYSERDA will purchase ORECs from project developers as renewable energy is delivered to New York’s electricity grid. The proposed price of the OREC is an important consideration when evaluating bids from developers. NYSERDA will sell ORECs to utilities and other load serving entities (LSEs), who are required to purchase clean energy credits in order to meet the State’s goals – that 70% of our electricity be produced by renewable sources by 2030 and that the electricity system must be 100% carbon-free by 2040.

The Solicitation Process

New York State regulations guide the offshore wind solicitation process, which requires authorization from the New York State Public Service Commission as well as several opportunities for public comment. The below flow chart illustrates typical steps in the solicitation process.

  1. Gather Stakeholder Input
    • NYSERDA's consultations with stakeholders inform the development of a solicitation for offshore wind energy. NYSERDA may gather input in many ways, including meeting with the offshore wind Technical Working Groups (TWGs), issuing a Request for Information, hosting public meetings, and issuing a draft solicitation and requesting public comments.
  2. Petition for Offshore Wind Energy
    • NYSERDA may submit a Petition to the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) seeking authorization to procure offshore wind energy.
    • The PSC undertakes environmental review in the form of a Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) to assess the affects of the proposed procurement of offshore wind energy.
  3. Public Comment Period
    • Public comments on the Petition are accepted for a minimum period of 60 days.
    • As applicable, public comments on the GEIS are accepted for a minimium period of 60 days.
  4. Order Issued by the PSC
    • As applicable, the PSC publishes a Final GEIS, which will inform its decision regarding the Petition submitted by NYSERDA.
    • If the Petition is accepted, the PSC issues an Order describing the terms of NYSERDA's authority to procure offshore wind energy.
  5. Solicitation for Offshore Wind Energy
    • NYSERDA issues a Request for Proposals (RFP) to offshore wind developers, which specifies eligibility requirements, contract requirements, and evaluation criteria based upon the PSC Order and stakeholder input.
    • NYSERDA evaluates proposals from offshore wind developers using PSC-established criteria.
  6. Project Awards and Contract Execution
    • NYSERDA competitively selects one or more offshore wind projects as the winners of the solicitation and enters into contract negotiations.
    • NYSERDA executes contracts with the awarded projects, which define the projects' obligations and the terms for purchasing offshore renewable energy certificates (ORECs).

Solicitations

  • Close-up photo of offshore wind turbine

    Solicitation 2018

    New York’s first large-scale offshore wind solicitation with a combined total capacity of nearly 1,700 megawatts

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  • Upclose photo of offshore wind turbine

    Solicitation 2020

    NYSERDA will seek to procure up to 2,500 megawatts of offshore wind

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  • Turbine construction

    Regulatory Resources

    Offshore wind filings, orders, and reports including documents from New York State Public Service Commission

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