Benefits of Offshore Wind

Offshore wind is an energy resource with the potential to transform New York’s electricity system in ways that will have extraordinary environmental, social, and economic benefits for the State.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions

2,400 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind energy would annually reduce greenhouse gas emissions in New York State by more than five million short tons, which is the equivalent of removing nearly one million cars from the road by 2030. This accounts for approximately one-third of the expected greenhouse gas reductions from new renewable energy projects that will be constructed by 2030 to meet the State’s 50 percent renewable electricity mandate under the Clean Energy Standard. This emissions-reduction benefit would amount to approximately $1.9 billion based on the Social Cost of CarbonLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. [PDF] originally published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2013. NYSERDA’s Offshore Wind Policy Options Paper [PDF] estimates that this emissions-reduction benefit alone would approximately equal the cost of procuring offshore wind energy, even before accounting for the wider economic development and health benefits.

Healthier Air

Reducing pollution by even modest amounts in the densely populated regions of New York City and Long Island can have significant health benefits. The public health impacts from nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) include respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, and premature death. By reaching our 2,400 MW offshore wind energy goal, New York will avoid more than 1,800 tons of NOx, 780 tons of SO2, and 180 tons of PM2.5 compared to a business-as-usual scenario without offshore wind energy. Successfully meeting the Governor’s 2,400 MW goal would also save New Yorkers approximately $1.0 billion in health costs and, more importantly, avoid about 100 fewer premature deaths.

Jobs and Economic Benefits

Developing and deploying 2,400 MW of offshore wind energy will help New York create nearly 5,000 new jobs in manufacturing, installation, operation and maintenance of offshore wind facilities. Nearly 2,000 of these jobs would be in operations and maintenance and provide long-term career opportunities for New Yorkers as the average life span of an offshore wind facility is at least 25 years. The Workforce Opportunity of Offshore Wind in New York Study [PDF] projects that through workforce and infrastructure development, New York can benefit from over $6 billion of investments by 2030.