Studies and Surveys

offshore wind vessel

Completed Studies and Surveys


Analysis of Multibeam Echo Sounder and Benthic Survey Data

This study characterizes the geological (sediment size/type), geotechnical (bottom density), and benthic (animal habitat) characteristics of the ocean floor within the offshore study area (OSA).

Analysis of Multibeam Echo Sounder and Benthic Survey Data [PDF]

Birds and Bats Study

This study characterizes current knowledge as to the use of the OSA by birds and bats, and addresses the risk of collision with offshore wind turbines.

Birds and Bats Study [PDF]

Consideration of Potential Cumulative Effects

This study identifies potential cumulative effects on key resources associated with offshore wind energy development and other relevant actions, and prepares a framework for future project-specific assessments of cumulative effects.

Consideration of Potential Cumulative Effects [PDF]

Data Review and Gap Analysis

In an effort to understand what biological and cultural data already exist for the Offshore Study Area, NYSERDA prepared the offshore wind energy data review and gap analysis. The report catalogs the publicly available data so that the researchers who are performing the studies and surveys for the New York State Offshore Wind Master Plan have a starting place for their work. It also identifies the gaps in data that exist which helps to inform what data are missing and how the Master Plan can help fill those gaps.

Data Review and Gap Analysis [PDF]

Environmental Sensitivity Analysis

This study analyzes the distribution of environmental parameters (e.g., marine mammal distribution, essential fish habitat) used to evaluate environmental and permitting risks of wind energy development. Map products and a weighting system were developed to allow a comparative analysis of the potential risks of construction and operation of offshore wind farms on marine resources at various locations.

Environmental Sensitivity Analysis [PDF]

Fish and Fisheries Study

This study collects existing socioeconomic and ecological fisheries data, determines the feasibility of updating priority data, and creates a database of previous fisheries stakeholder engagement resources on offshore wind. The study describes engagement with fisheries stakeholders, vets new data products, and utilizes information and feedback from stakeholders to develop best management practices for offshore wind energy development.

Fish and Fisheries Study [PDF]

Marine Mammals and Sea Turtles Study

This study summarizes the existing marine mammal and sea turtle occurrence data and examines more specifically North Atlantic right whale occurrence within and near the OSA. The study also proposes a work plan for a passive acoustic monitoring study to be conducted after this Master Plan’s publication.

Marine Mammals and Sea Turtles Study [PDF]

Metocean Plan for the New York Offshore Study Area

A strong knowledge of meteorological and oceanographical—metocean—conditions is essential for the safe and efficient design, and operation, of offshore installations. The Metocean Characterization Report is a desktop study characterizing the wind, wave, and ocean current environment of the Offshore Study Area. The report includes maps and tables to show wind speeds, significant wave heights, ocean current and storms tracks, as well as high-resolution wind data. The report also includes wave, currents and tides data, and storm tracks from publicly available sources. The development of this report facilitated the planning and refinement of potential project locations and turbine siting, while providing a reference study for future work such as the design of metocean monitoring campaigns and the design basis for the projects themselves.

Metocean Plan for the New York Offshore Study Area [PDF]

Preliminary Offshore Wind Resource Assessment

This study characterizes the wind, wave, and ocean current environment of the OSA.

Preliminary Offshore Wind Resource Assessment [PDF]

Sand and Gravel Resources Study

This study identifies and maps the locations of proposed, active, or inactive sand and gravel mining areas within the OSA and provides context for the regulatory framework associated with these resources.

Sand and Gravel Resources Study [PDF]

Economic and Infrastructure

 Assessment of Ports and Infrastructure

This study assesses the potential for job creation; assesses existing facilities along New York’s shoreline and their potential to support staging for offshore wind farm construction and operation; and identifies probable costs for potential port upgrades.

Assessment of Ports and Infrastructure [PDF]

Cables, Pipelines, and Other Infrastructure Study

This study assesses the constraints to offshore wind energy development posed by existing submerged infrastructure and summarizes cable crossing scenarios, methodologies, and technologies.

Cables, Pipelines, and Other Infrastructure Study [PDF]

New York State Area for Consideration for the Potential Locating of Offshore Wind Energy Areas

New York State’s October 2017 submission to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) fulfills one of the Master Plan’s key goals by identifying area for and requesting that BOEM lease at least four new Wind Energy Areas in the Atlantic Ocean.

Area for Consideration [PDF]

Offshore Wind Injection Assessment

This study assesses the feasibility of injecting offshore wind energy into various connection points in New York City and Long Island.

Offshore Wind Injection Assessment [PDF]

Offshore Wind Policy Options Paper

NYSERDA’s January 2018 submission to the New York State Public Service Commission assessing procurement mechanisms for offshore wind energy.

Offshore Wind Policy Options Paper [PDF]

U.S. Jones Act Compliant Offshore Wind Turbine Installation Vessel Study

This study examines the required functionality and business case for U.S.-built, Jones Act compliant offshore wind turbine installation vessels and feeder barges.

U.S. Jones Act Compliant Offshore Wind Turbine Installation Vessel Study [PDF]

The Workforce Opportunity of Offshore Wind in New York

This study estimates the numbers, types, and locations of jobs that will be created in the offshore wind energy supply chain, as well as the numbers and types of additional jobs that may be created by investment in the U.S. by domestic companies or overseas suppliers.

The Workforce Opportunity of Offshore Wind in New York [PDF]

Social and Regulatory

Aviation and Radar Assets Study

This study assesses the potential compatibility of wind energy development in the OSA with civil and military aviation assets.

Aviation and Radar Assets Study [PDF]

Cable Landfall Permitting Study

This study assesses the existing onshore resources needed to determine areas of opportunity, sensitivity, and risk associated with the site selection for cable landings of offshore wind farms.

Cable Landfall Permitting Study [PDF]

Cultural Resources Study

This study uses both desktop analysis and field research to assess the archaeology and cultural heritage of the OSA.

Cultural Resources Study [PDF]

Health and Safety Study

This study reviews existing federal and State legislation and codes, standards, best practice guidance, and previous research that may apply to the development, construction, and operations of offshore wind energy projects off of New York State.

Health and Safety Study [PDF]

Marine Recreational Uses Study

This study assesses and locates the recreational uses that occur in and adjacent to the OSA, and discusses potential impacts of offshore wind energy development on those uses.

Marine Recreational Uses Study [PDF]

Shipping and Navigation Study

This study describes how future leases should consider current and future navigational hazards and risks posed by offshore wind development.

Shipping and Navigation Study [PDF]

Visibility Threshold Study

This study evaluates the potential visual impacts of offshore wind energy development.

Visibility Threshold Study [PDF]

Outreach and Engagement Summary

Summary of the outreach and engagement campaign undertaken by the State in connection with the Master Plan and its studies.

Outreach and Engagement Summary [PDF]

Regulatory Review and Stakeholder Perceptions  

Offshore wind energy development is an emerging industry in New York State and the rest of the country that will require both federal and State environmental review. A proposed project in federal waters (more than three miles off New York State’s coast) would trigger a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review, compliance with multiple federal wildlife laws, a Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) consistency review, and compliance with multiple State laws. There is little precedent for permitting of offshore wind in New York State, leading to questions and uncertainties about the environmental permitting process for this type of development. Reducing these uncertainties will enhance the opportunity for projects to develop at scale, capturing the benefits of offshore wind energy at the lowest possible cost. To reduce this uncertainty, State and federal regulators participated in a process to help define the goals of environmental assessments for offshore wind energy and wildlife. This report, Advancing Environmentally Responsible Development of Offshore Wind Energy in New York State, is a preliminary step toward providing a framework to inform future discussions, formal guidance documents, research, and policy considerations for entities involved with wildlife and offshore wind energy in New York State.

Advancing Environmentally Responsible Development of Offshore Wind Energy in New York State [PDF]

Table of Permits and Approvals

Non-exhaustive table of permits and approvals that are anticipated to be required for a future offshore wind energy development project.

Table of Permits and Approvals [PDF]


Ongoing Studies and Surveys


Aerial Baseline Survey of Marine Wildlife

One of the most pressing research needs is baseline data on potential wildlife exposure in developing offshore wind energy. This study provides critical baseline data about wildlife distribution, abundance, and migratory patterns of wildlife, including corals, birds, bats, sea turtles, fish, and marine mammals. Aerial high resolution digital still imagery surveys collect data on marine wildlife encountered offshore. The surveys have been designed in light of available historic data, and use the latest digital and sensor technology to provide high identification success. Data and results is being made public as it becomes available, and is suitable for comparison and synchronization with current or similar future datasets. This project is expected to shorten the offshore wind energy development timeline, decreasing uncertainty of site development, reducing costs for offshore wind site developers, and minimizing wildlife impacts.

Ongoing survey dataLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. is available.

Metocean Measurements in Support of Offshore Wind Energy

Strong knowledge of meteorological and oceanographic (metocean) conditions is essential for the safe and efficient design and operation of offshore wind installations. NYSERDA will be collecting new metocean data via the deployment of metocean Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) system(s), which are remote sensing equipment that uses pulsed laser light to determine wind speeds at altitude. The deployment will generally follow NYSERDA’s Metocean Plan and the floating LiDAR systems may be outfitted with additional sensors to monitor other environmental and biological parameters. The core goal of this undertaking will be to obtain and make public high-quality metocean data sufficient to conduct a robust wind resource assessment for yield prediction purposes.