By - Jim Vess

New York States seeks to develop another 1 GW to 2.5 GW of new offshore wind power

Energize Weekly, February 12, 2020

New York State energy officials have filed a petition with state regulators to begin the process to develop 1 gigawatt (GW) to 2.5 GW of new offshore wind projects.

This follows on the award in July 2019 of two contracts for 1.7 GW in offshore project – Equinor Wind’s 816-megawatt Empire Wind Project and the 880-MW Sunrise Wind Project, a joint venture of Ørsted A/S and Eversource Energy.

The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) had approved up to 2.4 GW of wind capacity.

The filing by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) with the PUC seeks to begin the process for developing a new solicitation for projects.

“NYSERDA believes that authorization to issue an additional solicitation of at least 1,000 MW is both warranted and necessary to maintain New York’s trajectory in meeting its clean energy goals,” the authority said in its petition.

The administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been steadily increased the target of offshore wind.  In 2019, the state passed the Climate Leadership and Community Act, which included a directive for 70 percent renewable energy by 2030. It also nearly quadrupled the state’s offshore wind generation target to 9 GW.

State officials said in October 2019 they plan to spend $200 million to upgrade New York ports to accommodate offshore wind development.

At the time, Alice Barton, NYSERDA’s CEO, said: “With the 13th largest economy in the world, a wealth of existing port infrastructure, and the largest commitment to offshore wind in the nation, New York is uniquely positioned to be the epicenter of this exciting new industry.”

Offshore wind represents a $70 billion capital expenditure opportunity to businesses in the offshore wind power supply chain over the course of the next decade, according to NYSERDA.

In its petition the authority said it wanted to procure at least 1 GW of additional offshore wind capacity in 2020. “Flexibility should be given to evaluate a range of bids that can maximize the competitive outcome, including bids for up to 2,500 MW,” the filing said.

NYSERDA noted that 1 GW to 2.5 GW of additional capacity, added to the current 1.7 GW in development would exceed the PSC approved 2.4 GW of capacity and would need a new environmental impact statement.

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