Comprehensive Offshore Wind Plan Leads New York To Renewable Energy

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Offshore windmill (Photo by Deepwater Winds)

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has released the comprehensive New York State Offshore Wind Master Plan, which will guide the responsible and cost-effective development of 2.4 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030, enough to power up to 1.2 million homes with clean energy.

To spur the development of renewable resources, Governor Cuomo announced in his 2018 State of the State address that the state will issue solicitations in 2018 and in 2019 for a combined total of at least 800 megawatts of offshore wind power. Offshore wind is a critical component of the Governor’s mandate to generate 50 percent of the state’s electricity needs from renewable energy sources by 2030 and support the creation of thousands of good jobs in New York’s clean energy economy.

The governor also announced a $15 million commitment to train the local workforce for good-paying jobs needed to build offshore wind and develop port infrastructure. Governor Cuomo directed state agencies to evaluate the most promising ways to develop port infrastructure to support the industry and make New York the undisputed home for offshore wind in the U.S. As the next step in the State’s commitment to creating thousands of good jobs in offshore wind and related industries, Governor Cuomo is calling on NYSERDA to work with all other necessary state agencies to ensure that labor standards, prevailing wage, or other measures are appropriately implemented to produce quality, well-paying clean energy jobs for New Yorkers.

“While the federal government continues to turn its back on protecting natural resources and plots to open up our coastline to drilling, New York is doubling down on our commitment to renewable energy and the industries of tomorrow,” Governor Cuomo said. “We are drawing upon our world-class workforce, unmatched intellectual capital, physical infrastructure and financial institutions to develop this increasingly affordable clean energy source that creates good paying jobs while protecting Long Island’s natural beauty and quality of life.”

To launch the Governor’s directive to procure at least 800 megawatts of offshore wind, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has filed an Offshore Wind Policy Options Paper with the New York State Public Service Commission. In this paper, NYSERDA analyzes different options to contract for offshore wind projects in a cost-effective manner, which will drive timely project development. New York’s commitment to proceed with solicitations for offshore wind will create competition among developers to reduce costs and provide direct economic development opportunities for New York.

Clean Energy Workforce and Port Infrastructure

Governor Cuomo committed $15 million to NYSERDA for workforce training to ensure men and women receive the skills needed for all aspects of the offshore wind industry, and to develop port infrastructure. NYSERDA will work with Empire State Development and other state agencies to determine the most promising offshore wind port infrastructure investments.

Workforce Opportunity of Offshore Wind in New York, one of the studies supporting the plan, found that through a robust and regional offshore wind industry, New York’s workforce and infrastructure could benefit from more than $6 billion of public and private sector expenditures. The industry could also expect to create 2,000 jobs in operations and maintenance, 2,700 jobs in manufacturing and 350 jobs in project management and development.

By advancing the responsible development of this resource, New York will uniquely position itself at the forefront of the U.S. offshore wind industry and reap the benefits of a diversified economy with thousands of new skilled good jobs, while adding an additional tool in the fight against climate change.

Public Engagement and Participation

New York’s Offshore Wind Master Plan represents one of the most robust and proactive public and stakeholder engagement processes of any state pursuing the development of offshore wind resources and is the first of its kind in the nation. New York released the Offshore Wind Master Plan after two years of in-depth research, analysis, and outreach, which charts a course toward achieving the Governor’s bold offshore wind energy objectives. The process has included extensive public stakeholder engagement with those directly involved in offshore wind and those who are affected or stand to benefit from its development, including the labor and business communities, environmental organizations, project developers, manufacturers, the commercial and recreational fishing industries, and the general public. The state has conducted hundreds of meetings and consultations, seven public information sessions and four open houses focused on the fishing industry.

NYSERDA will continue its stakeholder engagement by hosting two public webinars on Tuesday, Feb. 13 from 1 to 2 p.m. and 6 to 7 p.m. to provide an overview of the Offshore Wind Master Plan and the next steps that New York will take to advance offshore wind development. Pre-registration is required to join the webinar. Click here for more information.

To assist in the responsible development of offshore wind, New York will form multiple Technical Working Groups consisting of experts and interested parties in different disciplines. The initial groups will focus on offshore wind jobs and supply chain, commercial and recreational fishing, maritime activities and environmental issues.

For more information on New York’s Offshore Wind Master Plan and related studies, visit the NYSERDA website.

Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York Richard L. Kauffman said, “New York has seized the moment to not only address the global climate crisis but also take advantage of the economic and environmental rewards that renewable energy can deliver. The master plan is a real demonstration of New York’s leadership on offshore wind and will support the responsible and affordable development of a resource that will provide enormous benefits for all New Yorkers.”

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Alicia Barton said, “Developing the nation’s offshore wind resource is an unparalleled opportunity for New York to not only lead the nation in adoption of clean energy, but to reap the economic benefits of becoming a national hub for this promising industry. With Governor Cuomo’s remarkable commitment to a procurement of at least 800 megawatts of large-scale offshore wind projects in 2018 and 2019, New York will solidify its position at the forefront of the developing U.S. offshore wind market, and with it the creation of thousands of well-paying jobs and millions of dollars of investment in our coastal communities.”

Chairman of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee Senator Joseph Griffo said, “The Governor has recognized a major opportunity for New York to become a leader in offshore wind development by creating a Master Plan, which is a blueprint to explore the potential for investment in off shore wind. Maintaining our state’s fuel diversity with an emphasis on building more renewable sources of generation requires that we take advantage of our state’s natural assets. This is key to a sound energy policy for our state, and if done correctly, will provide a cleaner, greener New York for the next generation.”

Chair of the Assembly Energy Committee Michael Cusick said, “New York’s Offshore Wind Master Plan will move the vision for a greener, cleaner state forward by investing in the development of clean energy infrastructure. This investment in our natural assets is vital as we continue our focus on the generation of renewable energy sources for our state. New York continues to lead the nation in providing a greener environment for our future generation.”

Reforming the Energy Vision

Reforming the Energy Vision is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York’s economy. REV is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency and requiring 50 percent of the state’s electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030. Already, REV has driven nearly 800 percent growth in the statewide solar market, improved energy affordability for 1.65 million low-income customers, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors. REV is ensuring New York reduces statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and achieves the internationally recognized target of reducing emissions 80 percent by 2050.

To learn more about REV, including the governor’s $5 billion investment in clean energy technology and innovation, visit rev.ny.gov.

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