New York set to get largest offshore wind farm in the country

New York State strives to be one of the leaders in the Northeast towards increasing the accessibility, affordability, and implementation of offshore wind power construction. Recently, the state, joined with Massachusetts, has made strides with policy actions that will help to make offshore wind power a reality, joining Rhode Island – which is currently building a 30 MW offshore wind farm. Massachusetts has passed policy that will create a $10 billion funding stream for a developmental pipeline towards offshore energy.

In New York, Long Island has been targeted as the most feasible and cost effective location for wind farming, and NYSERDA has joined the US Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s lease auction, with sites off Long Island available for sale.This has been touted by Governor Cuomo as a way to meet the goal of 50% renewable energy generation by 2030. The current site for lease is an 81,000 acre site off the Rockaway Peninsula.

The area of land being auctioned off is determined to generate 90 MW of electricity, comparable to a nuclear power plant. Once the sale goes through, the state will take action to remove much of the risk that developers could face, making this site even more desirable. This increase in renewable energy would have a direct impact towards reducing the cost of energy  to consumers.

In addition to the site off of Rockaway, a proposal submitted by Deepwater Wind LLC was selected by the Long Island Power Authority to build a wind farm approximately 30 miles off the coast of Montauk. The project will include the construction and installation of 15 turbines, bringing 90 MW of power to the South Fork region of Long Island. Deepwater constructed the first wind farm in the United States, and pending final approval, will construct the largest wind farm in the nation. Sid Nathan of LIPA was excited to announce, “This is the first step to developing the tremendous offshore wind resource off Long Island… It will be Long Island’s contribution to meeting Governor Cuomo’s ambitious plan to reach 50 percent renewable energy by 2030.”

New York is host to a large chunk of the waterfront, and has the potential to gain up to 38 GW of energy from offshore wind farming. Benefits of the wind farms would be job creation, proximity to dense populations (reducing the amount of energy loss through transmission), and offsetting fossil fuel usage.

In 2015, the University of Delaware completed the New York Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Study and came up with a couple of key takeaways. Two of the most important were that New York could take their own level of interventions to reduce costs by 30% by increasing the visibility and properly preparing for the farms. As the global market grows, there is an estimate of a 20% reduction in costs by 2020.

In order to assist and expedite this process as much as possible, the Long Island – New York Offshore Wind Project is a partnership between ConEdison, the Long Island Power Authority, and the New York Power Authority.  The end goal is simple a clear: provide Long Island and the surrounding NYC region with clean energy, and take a giant step towards meeting energy goals Governor Cuomo has sought out for the state.

“Investing in New York’s clean energy economy strengthens our communities by providing access to clean, affordable power and good quality green jobs. Next week marks another opportunity for this state to lead the nation in creating a stronger, more resilient energy system and protecting the environment for future generations,” Governor Cuomo stated in a recent press release on the most recent offshore wind proposals.