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Cuomo announces major progress in offshore wind development
by Staff Writers
Buffalo NY (SPX) Nov 01, 2016

File image.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has been selected by the federal government to compete for the right to develop a new wind energy site off the coast of Long Island. NYSERDA's selection represents not only represents a major advancement in the development of offshore wind energy, but also in the state's ambitious effort to responsibly secure 50 percent of its electricity supply from renewable sources by 2030.

"The development of Long Island's vast offshore wind resources will further strengthen New York's place at the forefront of the clean energy revolution," Governor Cuomo said. "NYSERDA's selection as a qualified bidder for the development of these resources is a testament to our efforts to not only effectively provide residents with clean, affordable energy, but also build a thriving economy off the development of that power."

The 79,000-acre wind energy site sits approximately 12 miles south of Long Island, off the Rockaway Peninsula. The site's developer will be selected through a lease auction on December 15 that will be administered by the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

If NYSERDA is selected as the developer, the area will be fully studied and characterized and then bundled with a power purchase mechanism with a project developer selected through a competitive process. New York has successfully used competition to develop 2,000 megawatts of large scale renewables cost effectively and a similar competition for offshore wind development will yield the lowest costs.

NYSERDA will ensure any offshore wind in New York is developed at the lowest possible cost for consumers, while at the same time actively protecting the environment and considering and communicating with various other ocean stakeholders such as the fishing and maritime industries.

Additionally, it will establish a balanced development of considerations, minimize project risks and visual impacts, accelerate timelines, incorporate robust stakeholder outreach and provide developers with certainty to secure financing for their projects.

NYSERDA President and CEO John B. Rhodes said, "The expansion of large-scale renewables such as offshore wind is critical for New York State to realize its aggressive clean energy goals under Governor Cuomo's leadership. Offshore wind will be a critical contributor to achieving the State's Clean Energy Standard mandate to serve 50 percent of the state's electricity demand from renewable resources by 2030."

Governor Cuomo announced New York's intention to put forth a comprehensive offshore wind strategy in his 2016 State of the State address which included the development a comprehensive Offshore Wind Master Plan to coordinate all state agencies involved.

The state's Offshore Wind Blueprint was released in September to establish a framework for the responsible development of robust wind energy generation off the coast of New York. The entire Offshore Wind Master Plan is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chairman Steve Englebright said, "The implementation of offshore wind in New York will be a strong step in ensuring that focus remains on addressing climate change. A clean, renewable, non-polluting source of energy would help New York meet critical goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

State Senator Tom O'Mara, Chairman of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee said, "New York State continues to be a leader in energy innovation and this ongoing effort to place us at the forefront of offshore wind energy development is encouraging and exciting. I'm particularly pleased that it's being undertaken with great sensitivity to the local environment and commend NYSERDA and its local, state and federal partners for this comprehensive effort."

State Senator Todd Kaminsky said, "I applaud the Governor for his unwavering vision to bring clean, sustainable energy to New York State. Investing in renewable energy resources like offshore wind is a major pillar of addressing climate change. Community input is vital, and I look forward to working with the Governor to implement reliable and clean energy that will boost Long Island's economy and reduce utility costs for consumers."

New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. said, "Clean renewable energy is the future of New York. NYSERDA's extensive aerial surveying will allow us to make the most informed and responsible decisions about the placement of future off-shore wind projects."

In 2015, NYSERDA was one of six states and organizations awarded $592,683 by the U.S. Department of Energy's State Energy Program to advance offshore wind market development through multi-state cooperation. In addition to NYSERDA, recipients of the DOE award include the Maine Governor's Office, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, and the Clean Energy States Alliance.

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