Having submitted required documentation and a bid deposit to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) says it is on track to become the first state entity in the nation to participate in a federal auction for an offshore wind site.
NYSERDA submitted qualifications and bidder’s financial forms for the Dec. 15 auction – a blind, ascending bid, online auction with asking prices set by BOEM. The auction is for a 79,350-acre Wind Energy Area located 12 miles off the Long Island coast.
In recognition of public comments regarding the potential benefits – such as reduced costs and greater certainty for developers – from public entities winning the lease area, BOEM is offering a 10% non-monetary credit to qualified bidders who meet the definition of a government authority. NYSERDA has submitted the required documentation and requested this 10% credit.
NYSERDA notes that offshore wind supports Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for New Yorkers. In addition, offshore wind can help secure 50% of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
If NYSERDA wins the auction, its approach to the development of the Wind Energy Area will provide developers and consumers with greater certainty, fewer risks and lower costs, the corporation says.
NYSERDA recently developed the Offshore Wind Blueprint, creating a framework for the development of wind off the coast of New York. In addition, the corporation has launched several site assessment and characterization studies and has plans to initiate others over the coming months. NYSERDA says these activities will inform the state’s comprehensive Offshore Wind Master Plan, originally announced by Cuomo in his 2016 State of the State address.
The master plan, to be released in 2017, will identify additional offshore wind sites beyond the current BOEM area being auctioned and will also set targets for capacity and commercial operation dates for each site. After acquiring the new sites, NYSERDA will bundle site assessment and characterization study results with financeable off-take agreements for the purchase of the electricity produced by the turbines, as well as hold competitive solicitations for each site for companies interested in developing projects.
“Offshore wind is crucial to meeting New York’s ambitious energy goals under Gov. Cuomo,” says John B. Rhodes, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “If NYSERDA is successful in the bidding, we will engage all involved stakeholders and ensure that offshore wind in New York is developed responsibly and in a way that balances the needs of all constituents, including coastal communities and the fishing and maritime industries. We will also ensure that the site will be developed competitively for the greatest benefit for all New Yorkers.”