Newly re-elected Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, D-N.Y., has issued a comprehensive solicitation seeking 800 MW or more of new offshore wind projects for New York.
This first offering, issued by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), kicks off the competition for New York State’s first large-scale offshore wind development contracts and represents an initial step toward its goal of 2.4 GW of offshore wind by 2030.
The solicitation also accelerates New York’s progress toward Cuomo’s mandate for 50% of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030.
“This action is a watershed moment in New York’s renewable energy development efforts as we work to establish a secure, reliable and cost-effective clean energy future,” the governor says. “New York will continue to combat climate change, investing in robust offshore wind development and clean energy that provides a path toward a greener and more sustainable future in our state and around the world.”
New York’s offshore wind planning efforts, conducted over three years, have included extensive stakeholder, agency and public consultation, along with detailed technical and financial analyses. These planning efforts also provided the basis for New York’s Offshore Wind Master Plan, released in January.
The NYSERDA solicitation includes requirements for wage and labor agreements by offshore wind developers to ensure that the projects deliver high-quality jobs for New York workers. To facilitate the ability of New York businesses to participate in the delivery of these projects, NYSERDA will host the New York Offshore Wind Supplier Forum on Nov. 15 in New York City to connect local suppliers and service providers to global offshore wind developers and manufacturers.
“Offshore wind is poised to be the next major clean energy resource for the United States, and thanks to Governor Cuomo’s steadfast commitment to developing new renewable energy and fighting climate change, New York is now positioned at the forefront of this burgeoning new industry,” says Alicia Barton, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “With the issuance of today’s solicitation, New York will kick off development and construction of the first generation of large-scale offshore wind projects, and NYSERDA has structured the solicitation to ensure that these projects will fully deliver on their environmental and economic development promise.”
Under the solicitation, NYSERDA has the ability to award 25-year contracts for projects ranging from approximately 200 MW to 800 MW, with an ability to award larger quantities if there are sufficiently attractive proposals. Each proposer is also required to submit at least one proposal of approximately 400 MW. Bids are due in February 2019, and awards are expected in spring 2019. Contracts are expected to be executed thereafter to take advantage of expiring federal tax credits.
Other notable provisions in this solicitation include as follows:
- Ensuring that coastal communities are fully engaged and informed during the development and construction process;
- Requiring project labor agreements and prevailing wage for workers associated with the construction of any awarded facility;
- Incentivizing associated jobs, project spending and infrastructure investments in New York State by requiring awardees to provide an economic benefits plan for evaluation, backed by an independent audit and verification of the realization of these claims; and
- Actively addressing the interests of ocean users, such as commercial and recreational fishing, and environmental stakeholders.
NYSERDA will award proposals according to both the price offered by the proposer, as well as economic benefits and project viability. Through these solicitations, NYSERDA will procure offshore wind renewable energy certificates from awarded facilities.