- New York is seeking 4,000 MW of renewable energy capacity, including 2,500 MW of offshore wind, in the largest-ever call for green energy in United States history.
- The offshore wind solicitation follows a 2019 request for proposals (RFP) which resulted in nearly 1,700 MW being awarded. Officials say the new solicitation could bring New York halfway to its goal of having 9,000 MW of offshore wind by 2035.
- The solicitation separately includes an RFP for $400 million in port investments, and a requirement that offshore wind generators partner with any of the 11 prequalified New York ports to stage, construct, manufacture key components, or coordinate operations and maintenance activities.
Clean energy advocates praised New York's massive renewable solicitation, in particular the offshore wind component which they called "forward thinking" and "huge."
"Port infrastructure and offshore wind development go hand-in-hand," Joe Martens, director of New York Offshore Wind Alliance, said in a statement. "With the release of these two RFPs, New York is clearly positioned to lead the nation in offshore wind development and maximize its environmental and economic benefits."
Under the standard, New York wants 70% of its electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.
"This action is a fantastically strong signal from New York to the renewables industry," Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, said in a statement. She noted the solicitation is the third under New York’s Clean Energy Standard, and the first to offer a new Index Renewable Energy Credits contract structure.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) said this will be the first time proposers can utilize a new contract structure to provide developers with more flexibility to adapt to their financing and operational needs.
The solicitation calls for the development of Tier-1 eligible renewable energy projects that will generate at least 1.6 million MWh annually. Eligible projects include any project that can be certified as a Tier 1 renewable technology and enters commercial operation by Nov. 30, 2022. There are options for extensions to Nov. 30, 2025.
NYSERDA officials said land-based projects selected in the solicitation will be the fastest to construction, utilizing new legislation aimed at accelerating renewable energy siting.
As part of the state's budget this year, lawmakers authorized the creation of an Office of Renewable Energy Siting and took steps to accelerate transmission investment. NYSERDA expects to notify the awarded developers in early 2021.
The agency also issued a Request for Information for local communities to consider potential sites for large-scale renewable energy project development under the state's new siting law.
"Our second offshore wind solicitation combined with this historic investment in the state's port infrastructure will ensure that New York continues to be a leader in our nation-leading pursuit of offshore wind," NYSERDA Acting President and CEO Doreen Harris said in a statement. "New York's ports will serve a critically important role in supporting the long-term development of offshore wind projects not only in New York but along the entire East Coast."
Funding to upgrade New York's port infrastructure will include $100 million in Empire State Development grant funding; $100 million in low-interest financing; and $200 million in private-sector matching funds.
American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) CEO Tom Kiernan said in a statement that the group "applauds the state’s forward-thinking move to invest in offshore wind and associated infrastructure, which will lead to significant returns."
According to AWEA, the East Coast will see 83,000 jobs and $25 billion in annual economic activity within a decade, related to development of the offshore wind industry is set to deliver to the U.S. within a decade.