U.S. offshore wind goals inch closer to completion

VattenfallThe New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) took another step toward meeting Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal of procuring at least 2.4GW of offshore wind energy by 2030 by accepting the environmental review of policy options to implement a New York State offshore wind program.

In his 2018 State of the State address, the Governor announced plans to solicit at least 800MW of offshore wind power in 2018 and 2019. In January, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) released the Offshore Wind Master Plan, which will guide the responsible and cost-effective development of 2.4GW of offshore wind by 2030.

“The development of offshore wind energy is a vital component to achieving Governor Cuomo’s goal of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030,” said Commission Chair John B. Rhodes. "New York is poised to be a national leader in this burgeoning industry, reaping environmental benefit as well as creating thousands of good-paying jobs and millions of dollars of investment in our coastal communities and in New York.”

Concurrent with the issuance of the Offshore Wind Master Plan, NYSERDA finalised an offshore wind policy options paper, which provided an assessment of alternatives for addressing a wide range of policy issues pertinent to the deployment of offshore wind energy.

In a decision, the Commission, as part of a mandatory environmental review developed under the State Environmental Quality Review Act, found a number of positive outcomes associated with the development of offshore wind, including: public health benefits, climate change benefits; and economic development benefits.

The environmental review also raised potential impacts, such as the need to consider sensitive biological resources, and mitigation measures to lessen these impacts. Those impacts will be taken into consideration by the Commission and can be addressed in site-specific environmental impact statements as project development proceeds.

Recently NYSERDA was awarded a $18.5 million U.S. Department of Energy grant to establish the National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced last week.

Also, it committed an additional $20.5 million to fund the consortium supporting Gov. Cuomo's initiative Reforming the Energy Vision (REV).

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