US reveals New York offshore zone

UNITED STATES: The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has identified a 'Wind Energy Area' off New York State that may be suitable for commercial offshore wind development.

NYPA's proposal for the zone would power parts of New York City

The area is 328.3km2 and 20km south of Long Beach on Long Island.

"The area is large enough for a large-scale commercial wind project, which could make substantial contributions to the region's energy supply and assist local and state governments — including New York City — in achieving their renewable energy goals," said BOEM director Abigail Hopper.

In November 2014, New York State governor Andrew Cuomo set a goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030.

BOEM will complete an environmental assessment later in 2016 to determine the potential impacts of issuing a lease.

The agency may then move forward with a competitive lease sale for commercial wind development in the area. An auction would not be expected before 2017.

The area in question is based on an unsolicited proposal for an offshore wind project by a consortium including the New York Power Authority (NYPA) submitted in 2011.

BOEM has since found there is competitive interest in the site.

NYPA's proposal — the 350-700MW Long Island-New York City Offshore project — is also backed by Consolidated Edison and the Long Island Power Authority.

Up to 194 3.6MW wind turbines are proposed. The densely populated region of Long Island and New York City would use the electricity.