New York ups offshore plans to 9GW

Plans to nearly quadruple the state's offshore wind target to 9GW by 2035 have been unveiled by New York governor Andrew Cuomo.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo delivering his state of the state and budget address

The proposed target marks an increase from New York’s current goal of 2.4GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.

It was announced in Cuomo’s state of the state and budget address on 15 January — the first step in defining the governor’s agenda for the year ahead.

Cuomo stated that investments in port infrastructure, workforce development and transmission infrastructure would help facilitate this ambition.

He said: "Offshore wind has potential, we know it, the industry is moving that way.

"We want to locate the industry in this state and we want to use it as an alternative."

Onshore ambitions

Also included in the governor’s 2019 agenda is a desire to source 100% of the state’s electricity from renewable energy by 2040 and to more than double onshore wind and solar PV resources in New York.

Cuomo added he wants to invest $1.5 billion in "competitive awards" to support 20 large-scale solar, wind, and energy storage projects across upstate New York this year.

Four wind farms - two of which will include an energy storage component - with a combined capacity of 664MW were selected for investment, according to the New York State Research and Development Authority (Nyserda).

All projects would be operational by 2022 and add more than 1.65GW of capacity.

Offshore plans

To aid offshore wind development, Cuomo plans to invest $200 million in New York’s port infrastructure.

This would help "unlock private supply chain capital and maximise the long-term economic benefits to the state from the regional development of offshore wind", according to the administration.

The governor also wants to create a ‘New York State Advisory Council on Offshore Wind Economic and Workforce Development’ and a training centre for offshore wind.

Cuomo stated he wants to evaluate New York’s current grid infrastructure and create new transmission for offshore wind projects.

Liz Burdock, CEO and president of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, welcomed the announcement, describing the new, proposed target as a "massive increase".

She said: "This sends a clear message to the industry that New York is taking a leadership position in the US offshore wind market."

Burdock added that investments in port infrastructure, workforce development and an offshore transmission grid would "make development more efficient and affordable for taxpayers and ratepayers".

Current state of the state

New York currently has no operational offshore wind farms.

It launched a tender for at least 800MW of offshore wind capacity in November 2018, and will accept bids in February 2019.

Nyserda has identified two potential sites off the New York coast, each capable of supporting at least 800MW of offshore wind.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is also due to auction offshore wind lease areas in the New York Bight in early 2020.

Norwegian developer Equinor owns a lease area off the New York coast that, in 2016, it claimed could accommodate more than 1GW of offshore wind capacity.