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New York State Submits Area Off Long Island to Federal Government for Potential Wind Leasing

This week, the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (“NYSERDA”) officially submitted an area off the coast of Long Island, referred to as an Area for Consideration for the Potential Locating of Offshore Wind Energy Areas, to the federal government’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”).  NYSERDA is proposing that BOEM consider identifying sub-areas within this area for leasing to offshore wind developers.  BOEM has jurisdiction for identifying and leasing areas beyond 3 miles from New York’s shoreline.

In arriving at the Area for Consideration, NYSERDA started with an Offshore Study Area of approximately 16,000 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean south of Long Island. NYSERDA then conducted over 20 surveys and studies concerning the Offshore Study Area and engaged in a stakeholder consultation process that reached hundreds of elected officials and over 1,000 members of the public. After analyzing the collected information, NYSERDA proffered to BOEM the approximately 1,660 square miles of ocean that make up the Area for Consideration, which could support at least 2.4 gigawatts (“GWs”) of offshore wind power production. According to NYSERDA, current data suggest that development of offshore wind resources in this Area for Consideration should pose, on balance, the least potential for conflict with fishing, wildlife, existing infrastructure and shipping lanes, and other important ocean uses as compared to other portions of the overall study area.

In order to expedite BOEM’s consideration of the Area, NYSERDA provided key information derived from its surveys and studies. NYSERDA is interested in facilitating BOEM’s leasing of areas for off-shore wind energy development to help New York reach its Clean Energy Standard objective that 50% of all electricity consumed in New York comes from renewable sources by 2030.

NYSERDA’s technical studies will also inform the New York Offshore Wind Master Plan (“Master Plan”), which is slated for release by the end of the year. The Master Plan will not only articulate New York’s overall planning principles for offshore wind development, but it will also include proposed models for energy purchasing and guidelines for project developers.

SPR is advising NYSERDA on the development of the New York Offshore Wind Master Plan and its supporting studies. For more information about offshore wind in New York, please contact Dan Chorost, Jeff GracerElizabeth Knauer, or Kathy Robb.