New York Awards 4GW for Largest State Investment in New Offshore Wind Sites

New York offshore wind farms
New York selected three offshore wind farms to proceed along with on-shore power and solar projects (file photo)

Published Oct 24, 2023 7:49 PM by The Maritime Executive

New York State announced today what it is calling the largest state investment in renewable energy with the conditional awards including three of the country’s largest proposed offshore wind farms as well as 22 land-based renewable energy projects representing a potential $20 billion in economic development investments. Included in the announcement are the largest offshore wind farms in the New York Bight, which was the federal government’s most successful lease auction, as well as steps to enhance manufacturing and the wind industry supply chain.

Industry representatives are hailing the move just days after widely criticizing New York’s steps against wind power development. The American Clean Power Association, a trade group, called on New York Governor Kathy Hochul to “get serious” about reaching the goal of 70 percent clean energy by 2030. After the governor vetoed legislation for New York’s transmission infrastructure and to permit a wind farm to proceed with its cabling, the ACP said the Governor had “dealt a significant blow to the state’s own goals.”

NYSERDA (New York State Research and Development Authority) selected three offshore wind projects to proceed with a potential total of just over 4 GW of power capacity. These include the largest parcel in the New York Bight auction in 2022, a site that has the potential for an ultimate total of 3 GW of power. Community Offshore Wind developed by RWE Offshore Renewables and National Grid Ventures bid $1.1 billion for the site and now has New York’s approval for the first phase which would provide 1,314 MW.

The other proposals selected include Attentive Energy One developed by TotalEnergies, Rise Light & Power, and Corio Generation which calls for 1,404 MW of power from another of the six leases awarded in the New York Bight auction. It would be 42 miles offshore and also includes a novel fossil repurposing plan to retire fossil fuel power generation in New York City and transition the current workforce to clean energy jobs.

The third project, which would be south of Long Island, is Excelsior Wind developed by Vineyard Offshore, which was set up by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. The project proposes 1,314 MW.

Bloomberg calculates that the average weighted strike price proposed for the three wind farms would be $145 for the all-in cost per megawatt hour. That would be 28 percent higher than the previous average strike. New York recently rejected petitions from three other wind projects to increase their power purchase agreement prices due to inflation and cost increases due to the challenges in the industry. A spokesperson for Governor Hochul told Bloomberg that today’s strike prices were about 13 percent lower than the proposed increases that NYSERDA rejected. Developers for those projects criticized the state’s lack of support for the industry while saying it would force them to review the finances of the projects. The developers have threatened to walk away from those earlier projects.

Today’s announcement also includes the awarding of $300 million in state investment from NYSERDA to the manufacturing and supply chain to support offshore wind energy development. A total of nearly $1 billion in investment combining the public funds with private capital is expected. It will be used for the development of a nacelle manufacturing and assembly plant by GE Vernova, along with a blade manufacturing site developed by LM Wind Power Blades USA, both planned for New York’s Capital Region.

New York also selected conditional land-based awards. These included 14 new solar projects, six wind repowering projects, one new wind project, and one return-to-service hydroelectric project. These projects would add a total of 2.4 GW of power in addition to the three offshore wind farms.

Governor Hochul highlighted that the projects announced today would produce a total of 6.4 GW, enough to power 2.6 million homes. When they are developed, they would provide 12 percent of New York’s electricity needs.