New York's Latest Wind Solicitation Comes With New Strings Attached

new york bight
Federal lease areas in the New York Bight will provide power to New York and New Jersey - and New York's procurement solicitation will buy some of that power on long-term contract, providing the financial stability needed to justify construction (BOEM)

Published Jul 27, 2022 4:15 PM by The Maritime Executive

The State of New York has announced the release of its third offshore wind solicitation, which will buy enough renewable power to run 1.5 million homes. The state is seeking to procure at least two gigawatts worth of capacity in this round, in addition to its 4.3 gigawatt, five-project portfolio. Like many new government-backed offshore wind developments, the bid process for the state's latest offshore wind solicitation will examine much more than price alone.

The procurement marks the first phase of New York's $500 million infrastructure investment to support offshore wind development. It is a significant step towards New York's legislative target to develop nine gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2035. 

"New York is proud to continue leading the way in offshore wind development while establishing a blueprint for building a locally-based green economy," Governor Kathy Hochul said. "Today we are putting words into action and making it clear that New York State is the national hub of the offshore wind industry."

In addition to price, the solicitation process will look at many additional social, economic and technical factors. It calls for a "meshed ready" offshore power transmission configuration, which will reduce grid-wide costs and facilitate future development. Bidders will get extra points for reusing fossil-based power infrastructure in their projects, incorporating power storage systems, hiring from disadvantaged communities and trade unions, and investing in-state for supply chain manufacturing and logistics. Reflecting a recent change in New York state law, they will also have to purchases a minimum amount of American-made steel. 

The bid terms will also require fishery impact mitigation and long-term fishery monitoring, an attempt to address the concerns of fishing interests.

"New York is well on its way to ensuring that 70 percent of the state's electricity will come from renewable resources by 2030," said Kit Kennedy, the climate and clean energy program director at Natural Resources Defense Council. "Renewable offshore wind energy helps to reduce dangerous greenhouse gas emissions and provides thousands of well-paying clean energy jobs — but it must be done in a smart way that protects our valuable and vulnerable ocean life."