New York to Upgrade Port Infrastructure to Support Offshore Wind

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Published Oct 2, 2019 8:13 PM by The Maritime Executive

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Empire State Development and the New York Department of Transportation have issued a Request for Qualifications seeking proposals from port operators and others interested in investing in New York ports to support the state’s burgeoning offshore wind industry. 

The Request for Qualifications is part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal of developing 9GW of offshore wind by 2035. The program is estimated to create over 1,600 jobs and result in $3.2 billion in economic activity.
The Request for Qualifications is the first step in a two-phase process through which New York seeks to pre-qualify proposers and then competitively select proposals for public-private investment opportunities in port infrastructure. Only those proposers who are pre-qualified will be eligible to participate in a subsequent competitive solicitation for up to $200 million to be issued in 2020.

The state’s ports are expected to serve as a hub for the broader northeast region’s offshore wind industry. The region's offshore wind goals now exceed 20GW. New York's first two offshore wind projects – Empire Wind and Sunrise Wind – total nearly 1.7GW, enough energy to power over one million homes. 

Equinor's Empire Wind is planned for an area of 80,000 acres, in federal waters, an average of 20 miles south of Long Island. The 816MW project is expected to be developed with 60-80 wind turbines, with an installed capacity of more than 10MW each. Total investments will be approximately $3 billion, and the project will be able to power over 500,000 homes in New York, with an expected start up in late 2024.

Sunrise Wind is a joint venture between Ørsted and Eversource for an 880MW offshore wind farm. The project is expected to support approximately 800 jobs through the project’s development, construction and operation and will supply more than half a million New York homes with offshore wind power. In addition to powering homes and businesses across New York, Sunrise Wind will bring strong investment to Suffolk County, Long Island. Ørsted and Eversource have committed to investing $10 million to create a National Workforce Training Center in partnership with Suffolk County Community College and leading labor unions. This investment will further the goals of New York’s National Offshore Wind Training Institute and Community and Workforce Benefits Fund. The two companies have also announced a plan to construct a new Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Hub in the greater Port Jefferson area, which would include dockage for a 250-foot service operation vessel, with a warehouse and office facility to be located in the vicinity. 
Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said: “With the 13th largest economy in the world, a wealth of existing port infrastructure, and the largest commitment to offshore wind in the nation, New York is uniquely positioned to be the epicenter of this exciting new industry in the U.S.”