A ‘Significant Development’

The federal government has selected the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to compete for the right to develop a new wind energy site off Long Island’s coast, a move Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo called a significant development in the state’s goal to generate 50 percent of its electricity supply from renewable sources by 2030.

A 79,000-acre designated wind energy site is approximately 12 miles south of Long Island, off the Rockaway Peninsula. The site’s developer will be selected through a Dec. 15 lease auction that will be administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. If NYSERDA is selected as the developer, the area will be studied and characterized, and then bundled with a power purchase mechanism with a project developer through a competitive selection process. 

“The development of Long Island’s vast offshore wind resources will further strengthen New York’s place at the forefront of the clean energy revolution,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement issued on Friday. “NYSERDA’s selection as a qualified bidder for the development of these resources is a testament to our efforts to not only effectively provide residents with clean, affordable energy, but also build a thriving economy off the development of that power.”

The agency will ensure that any offshore wind developed in the state will be at the lowest possible cost for consumers, according to the statement, while protecting the environment and considering and communicating with stakeholders, including the fishing and maritime industries. 

Mr. Cuomo announced the state’s intention to put forth a comprehensive offshore wind strategy in his 2016 State of the State address, which included development of an Offshore Wind Master Plan to coordinate involved agencies. The state’s Offshore Wind Blueprint was released in September to establish a framework for the responsible development of offshore wind energy generation. The entire plan is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

NYSERDA was one of six states and organizations awarded $592,683 by the U.S. Department of Energy’s State Energy Program last year to advance offshore wind market development through multistate cooperation.