To bolster inexperienced economic system, New York will construct nation’s largest offshore wind program

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Diving letter:

  • New York has selected Equinor Wind US to develop two offshore wind turbines capable of generating 2,490 MW of electricity. The state has set a goal of bringing 9,000 MW of offshore wind online by 2035 and the new announcement means there are now plans for nearly half of that goal.
  • Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the Equinor Treaties on Wednesday as part of the launch of his agenda for 2021. He said the state’s green energy program is expected to deliver 12,400 MW while supporting more than 50,000 jobs and enabling private investments of $ 29 billion.
  • The state has also launched a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the development of $ 5 billion transmission projects to move renewable energy from the hinterland and Canada to New York City.

Dive Insight:

New York’s commitment to offshore wind is designed to position the state as a leader in wind turbine construction.

As part of the Offshore Wind Agreement, Equinor agreed to revitalize two New York ports – the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal and the Port of Albany – into large-scale offshore wind turbines that will turn New York into an offshore wind industrial hub. “

“The US east coast is one of the most attractive growth markets for offshore wind in the world,” said Anders Opedal, CEO of Equinor, in a statement. He added that the projects “will play an important role in the state’s ambition to become a global offshore wind hub”.

According to Cuomo, companies have committed to manufacturing wind turbine components in New York.

“We will improve our green manufacturing capacity and related jobs,” he said. “We will build the country’s first offshore wind tower production facility in the Port of Albany and transform a wasteland into a state-of-the-art wind tower factory.”

The Port of Albany project will create 500 construction jobs and employ 300 full-time workers who will build 150 of the wind turbine towers each year, Cuomo said.

“With this plan, New York State will now have five active docks for the offshore wind industry, more than any other state,” said Cuomo.

The contract with Equinor “positions New York as the undeniable focus of the burgeoning US offshore wind industry,” according to a warning from law firm Hodgson Russ about renewable energy.

Clean energy stakeholders welcomed Cuomo’s announcements and noted that the state’s clean energy strategy makes a strong link between developing carbon-free resources and strengthening the economy.

“Nothing has more potential to make our economy buzz again than clean energy,” said Rich SchraderThe Political Director of the New York Defense Council for Natural Resources said in a statement. “The governor’s roadmap for the coming year reflects this understanding.”

The state is “wise to realize that clean energy is a growth-oriented sector ready to help New York’s economy recover COVID“Anne Reynolds, chief executive of the Clean Energy Alliance in New York, said in a statement,” It is impressive that New York now has contracts for half of the 9,000 MW offshore wind we are aiming for. “

Transfer, solar investment

The state also invests heavily in transmission. According to the New York Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA), utility bills in the state last year reflected approximately $ 1 billion in congestion costs “due to bottlenecks in our outdated transmission network.”

Cuomo said New York State will build a new 250-mile “green energy highway” worth $ 2 billion this year. Construction of the New York Power Authority’s 86 mile Smart Path project from Massena to Croghan is underway. According to NYSERDA, construction of several “key projects” will begin soon in West New York, Mid-Hudson and the capital region.

The RFP for a possible new transmission line is trying, according to the document, “to negotiate contracts for a total of up to 1,500 MW, but can exceed this amount if it receives proposals that are sufficiently convincing”. The state wants to make a decision on the project in the third quarter of this year.

According to Cuomo, New York will also commission two dozen large renewable energy projects in 2021, including 23 solar parks and a hydropower plant. They are combined for an output of 2,200 MW. In the past five years, New York has commissioned 68 new major renewable energy projects that will add 6,100 MW and generate more than $ 12 billion in investment.

The state is taking steps to accelerate the development of renewable energy projects. NYSERDA submitted an implementation plan for the state’s “Build-Ready” program for the development of clean energy resources and incentives on Jan. 13. The purpose of this program is to identify locations in New York that are suitable for renewable energy development and to make those locations a competitive advertisement for private developers.

According to the proposed implementation plan, the program will prioritize the development of sites “that commercial developers may not pursue due to complex development challenges”, including brownfield sites, abandoned commercial land, landfills or former industrial sites.

The Build Ready program was approved under the Accelerated Growth of Renewable Energy and Nonprofit Act passed in 2020. Legislation also created the new New York Renewable Energy Siting Bureau, designed to accelerate the development of assets of 25 MW or more.

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