New York Confirms Plan for 1GW-Plus Offshore Wind Solicitation in 2020

  • Jan 09, 2020
  • Greentech Media

New York confirmed plans to issue its second solicitation for offshore wind farms this year, expected to add at least 1 gigawatt to the state’s pipeline.

The upcoming solicitation, to be overseen once again by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), will run alongside a separate competitive process to award $200 million in public funding for offshore wind-related port infrastructure improvements, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo, who gave his 10th State of the State address on Wednesday.

The offshore wind solicitation "is expected to yield at least an additional 1,000 megawatts of clean power, and perhaps substantially more," according to a detailed document (PDF) laying out the various plans in Cuomo's 2020 State of the State.

The new capacity will come on top of the 1.7 gigawatts of capacity the state awarded in its first offshore wind solicitation last summer to developers Ørsted and Equinor.

A spokesperson for NYSERDA did not immediately provide more information about the upcoming solicitation.

New York, which has a nation-leading 9-gigawatt offshore wind target for 2035, is anxiously awaiting a new federal offshore wind lease auction for development zones in the New York Bight, which would open the door to more projects and increased developer competition.

There's still no set date for the New York Bight lease auction. In an email, a spokesperson for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said the federal agency "anticipates leasing additional areas in the New York Bight over time." Some in the industry now expect the auction will not take place until late 2020 at the earliest.

In the meantime, there are several existing zones in play that could potentially bid into New York's upcoming solicitation.

New York saw four development groups bid various project configurations into last year’s solicitation: Vineyard Wind and Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind (a joint venture of EDF Renewables North America and Shell New Energies) participated, alongside eventual winners Equinor and Ørsted.

“We thank the Governor and NYSERDA for committing to holding their second solicitation for at least 1 gigawatt in 2020,” Liz Burdock, CEO of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, said in a statement. “This, along with New Jersey’s second RFP scheduled for 2020, means it will be another exciting year for offshore wind in the New York-New Jersey area.”

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