Offshore Wind is Essential to New York’s Clean Energy Transition

Articles | February 10, 2023

The growth of offshore wind infrastructure, an affordable renewable energy source which harnesses power from ocean winds, is leading the path towards a future of green electricity in New York. This energy generation method provides locally produced power that will create significant progress towards the development of a clean economy by reducing emissions and creating thousands of family sustaining union jobs in the process. 

NYLCV is dedicated to working towards the creation and education of a green workforce to support disadvantaged communities while also facilitating a just transition for workers in fossil fuel industries. The offshore wind system and related supply chains provide opportunities for in-state port, servicing, and manufacturing jobs while reinforcing the decarbonization of New York’s energy grid.  

Offshore wind energy is an essential component of the transition into clean electricity production and a carbon-neutral economy. Under the 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York has committed to 70% renewable energy by 2030, 100% carbon free electricity by 2040, and an 85% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from levels recorded in 1990 by 2050. As of now, this includes the development of 9000 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2035. 

The recent adoption of the final New York State Climate Action Council Scoping Plan indicates we will likely require 16-19 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2050, necessitating that our state act aggressively to site and implement these critical projects. NYLCV, along with a coalition of stakeholders, is pressing to increase these goals for offshore wind to 15 gigawatts by 2040 and 20 gigawatts by 2050 to inform infrastructure decisions now. 

The New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) coordinates the advancement of offshore wind capacity by issuing competitive solicitations, with 5 active projects resulting from the past two solicitations. It is critical that New York choose multiple projects and developers under the current solicitation and award the full 4.6 gigawatts in this procurement round. 

New York’s third offshore wind solicitation and its respective upcoming projects are expected to provide clean energy to 1.5 million homes, providing an additional 2000 megawatts onto the existing 4300 megawatts already rewarded. This newest NYSERDA solicitation will build off of a $500 million investment plan announced in January of 2022, going towards critical offshore wind ports, manufacturing, and supply chain infrastructure and while creating thousands of high-paying green jobs. 

A shift from traditional fossil fuel infrastructure through the expansion of offshore wind energy reduces greenhouse gas emissions, improves public health, and supports the development of a clean energy industry. By completing and exceeding these offshore wind goals, New York will become a leader in the national shift towards sustainable renewable energy. 

By Malin Nystrom

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