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New York unveils solicitation for 1,000 MW of offshore wind

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a 1,000-MW solicitation for offshore wind facilities Jan. 8 as a part of the state's goal to source 70% of its electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030 and to reach 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040.

As a part of the governor's Green New Deal, the state is planning to develop 9,000 MW of offshore wind capacity by 2035, enough to power up to 6 million homes, according to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, known as NYSERDA.

"We're building more renewable energy projects than any state in the United States of America," Cuomo, a Democrat, said in his State of the State address. "We're doing the largest development of offshore wind in the western hemisphere off Long Island right now."

The state finalized contracts with two offshore wind projects in October 2019 to deliver nearly 1,700 MW of capacity, the largest such procurement in U.S. history. NYSERDA entered into a contract with Equinor ASA subsidiary Equinor Wind US LLCEquinor Wind US LLC for the 816-MW Boardwalk Offshore Wind (Empire Wind) (Rockaway Peninsula) project. The state also awarded Eversource Energy and Ørsted A/S a contract to develop the 880-MW Sunrise Wind Offshore Farm. The two projects are scheduled for completion in 2024.

Four developers submitted a total of 18 bids for the initial solicitation. NYSERDA said the projects bidding in the solicitation were cost competitive, with the Empire Wind and Sunrise Wind projects averaging a development cost of $83.36/MWh in 2018 dollars.

The governor's office announced a set of related investments Jan. 8, including $200 million in port infrastructure improvements. It also has a $100 million, five-year investment plan to train thousands of workers for clean energy jobs. Farmingdale State College and Stony Brook University will seek partners to establish the $20 million Offshore Wind Training Institute, the governor's office said.

Liz Burdock, president and CEO of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, praised the training initiatives in a Jan. 9 statement. "It will take a partnership of industry, labor and academics to provide training opportunities for the many occupations involved in the complex and diverse offshore wind industry, and this is a great start."

Burdock also called for an offshore wind solicitation schedule for the next 10 years "to show the industry how they intend to get to 9,000 MW, with milestones along the way."