New York State Announces First Ever Offshore Wind Energy Awards
Nation-leading Program Sends Powerful Message To Launch Offshore Wind Industry
ALBANY, New York, July 18, 2019 — Governor Cuomo announced today that Equinor US Holdings and a joint venture between Orsted A/S and Eversource Energy are the successful bidders in the State’s first ever offshore wind solicitation conducted by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Following a competitive process, NYSERDA selected two projects that when constructed will provide 1700 megawatts-hours of clean, renewable electricity into New York’s grid, enough to power 1 million households. The 1700 MW award is the largest in the nation to-date and the first major installment toward the Governor’s nation-leading commitment to develop 9,000 MW of offshore wind energy by 2035. It is an important step towards the greenhouse gas reduction and renewable energy targets contained in the New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
“This is an epic milestone in New York’s tradition of environmental leadership,” said New York Offshore Wind Alliance Director Joe Martens. “New York State has moved quickly and deliberately in its quest to transition to clean, renewable energy and today’s announcement demonstrates the state’s resolve to take advantage of the steady winds far off its coast to reduce air pollution, create jobs and establish New York as the epicenter of a new American industry.”
Collectively, the award-winning projects represent the largest commitment to offshore wind in the United States to date and include a number of key components that will help ensure the development of the workforce and port infrastructure necessary to build these projects after they secure the necessary federal, state and local permits. For example, 287 million dollars in manufacturing and port facilities from Long Island to Albany.
The state’s competitive bidding process ensured that the offshore wind project proposals would be competitively priced, environmentally sound, and ensure strong participation from unionized labor.
Anne Reynolds, Executive Director of Alliance for Clean Energy New York said, “Today’s announcement committing New York to acquire 1700 megawatt-hours of offshore wind power is a giant step forward to meeting the State’s recently enacted climate objectives and achieving 70% renewable electricity by 2030. Governor Cuomo’s commitments to both offshore wind and land-based wind and solar lead the nation and mean good jobs, economic development and cleaner air for all. ACE NY looks forward to continuing to work with New York on building our clean energy future.”
James Cahill, President of the New York State Building & Construction Trades Council said, “We look forward to partnering with Orsted/Eversource and Equinor to bring these state-of-the-art projects to light. Our members have the experience, training, and expertise to make sure these projects are built safely, on-time, and on-budget, and we’re proud to be a part of this exciting time in New York.”
Lisa Dix, Senior New York Campaign Manager, Sierra Club said, “Governor Cuomo and his administration have delivered yet again in establishing New York as a national, renewable energy, economic powerhouse. Today’s historic progress in advancing offshore wind contracts is a win-win-win for New York’s environment, workforce, and economy. These contracts not only deliver clean energy at the scale necessary to combat climate change, but also requires that all projects adhere to strong labor and environmental standards. Additionally, they build out the local supply chain and prioritize local hiring thereby uplifting New York’s businesses and communities. New York is now well positioned to become the regional hub of this new industry and a model for the nation to follow.”
John R. Durso, President of the Long Island Federation of Labor said, “The planet received good news about public policy taken by the State of New York. Governor Cuomo’s first large procurement of offshore wind power is a major step forward in the fight against climate change and an opportunity to develop an emerging industry. It is particularly significant for Long Island whose workforce is ready to meet the challenges ahead.”
Collin O'Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation said, “Today’s historic offshore wind commitment by Governor Cuomo epitomizes the bold leadership that America needs more than ever to confront the climate crisis and create well-paying manufacturing and construction jobs. Thank you to Governor Cuomo for his visionary leadership and the hard work of New York State officials to accelerate the construction of responsibly developed clean offshore wind power. We congratulate the offshore wind industry and all our partners, as we look forward to continuing our work together to ensure all projects built to power the Empire State provide maximum benefits to our local communities and protect coastal and marine wildlife every step of the way.”
Nathanael Greene, Senior Renewable Energy Policy Analyst, Natural Resources Defense Council said, “Here in New York, a big part of the solution to climate change is literally blowing in the wind. As long as we continue to tap it responsibly, offshore wind has the potential to power millions of homes and businesses with clean energy and put thousands to work. The contract(s) announced today (is/are) a historic step forward by the Governor to help the state meet its clean energy goals and build a better and safer future for all of us.”
Gordian Raacke, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Long Island said, “New York is leading the nation in the rapid transition from a fossil-fueled economy to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. We are witnessing a tipping point in energy history and today’s commitment to large-scale investments in offshore wind power prove that New York walks the walk of powering our economy with renewable energy.”
Matthew Aracich, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau & Suffolk Counties said, “Governor Cuomo has charted a course for the shores of Long Island to assert New York’s dominance of expanding opportunities in Offshore Wind Energy. This initiative is national news because it enables NYSERDA’s blueprint to be set in motion, becoming the newest and most advanced source of abundant clean energy available on the Eastern Seaboard. By changing the approach on providing uninterrupted energy to businesses and residents, New York can continue to advance and focus on new, more efficient technology instead of replacing or adapting to old world energy infrastructure. This type of vision builds a bridge that will lead to a new frontier, where generations of the future have an extraordinary opportunity to continue growing the middle class here on Long Island.”
Patrick Purcell, Executive Director Greater New York Laborers, Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET) and New York State Laborers LECET Fund said, “We are excited to work with Orsted/Eversource and Equinor to maximize local workforce potential and bring high-quality jobs and economic development throughout New York. We applaud the State’s ambitious offshore wind goals that benefit workers by requiring project labor agreements, guaranteeing prevailing wage, and stimulating jobs.”
Ellen Redmond, International Representative, Third District, of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) said, “Today’s offshore wind announcement by Governor Cuomo is historic for the New York State energy industry. The transition to offshore wind and the State’s commitment to creating good paying, highly skilled jobs will bring economic security to IBEW members and their families. Transitioning to renewables has been a difficult road for many IBEW members who have lost their jobs due to plant closures. One way to provide a Just Transition for these workers is to develop an industry where workers can transfer their skills and knowledge. We believe that the creation of a vibrant offshore wind industry in New York State can help meet that goal. We are encouraged by Governor Cuomo’s announcement today and look forward to working with Orsted/Eversource and Equinor as we move forward in creating a cleaner environment for generations to come.”
Kevin S. Law, President & CEO of the Long Island Association said, “Today’s announcement demonstrates a continued commitment by Governor Cuomo and the state to lead the nation in developing a clean energy economy. The projects approved today will help make Long Island the offshore wind capital of the country and will create good paying jobs and attract billions of dollars of investment in our region.”
Lara Skinner, Executive Director of The Worker Institute at Cornell University’s ILR School said, “Today’s bid announcement puts New York State at the forefront of developing a robust offshore wind industry that puts thousands of New Yorkers to work in good jobs that tackle climate change, pollution and inequality. I commend Governor Cuomo and his administration’s commitment to build this industry with strong labor, community and environmental standards. We need energy infrastructure for the 21st century that powers our economy, protects our environment, and lifts working people across New York - New York State is showing the rest of the country how to do this.”
John Cush, Vice President/Business Agent of Ironworkers Local 361 said, “Today’s announcement is a win-win for all New Yorkers. Offshore Wind will help to create a better tomorrow for our children and our children’s children. Building Offshore Wind utilizing the Nassau-Suffolk Building and Construction Trades will create good-paying jobs for the workforce of today.”
Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment said, “Changing the way we produce energy will change our future. New York is battling the devastating effects of climate change right now. Raising homes, hardening shorelines, and constructing sea barriers will not change the impacts of rising sea levels and climate change. We cannot just adapt we have to fight. And that battle means transitioning from fossil fuels to clean renewable energy. That’s why we are extremely thankful that Governor Cuomo is leading this battle as a Wind Warrior for New York State! Today the change begins.”
About the New York Offshore Wind Alliance: The New York Offshore Wind Alliance (NYOWA) is a diverse coalition of organizations with a shared interest in promoting the responsible development of offshore wind power for New York. NYOWA is a project of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY). www.aceny.org/NYOWA