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Offshore Wind Development

New York State is committed to developing offshore wind in a responsible manner that considers environmental impacts and seeks to mitigate them. Learn more by visiting NYSERDA's Protecting the Dynamic Ocean website (leaves DEC website).

offshore wind farm

Under New York's Clean Energy Standard (CES) and the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York State is committed to providing 70% of New York State's electricity from renewable sources such as wind, solar, and hydroelectric power by 2030 and be 100% carbon free by 2040. To help reach this goal, New York State has committed to developing 9,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind by 2035, which is enough to power up to 6 million homes.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) (leaves DEC website) is the federal entity that manages the exploration and development of energy resources on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). In cooperation with BOEM, NYSDEC is working with New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) (leaves DEC website) to ensure offshore wind is developed in a way that protects New Yorkers and our natural resources.

BOEM is moving forward with wind energy planning efforts on the OCS in the New York Bight region, which represents an area of shallow waters between Long Island, New York to the north and east, and the New Jersey coast to the south and west. The OCS Lands Act requires BOEM to award leases competitively, unless BOEM determines there is no competitive interest.

Fisheries Technical Working Group

The Fisheries Technical Working Group (F-TWG) (leaves DEC website) provides guidance and advice on how to responsibly advance New York State's offshore wind energy development while also protecting New York's and the regions valuable resources and resource users. New York is leading this multistate approach, which includes fisheries representatives from New England and the Mid-Atlantic who fish the New York Bight, as well as offshore wind developers.

Mission:

The F-TWG operates under the mission of guiding New York's offshore wind development in a way that is both environmentally friendly and protects the region's valuable fisheries and fishing communities. It does this by:

  • Enhancing communication and coordination: Improves communication between the fishing community and offshore wind industry developers.
  • Distributing information: Makes sure the fishing community and offshore wind industry knows about existing data, research, and information sources.
  • Supporting research: Provides ideas and feedback on scientific and technical studies that address offshore wind energy project planning, siting, construction, operation, monitoring, or other related topics.

Environmental Technical Working Group

The Environmental Technical Working Group (E-TWG) (leaves DEC website) is an independent advisory body to the State of New York with a regional focus on offshore wind and wildlife issues in the eastern U.S. It is comprised of offshore wind developers and science-based environmental non-government organizations (NGOs), as well as state and federal wildlife regulatory agencies.

Mission and Objectives:

The E-TWG helps promote environmentally responsible advancement of offshore wind development through (1) regional collaboration and (2) advice and guidance to New York State. It objectives are to:

  • Improve our understanding of, and ability to manage for, potential effects of offshore wind energy development on wildlife.
  • Develop transparent, collaborative processes for identifying and addressing priority issues relating to wildlife monitoring and mitigation.
  • Reduce permitting risk and uncertainty for developers by improving clarity in expectations and processes for wildlife monitoring and mitigation.

State of the Science Workshops

The 2020 State of the Science Workshop, hosted by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), brought together over 430 stakeholders engaged with environmental and wildlife research relevant to offshore wind energy development and focused on cumulative impacts, building on efforts made during the first workshop held in 2018.

New York State Projects in Development

As the largest procurement for offshore wind in the nation's history, the announcement of New York's first offshore wind procurement in July 2019, advances New York State's nation-leading Green New Deal goal to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035 and position New York as the regional hub of this rapidly growing industry in the United States.

NYSERDA has finalized contracts with two developers (leaves DEC website) for a total of 1,696 MW of clean, affordable renewable energy to New Yorkers offshore wind energy. These projects are:

map of empire wind & sunrise wind area
Empire Wind & Sunrise Wind Area Map
  • Empire Wind Project 816 megawatts - Equinor Wind US LLC
  • Sunrise Wind Project 880 megawatts - a joint venture of Ørsted A/S and Eversource Energy

For more information on these projects view, Launching New York's Offshore Wind Industry: Phase 1 Report (PDF) (leaves DEC website).

Empire Wind

The Empire Wind Project (leaves DEC website) is part of the Equinor Wind US LLC. lease area. The lease area is located 11.5 nautical miles (nm) from Jones Beach, NY. It extends 15 to 30 miles southeast of Long Island spanning approximately 80,000 acres in water depths between 65 and 130 feet. The lease area has the capacity to produce up to 2,000 MW which could power over 1 million homes. Equinor expects to use 10 - 15 MW turbines throughout the lease area. The Empire Wind Project will provide New York with 816 MW of offshore wind energy which is enough power for half a million homes.

Sunrise Wind

The Sunrise Wind Project (leaves DEC website) is part of the Ørsted A/S and Eversource Energy 50/50 joint venture lease area. The project area is approximately 30 miles east of Montauk Point. The Sunrise Wind Project will provide New York with 880 MW of offshore wind energy which is enough to power more than half a million homes.

map of south fork wind farm area
South Fork Wind Farm Area Map

South Fork Wind Farm

South Fork Wind Farm (SFWF) (leaves DEC website) is a private procurement between Orsted (formerly Deepwater Wind, LLC) and the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) for 130 megawatts of offshore wind. While not contracted under New York State's Public Service Commission recommendations, the SFWF will count toward the state's offshore wind goals and serve the East End of Long Island by providing electricity to power 70,000 homes. The cable for this project will come ashore either on Beach Lane in Wainscott, NY or in Hither Hills State Park.

BOEM's NY Bight Draft Wind Energy Areas

In order to fulfill New York State's goal of competitively attaining 9 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035, the state petitioned the federal government's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to lease add additional lease areas within the New York Bight. Technological and engineering advancements of floating wind turbine technology will soon allow offshore wind energy areas to be located further offshore in deeper ocean waters. In 2017, NYSERDA, with consultation of NYDEC, produced two important studies to help advance offshore wind development in the New York Bight:

draft wind energy areas
Draft Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) delineated by BOEM
  • NYS Offshore Wind Master Plan (leaves DEC website) which includes studies on fisheries and fishing activities, environmental sensitivity analysis, and on protected marine resources such as marine mammals, sea turtles, and avian and bat distribution.
  • NYS Areas for Consideration (leaves DEC website) which examined ocean user data within New York Bight to identify areas with minimal amount of conflict between offshore wind and other ocean uses and resource abundance.
  • Synthesis of the Science (leaves DEC website) is a joint effort that brings together the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), and the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA). The overarching purpose is enhancing regional and national understanding of existing science and data gaps related to offshore wind energy interactions with fish and fisheries.

Through a robust stakeholder outreach process (outlined below) and by working closely with BOEM's Renewable Energy Task Force in the New York Bight (leaves DEC website), BOEM produced a Call for Information and Nominations to delineate new areas for offshore wind development. After reviewing the comments received in response to the call, draft Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) were developed within the New York Bight and are currently under review. A final decision on these future lease sites is expected in early 2020 with lease auctions not occurring until late 2021.

For more information, visit BOEM's activities in the New York Bight (leaves DEC site).

Timeline of Offshore Wind Development in NY Bight
Action Date Links Below Leave DEC's Website
Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force Meeting November 28, 2018 BOEM Website
NYSERDA Offshore Wind Development meetings September 26, 2018
September 27, 2018
NYSERDA Presentation (PDF)
NYSERDA and NYSDPS Technical Conference September 25, 2018 NYSERDA Website
NYSERDA Public Webinar on Wind Energy in NY Bight September 21, 2018 NYSERDA Website
BOEM Fisheries Stakeholder Public Comment Sessions July 11, 2018
July 12, 2018
BOEM Website
BOEM Comment Period Extended Extended to July 30, 2018 BOEM Website
BOEM Public Comment Period: Call for Information and Nominations April 11, 2018 - Announced
May 29, 2018 -Deadline
BOEM Website