State will study European offshore wind projects to see if they make sense in NY

Posted 9 August 2018 at 1:25 pm

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Wednesday a memorandum of understanding has been signed by New York power agencies and partners to conduct a study of successful offshore wind transmission models – with a specific focus on largescale European projects – to determine how key learnings can guide the state’s procurements of offshore wind generation.

The findings of the study will help guide New York’s offshore wind development, marking another major step toward the Governor’s goal to reach 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind in waters off the Atlantic Coast by 2030.

“New York continues to be a national leader in the development of our robust offshore wind industry, aiming to make wind energy as accessible and affordable as possible for all New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “As we strive to meet aggressive energy goals, we are committed to developing a clean energy economy that will attract investment and create thousands of jobs by 2030.”

This valuable input gained from the study will help determine the optimal infrastructure required to support the Governor’s aggressive offshore wind targets. The learnings will enable New York State and offshore wind developers to implement these major clean energy projects in an informed, cost-effective manner, thereby reducing ratepayer costs and moving the state even further along in its goal of obtaining 50 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2030.

The New York Power Authority will lead the study, which aims to learn from European infrastructure design, best practices in connecting wind-generated power to transmission networks and the overall power grid, and successes in reducing the cost of delivering wind energy to customers and consumers. New York Independent System Operator, Con Edison, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and Long Island Power Authority will collaborate with NYPA on the initial phase of the research. The study will look to learn from the different transmission and interconnection models currently used in Europe, which currently utilizes advanced wind energy technologies.

In July, the Public Service Commission authorized NYSERDA, in consultation with NYPA and LIPA, to issue Phase 1 solicitations in 2018 and 2019 for approximately 800 megawatts of offshore wind. The Public Service Commission also required NYSERDA to take immediate steps to study transmission solutions for Phase 2 and beyond to consider the longer-term configurations for cost-effective transmission of offshore wind, and the various options for ownership and planning processes. This study will inform the State on how to potentially apply learnings from Europe to New York for its Phase 2 procurements.

Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA’s president and CEO said, “We’ll look at the experiences, conclusions and recommendations of others to determine what New York should consider in developing offshore wind transmission. We want to distill the most important lessons learned from European development and consider the possible implications for New York State.”

Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo announced the New York State Offshore Wind Master Plan, which will guide the state in the development of 2,400 MW of offshore wind by 2030, enough to power 1.2 million New York households. The plan describes the conditions necessary for the state to achieve its offshore wind target and indicates the need for future technical studies, like the one announced today, and analyses to advance the most cost-effective and responsible development. The findings of the study will be timely as the state looks at transmission costs which the Master Plan estimates could comprise 30 percent of total costs of an offshore wind development.

The NYPA-led study will research and analyze the methods by which offshore transmission has been developed in places outside New York State, focusing primarily on Europe. Particular attention will be given to the physical design, including radial and network connections and interconnections between the projects and to the respective onshore transmission systems as well as development and rate structures. The study will also focus on the ownership structures, business models and financing approaches used in each jurisdiction, as well as the regulatory approaches governing transmission development and cost recovery. Results of the study are expected this fall.

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