New York Puts USD 5 Million Up for Grabs for Metocean Data Collection

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to collect meteorological and oceanographic (metocean) data off the New York coast, in areas with the potential for future offshore wind development, and announced USD 5 million available to support the works. 

Obtaining more detailed metocean information about the wind resources off New York will help advance offshore wind development and secure reliable and bankable wind resource data for wind farm developers to reduce uncertainty about site conditions, NYSERDA stated.

The project will deploy two buoys equipped with Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) system(s), remote sensing equipment that uses pulsed laser light to determine wind speeds at altitude. Each of the buoys will be deployed for approximately two years to measure wind speed and direction at turbine hub-height, wave and current measurements, as well as other environmental data.

Successful candidates will also coordinate with regional environmental scientists to collect information that could be useful in understanding more about ecosystem function, timing and relative density of wildlife in the area, or ambient underwater noise.

This data will inform future environmental impact assessment studies for offshore wind and can be supported by the next generation of floating LiDAR buoys which are being designed to incorporate additional environmental sensors such as hydrophones to detect marine mammals, or bird and bat acoustic detectors. Similarly, the buoy anchors lines could be equipped with instrumentation to collect data on ocean currents, temperature or chlorophyll concentrations at different depths.

Funding will be awarded as part of a competitive solicitation and divided into two lots, with one focused on permitting, hardware, deployment, maintenance and decommissioning, and the other on data analysis, data storage and data presentation.

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said: “Access to better meteorological and oceanographic data will enable New York to meet its ambitious offshore wind energy goals while protecting New York’s coastal resources and marine environment. Deploying this metocean data collection technology builds on the more than 20 robust studies the state completed over the past two years in support of the New York Offshore Wind Master Plan and reinforces Governor Cuomo’s steadfast commitment to safeguarding our natural resources for generations to come.”

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced in January that in 2018 and 2019 the state will issue two solicitations to secure a combined total of at least 800MW of offshore wind power. These solicitations represent a first step toward achieving the Governor’s goal of 2,400MW of offshore wind by 2030.

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) recently initiated the area identification process by issuing a Call for Information and Nominations for identifying and leasing additional wind energy areas in the New York Bight, an area of shallow waters between Long Island and the New Jersey coast. In addition to nominations, BOEM is seeking public input on the potential for wind energy development in the Call Area.