New York PSC Greenlights State Offshore Wind Plans

The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) has accepted an environmental review of policy options to implement the state’s offshore wind program that will ultimately lead to meeting Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal of procuring at least 2.4GW of offshore wind energy by 2030.

In January, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) released the Offshore Wind Master Plan, which will guide the development of offshore wind in the state by 2030, and finalised an offshore wind policy options paper, which provided an assessment of alternatives for addressing a wide range of policy issues pertinent to the successful deployment of offshore wind energy.

These options were provided to ensure that the State continues its progress to meet Governor Cuomo’s goal of procuring at least 800MW of offshore wind power through competitive solicitations in 2018 and 2019, and 2.4GW by 2030.

In its decision, the New York State Public Service Commission, as part of a mandatory environmental review developed under the State Environmental Quality Review Act, found a number of positive outcomes associated with the development of offshore wind, including: public health benefits, climate change benefits; and economic development benefits.

“The development of offshore wind energy is a vital component to achieving Governor Cuomo’s goal of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030,” said Commission Chair John B. Rhodes. “New York is poised to be a national leader in this burgeoning industry, reaping environmental benefit as well as creating thousands of good-paying jobs and millions of dollars of investment in our coastal communities and in New York.”

The environmental review also raised potential impacts, such as the need to consider sensitive biological resources, and mitigation measures to lessen these impacts. Those impacts will be taken into consideration by the Commission and can be addressed in site-specific environmental impact statements as project development proceeds.