Big and small players to meet as N.Y. opens Offshore Wind bidding round

Source: David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2018

New York started taking applications from offshore wind companies last week to build up to 800 megawatts’ worth of turbines, or one-third of the state’s goal for 2030.

It’s the first of what is likely to be a two- or three-round movement toward the 2030 goal, depending on the success of this round. Companies will have to submit their bids by February, with awards to be announced in the spring. Contracts could run for as long as 25 years.

“This action is a watershed moment in New York’s renewable energy development efforts as we work to establish a secure, reliable and cost-effective clean energy future,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat.

The size of New York’s 2030 goal ranks it among the middle of the Atlantic Coast pack. But the announcement chalks out a relatively hasty path to commercial-scale development, eschewing the demonstration projects planned in other states.

Joe Martens, director of the New York Offshore Wind Alliance, an industry group, called it “momentous” news in a statement, hailing it as a producer of “thousands of jobs, greater energy diversity, new businesses and indeed, a new American clean energy industry.”

It also sounded an opening bell for the frenetic networking set to take place this week at an industry forum in the heart of Manhattan that will bring together offshore operators, wind manufacturers, labor unions, consultants and others.

The event is designed to give local businesses a chance to link up with some of the major players in Europe’s full-fledged industry, like Orsted, Siemens Gamesa and MHI Vestas.

About 150 groups were expected to attend, according to a representative of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), which put the forum together.

“Given the fact that offshore wind is a new industry to the U.S. and specifically New York, this event will be critical in making local businesses aware of the near-term opportunities offered by this burgeoning industry,” said the NYSERDA representative.

The state’s offshore wind master plan, published last summer, found that the industry could bring about $6 billion in investment and add about 5,000 jobs, with most of the associated activity based around New York City.

New York Harbor could host assembly or staging activities, it said, while sites along the Hudson River would be ideal for manufacturing, and Long Island’s shallow waters for operations and maintenance.