New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo this week announced the largest combined clean energy solicitations ever issued in the U.S., seeking up to 4,000 megawatts of renewable capacity. The state’s second offshore wind solicitation seeks up to 2,500 megawatts of projects, the largest in U.S. history, and is additional to last year’s solicitation which resulted in nearly 1,700 megawatts awarded. In addition to the offshore wind solicitation, the Governor also announced the issuance by NYSERDA and New York Power Authority (NYPA) of the largest yet coordinated solicitations for land based large-scale renewable energy projects by a U.S. state, seeking to procure over 1,500 megawatts of clean, renewable energy, enough to power nearly 500,000 homes]
OFFSHORE WIND AND PORT INFRASTRUCTURE
The new offshore wind solicitation includes a multi-port strategy and requirement for offshore wind generators to partner with any of the 11 prequalified New York ports to stage, construct, manufacture key components, or coordinate operations and maintenance activities.
Funding for port investments will include $400 million in both public and private funding.
This solicitation has the potential to bring New York State halfway toward its goal of 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035
In seeking at least 1,000 megawatts of offshore wind, coordinated with a $200 million opportunity to support local and private investment in port infrastructure, NYSERDA will accept offshore wind bids between 400 megawatts and up to 2,500 megawatts. In addition to delivering a significant amount of clean, renewable energy to New Yorkers, this combined solicitation requests proposals for investment in port infrastructure, aimed to incentivize private investment, and maximize economic benefits and job creation while driving future cost reductions for this technology and establishing New York as the hub of the offshore wind supply chain.
Notable provisions in the solicitation include:
- Provisions requiring payment of the prevailing wage, a standard set by the New York State Department of Labor, and good-faith negotiations towards the use of Project Labor
- Agreements for workers associated with the construction of any awarded facility and continuing to prioritize opportunities for New York State Minority- and Woman-Owned Business Enterprises and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses to support these projects;
- Incentivizing associated jobs, project spending, and infrastructure investments in New York State by requiring awardees to provide an economic benefits plan for evaluation, backed by independent audit and verification of the realization of these claims;
- Prioritizing low-income census tracts and Environmental Justice Areas to contribute to delivering the overall job creation and benefits to Disadvantaged Communities, consistent with the State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act;
- Sending a clear buy-clean demand signal to the market to encourage the consideration of the project’s carbon footprint in design, sourcing and construction and spur use of advanced materials; and
- Actively addressing the interests of ocean users such as commercial and recreational fishing and environmental stakeholders as reflected in mitigation plans which are informed by New York’s Offshore Wind Technical Working Groups as established by New York’s Offshore Wind Master Plan.
To support New York’s position as the hub for the offshore wind industry, NYSERDA, with the assistance of NY Green Bank, Empire State Development and the New York State Department of Transportation, will all support this combined solicitation for investing in and upgrading the state’s port infrastructure.