Interview with John B. Rhodes, CEO & President of NYSERDA, on how NY plans to pioneer the US offshore wind industry

Adam Minkley / Director / US Offshore Wind 2017

Adam Minkley

On January 10, 2017, Governor Andrew M Cuomo announced a goal of generating 2,400 MW of New York State’s power from offshore wind, and shortly thereafter the Long Island Power Authority approved the largest offshore wind project in the US: a 90 MW scheme off the South Fork of Long Island. This followed the adoption of the Clean Energy Standard by the New York State Public Service Commission on August 1, 2016, with a headline target of deriving half of the state’s power from renewable resources by 2030.

Under Gov Cuomo’s leadership, New York is now bringing forward a set of policies that will accelerate those clean energy solutions that are most suitable for large-scale deployment, and which make the most sense for the people of New York. And the drive towards clean energy in general, and the state’s offshore wind resources, in particular, does indeed make sense in and for New York.

the 5 wind turbines of Block Island

A scene like this may be in the offing for NYC.

New York State does offer tremendous potential for offshore wind, and there are a number of fundamental factors that favor its development: a wide, shallow continental shelf, good seabed geology, up to 39 GW of available wind, and a large market right next door, in New York City and on Long Island, that is presently paying high prices for its energy.

Why now?

Of course, all of this has been true for a long time. What has changed is that maturing technology and increasingly competitive bidding are helping to make offshore a realistic and economically viable choice. This is happening quickly: Bloomberg reported last November that the global levelized cost of offshore wind fell 22% in the second half of 2016 compared with the first. These gains enable a virtuous circle in which sufficient demand is created to bring about an efficient and competitive market for goods and services which drive down costs and create more demand.

For the rest of the interview:

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