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PSC Urged to Adopt "Low-Cost" Offshore Wind Option

Massachusetts and Rhode Island already have awarded bids for 1,200 megawatts of offshore wind energy. (David_Kaspar/Pixabay)
Massachusetts and Rhode Island already have awarded bids for 1,200 megawatts of offshore wind energy. (David_Kaspar/Pixabay)
June 12, 2018

ALBANY, N.Y. – A "low-cost" option for development of New York state's offshore wind initiative would reap the most benefits - that's the message being sent to the Public Service Commission. A coalition of environmental, business and labor groups has submitted comments to the PSC on the development of the first 800 megawatts of wind power off New York's Atlantic coast.

According to Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy of New York, options that give developers the flexibility to deliver the most jobs, the biggest boost to the state economy and the lowest costs to consumers.

"If they have a contract that responds to the market, they can bid in a lower price," she says. "If they have to bid in one price for 20 years, they have to bid in the chance that something else will change in the market."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called for the first solicitation for offshore wind power to take place before the end of this year.

Offshore wind is critical to meeting the governor's goal of getting half of New York's power from renewable sources by 2030. But while New York has set a national tone for the development of offshore wind, Reynolds notes that other states aren't standing still.

"Massachusetts and Rhode Island just leap-frogged ahead of New York in terms of procuring new offshore wind, so we need to stay in that race so that we get the jobs here in New York, we get the port development here in New York," she explains.

An Alliance for Clean Energy analysis found that the offshore wind initiative could generate $6 billion in economic activity and more than 13,000 new jobs in New York.

Reynolds says the study also showed that no matter how the state achieves 50 percent renewable energy, offshore wind provides added environmental benefits.

"You still would avoid more pollution by having offshore wind because you're displacing those more polluting power plants located right in densely populated New York City," she adds.

She says the Public Service Commission may decide which option to pursue for offshore wind development by the end of the summer.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY