N.Y. finalizes offshore wind contracts for 1,700 MW

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has finalized contracts with Equinor Wind US LLC for its 816-megawatt Empire Wind Project and Sunrise Wind LLC for its 880-megawatt Sunrise Wind Project, both of which are offshore wind projects.

Sunrise Wind LLC is a joint venture of Ørsted A/S and Eversource Energy.

The announcement advances New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Green New Deal goal to develop 9,000 MW of offshore wind by 2035 and position New York State as the regional hub of this rapidly growing industry in the United States, Cuomo’s office said on Oct. 23.

NYSERDA submits filing on results of offshore wind solicitation

NYSERDA also concurrently submitted its comprehensive filing, "Launching New York's Offshore Wind Industry: Phase 1 Report," to the New York State Department of Public Service.

The report documents the results of New York's first large-scale offshore wind solicitation with a combined total capacity of nearly 1,700 MW and provides details about the highest scoring projects.

As detailed in the Report submitted to DPS, the state's first large scale offshore wind solicitation resulted in offshore wind renewable energy certificate (OREC) prices approximately 40 percent less than projected by NYSERDA's 2018 analysis, signaling that the costs to deploy offshore wind are rapidly declining.

An OREC represents the environmental benefits associated with one megawatt-hour of electricity generated from offshore wind resources and consumed by retail customers in New York State. “By compensating offshore wind generators for these investments, ORECs provide financial support necessary to lay the groundwork for the industry to take root, which will yield growing dividends for New Yorkers as the industry matures,” Cuomo’s office said.

The report said that the Empire Wind and Sunrise Wind projects have an average all-in development cost of $83.36 per megawatt hour (2018 dollars) with an expected average OREC cost of $25.14 per megawatt hour.

The report also said that the contracts utilize an innovative Index OREC contracting structure where payments rise and fall inversely to a composite average of New York's energy and capacity market prices markets, which do not reflect actual project revenues. “This structure provides protection for ratepayers against volatility in utility bills and projects in project revenue over the contracts' 25-year lifetime,” Cuomo’s office said.

Earlier this month, NYSERDA, Empire State Development and the New York State Department of Transportation issued a request for qualifications seeking proposals for pre-qualification from port operators and market participants that are interested in upgrading and investing in New York ports to support the state's burgeoning offshore wind industry.

Additional information about NYSERDA is available here.