New York Offshore Wind Alliance: Low-Cost Offshore Wind Option Best for Economy and Environment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 11, 2018

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New York Offshore Wind Alliance: Low-Cost Offshore Wind Option Best for Economy and Environment

Done Right, Gov. Cuomo’s Initiative Would Create Thousands of Jobs and Billions in Economic Activity & Reduce Consumer Electricity Costs

PSC Must Act Quickly; Nearby States Aggressively Seeking

Same Port & Supply Chain Benefits

ALBANY, NY – A statewide coalition of environmental, business and labor groups is urging New York’s energy regulators to adopt a “low-cost” option for bringing offshore wind power to New York because it can generate the most jobs, the largest overall economic and environmental benefit, and could significantly lower electricity costs in the downstate region.

But New York needs to move fast because it’s in a race with New Jersey, Massachusetts and other states to become the hub of a burgeoning clean energy economy and reap the benefits that come from being a national offshore wind leader, the New York Offshore Wind Alliance said.

The projections and urgings are contained in the Alliance’s official comments to the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC), which is considering options for how to implement Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s offshore wind initiative. Offshore wind is an essential component to meeting the Governor’s goal of having 50 percent of New York’s electricity generated by renewable energy sources by 2030.

“Our analysis shows that done right, New York’s offshore wind initiative could lead to upward of $6 billion in economic activity, 13,200 new jobs and lower electric bills for New Yorkers, primarily in the downstate region, where rates are among the highest in the nation,” said NYOWA Director Joe Martens.

“To realize these benefits though, the PSC needs to adopt a ‘low-cost option’ as quickly as possible to allow the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to initiate a procurement for offshore wind in 2018.  We cannot be left behind by other states that are moving quickly to develop this clean energy source,” Martens said.

Gov. Cuomo has proposed a plan to create enough offshore wind energy to power 1.25 million homes by 2030. The PSC is considering options on how to bring to consumers the first 800 MW from wind farms to be developed off New York’s Atlantic coast.

The Alliance’s comments to the PSC and the economic report prepared by the Brattle Group can be found here. They are summarized as follows:

  • Massachusetts and Rhode Island have awarded bids for 1,200 MW of energy. A recent New York Times story illustrates that early movers in the offshore wind arena are likely to garner the most benefits. Connecticut recently released a Request for Proposals for 200 MW of offshore wind and other renewable energy projects and New Jersey is rapidly developing the regulations necessary to move forward with an 1,100 MW offshore wind procurement. (See comments pdf pp 4-5.)

  • The New York State Offshore Wind Master Plan estimated up to $6 billion in economic growth from offshore wind and 5,000 new jobs, the Brattle analysis estimated that under certain conditions New York’s gross domestic product (GDP) could increase by up to $7.2 billion and that by 2030, new direct, indirect and induced jobs could peak at 13,200. (NYSERDA’s analysis only looked at direct jobs and did not include indirect and induced jobs.)

  • To ensure that offshore wind maximizes economic and ratepayer benefits, it’s critical that the PSC select a procurement option that will keep the cost of offshore wind projects as low as possible. Whether measured by the number of jobs, salaries, economic activity, or the cost of electricity, a low-cost procurement option such as a Power Purchase Agreement, Market or Index OREC, will have far greater positive economic benefits than other, higher cost options being considered by the PSC. (Comments pdf pp 22-24.)

  • Since offshore wind is emission and pollution free and would replace fossil fuel generation in the downstate region, it would reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and public health in New York City, Long Island and in the broader study region. Across all modeled regions, the net present value of emission reductions from 2018 to 2044 is estimated to be $3.24 billion. (Comments pdf p 21.)

  • NYOWA supports the PSC giving significant weight and consideration in the procurement process to environmental “best management practices”, local economic benefits and labor standards that will help ensure that projects are protective of New York’s marine environment, provide family-sustaining high wage jobs and help improve local communities.  (Comments pdf pp 6-7)

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About the New York Offshore Wind Alliance

The New York Offshore Wind Alliance (NYOWA) is a diverse coalition of nearly 30 organizations with a shared interest in promoting the responsible development of offshore wind power for New York. A project of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY), NYOWA has a particular focus on Governor Cuomo's goal of creating 2,400 MW of offshore wind power by 2030.

For more information see: www.aceny.org/NYOWA