NYPA announces Great Lakes offshore wind power initiative

Big day in the U.S. offshore wind world, with important developments on the New York state and federal levels.

First, from the New York Power Authority (NYPA):

BUFFALO—In recognition of the celebration of Earth Day, New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel today announced a major public-private initiative for the potential development of wind power projects in the New York State waters of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

NYPA today released a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) to initiate efforts to develop offshore wind projects in the Great Lakes.  A Request for Proposals (RFP) to examine technical issues related to the viability of such projects is expected to be released before the end of the month.

To carry out the initiative known as the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project, NYPA, with the support of wind power proponents including National Grid, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, state and local environmental organizations, wind power developers and the University of Buffalo, is gathering a wide range of environmental, economic development, technical, financial and other information to serve as the foundation for the possible installation of wind power projects by one or more private wind power developers, sized to a minimum of 120 megawatts…

Full press release here.

From the RFEI:

  • The New York Power Authority (“NYPA”) is seeking technical, financial, environmental and commercial information from the wind power industry and regional stakeholders to determine the prospects for the development of a utility scale wind generating project in New York State waters of Lake Erie and/or Lake Ontario.
  • Based on an evaluation of the information received pursuant to this RFEI, NYPA may elect to proceed with a Request for Proposal (“RFP”) seeking the development of a large scale wind project in one of the Lakes.
  • The RFP would be expected to result in the selection of a developer to construct, own, operate and maintain the wind project and to sell the output under a long term Power Purchase Agreement (“PPA”).

The RFEI can be accessed at www.nypa.gov/GreatLakesWindRFEI.htm.

Parties interested in responding to the RFEI should provide a Notice of Intent to Respond to NYPA on or before May 18, 2009, which includes all pertinent contact information (lead contact name, company, phone number and e-mail address). This notice is for administrative purposes only and is not mandatory.

Responses to this RFEI should be sent to the following no later than June 15, 2009:  Mr. Jordan Brandeis Vice President – Power Resources, Planning and Acquisition New York Power Authority 123 Main Street White Plains, NY 10601.

If you intend to respond and require assistance, please contact Clifford Rohde at 518-641-1005 or cliff@cliffordrohde.com.

Second, the feds. Only a few short weeks after burying the hatchet with FERC, the Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service released a long-anticipated framework for offshore energy development. The final rules will go into effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

MMS press release here.

Final rules (all 579 pages) here.

The two issues are intertwined, as noted by our friends at the Great Lakes Wind Collaborative:

For the Great Lakes, these rules may have implications as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard are currently drafting offshore wind development rules and guidelines for the Great Lakes. The agencies may, in part, model the Great Lakes rules off this framework. To find out more about the Great Lakes offshore wind development status, be sure to attend the Great Lakes Wind Collaborative’s 2nd Annual Meeting June 10-11 in Milwaukee where the Corps and the Coast Guard will be presenting a briefing on where the framework/rulemaking stands for the Great Lakes. For more information and to register for this informative meeting, go to http://www.glc.org/energy/wind/conf2009.html.

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