Long Island–NYC Offshore Wind Collaborative releases RFI

If you are interested in the potential of offshore wind in New York, or even if you consider yourself a NIMO (Not In My Ocean; pronounced “Nemo” of course), read on:

The Long Island – New York City Offshore Wind Collaborative Releases Request for Information

… A newly formed collaborative between the private sector and a host of New York State and New York City agencies issued Tuesday a Request for Information (RFI) marking the next step in the development of what could be the largest offshore wind farm proposal in the country.

In addition to the RFI, the Long Island–New York City Offshore Wind Collaborative also unveiled a new Web site designed to keep the wind industry, communities and stakeholders informed of the project’s progress. The RFI may be viewed or downloaded from the new Web site by visiting www.linycoffshorewind.com. The Web site also features news about the project including a transmission interconnection study issued by LIPA and Con Edison in March.

The Long Island–New York City Offshore Wind Project is sponsored by a collaborative consisting of:

  • Long Island Power Authority (LIPA)
  • Con Edison
  • New York Power Authority (NYPA)
  • The City of New York
  • New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
  • The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
  • Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)

The group is exploring the possibility of creating an offshore wind project that would be situated approximately 13 miles off the south shore of the Rockaway Peninsula in the Atlantic Ocean. The wind project would likely be designed for 350 megawatts (MW) of generation, with the ability to expand it to 700 MW, giving it the potential to be the largest offshore wind project in the country.

The intent of the RFI is to gauge the level of interest on the part of the wind power industry and other interested parties in developing the project and to garner insight and creativity as to how the project as envisioned can be enhanced.

Issuance of the RFI is expected to be a precursor to a Request for Proposals (RFP) anticipated for release by the end of 2009. The Collaborative would use the RFP to seek proposals from private development firms and/or members of the collaborative to build the project and enter into agreements to sell the clean energy it produces.

The concept for the offshore wind project emanated from Governor David A. Paterson’s Renewable Energy Task Force and is consistent with the Governor’s “45 by 15” program, which establishes the goal for New York State to meet 45 percent of its electricity needs through improved energy efficiency and renewable sources by the year 2015.

The transmission interconnection study concluded that an interconnection for up to 700 MW of wind power, located at a proposed location in the Atlantic Ocean would be feasible with upgrades to the current transmission systems. An application to interconnect the offshore wind project has been filed with the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) for up to 700 MW by 2015.

Members of the Collaborative reiterated a strong desire to help implement the project and some expressed an interest to purchase clean renewable energy from the project. NYPA and NYSERDA indicated they would be able to lend technical support by way of consultants working with each agency on wind power projects. NYSERDA also indicated the possibility of funding being made available from moneys through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative aimed at advancing clean, renewable energy projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state.

The New York State Department of State and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will offer general information on the planning and regulatory aspects of the project.

The RFI:

The purpose of this RFI is to solicit information from the wind power industry and other interested parties, including community groups, to support the development of a Request for Proposal (RFP) through which the Collaborative will pursue a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) that would support the installation of up to 700 MW of offshore wind generation by one or more private developers. The RFP will contain appropriate terms, conditions and other information to encourage the submission of high quality proposals from capable wind power developers. The Collaborative intends to issue the RFP by the end of 2009. This RFI is for information and planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation or obligation on the part of the Collaborative.

Request for Information is available here. Responses to the Request for Information are due August 31, 2009.

New York wind power: Cattaraugus, St. Lawrence, offshore, Gov. Paterson

Cattaraugus County taxes

From the Buffalo News (9/24):

Cattaraugus County has retained its ability to tax alternative energy systems – including wind farms, solar energy systems and on-farm methane digesters – with a 16-2 vote for passage of a local law Tuesday. The law applies to facilities within the county, including as many as four potential wind farm projects under consideration, and effectively disarms a state tax code provision exempting these energy sources from taxes.

Morristown (St. Lawrence County) examines wind regulation

Per the Watertown Daily Times (9/25) Morristown (apparently no stranger to windmills) is studying a zoning ordinance to regulate wind energy conversion systems:

A small classroom in St. John’s parish was filled with curious citizens Wednesday night, gathered to ask questions and discuss zoning for possible wind turbines. The purpose of the meeting, held by the Wind Energy Committee, was to “put the horse before the cart” and examine possible zoning laws before wind energy companies take a closer look at the town…

…The next committee meeting will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 22 in the town hall. The committee plans to have a recommendation ready and the public is encouraged to attend.

More on proposed LIPA-Con Edison Queens offshore wind project

This project, which originated from Governor Paterson’s Renewable Energy Task Force, could provide significant market development benefits to the wind industry, create clean-tech jobs, and help diversify the State’s electricity system. In addition, any project resulting from this work could demonstrate that we can meet the State’s energy supply needs in an environmentally sound manner while benefiting the State’s economy by reducing dependence on imported energy.