“US Investment Flows to Offshore Wind” | Renewable Energy World

Interesting article on the current state of offshore wind projects in the U.S. Some discussion of New York efforts (e.g., NYPA, LIPA) as well as development in the Great Lakes.

For Rhode Island and other Atlantic states, offshore wind offers the promise of jobs that might otherwise go west. The eastern states have created aggressive, self-imposed mandates to deliver a percentage of their power from renewable energy, creating a strong market for wind power. But given their dense population, they have little room for utility-scale renewable energy unless it is offshore – or imported from other regions. What [Rhode Island Governor] Carcieri and the East Coast political leaders don’t want – and what they’ve made clear they fear – is development of a federally imposed super grid of high voltage transmission lines that would push land-based Midwestern wind power 1500 or more kilometers to the energy-hungry eastern seaboard. That scenario places the manufacturing jobs in the Midwestern states, not in their own backyard.

via Offshore Awakening: US Investment Flows to Offshore Wind | Renewable Energy World.

GLWC to identify best practices to accelerate wind power projects in Great Lakes

From Great Lakes Wind Collaborative Winter newsletter. New York is among those states looking to exploit the wind rich Great Lakes to generate electricity.  Nominate a “best practice” by sending an email to vpebbles@glc.org.

In fall 2009, the Great Lakes Wind Collaborative Commission was awarded $99,740 from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program to identify and promote Best Practices to Accelerate Wind Power in the Great Lakes Region and Beyond. The project will identify and promote the policies and practices to increase market acceptance of wind across the region. The GLWC will partner with other regional organizations to ensure that best practices developed reaches those best positioned to use them in developing policy at the state and local level. Additionally, the project will coordinate with other groups that received awards under the same funding opportunity to ensure timely and effective delivery of products and services.

via Great Lakes Wind Collaborative Quarterly Update. See also discussion of New York Power Authority’s RFP.

Per NYPA, 11 firms plan Great Lakes wind farms | Democrat and Chronicle

According to reports, New York Power Authority’s Richard Kessel says that NYPA has received more interest in its Request for Proposals (RFP) for Great Lakes offshore wind than anticipated.

…[NYPA] hopes to promote construction of one or more wind farms in the waters of the two Great Lakes that border New York. The agency has said there is room for as many as 1,000 turbines in Lake Ontario and 1,200 in Lake Erie, though it doesn’t expect that many to be proposed.

Off the shoreline of Monroe County is one of four broad areas in Lake Ontario that the authority believes are suitable for turbine construction. The turbines likely would be 400 feet or more high and would be at least two miles offshore…

via 11 firms plan wind farms | Democrat and Chronicle. (3/24)

Great Lakes Offshore Wind Legislative Recommendations

Michigan is not the only state with access to the Great Lakes. Or with ideas about the offshore wind potential of same. The Michigan Great Lakes Wind Council did recently, however, provide “Input on Offshore Wind Energy Legislation”. Said input is here: Offshore Wind Legislative Recommendations_03032010.pdf.

NYPA Great Lakes wind event: Oswego 11/13

Friday, November 13, 2009

Oswego City Hall-Common Council Chambers

13 W. Oneida Street, Oswego, NY


Presentation on


by the New York Power Authority

and meet

Richard Kessel, NYPA President


More info: Mary Vanouse, Community Development Director at 315-343-3795 or mvanouse _@_ oswegony.org

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.

Wisconsin PSC Great Lakes offshore wind study

Bordering two of the Great Lakes, New York may have interest in this recent study from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission regarding the potential of Great Lakes offshore wind to satisfy Wisconsin’s electricity needs.  The study concludes that

…while off-shore wind projects are technically feasible and represent one potential approach to meeting a portion of the State’s long-term energy needs, the development of such projects in the Great Lakes will require a coordinated effort by state and federal agencies, local government, affected Indian Tribes, and possibly the Wisconsin Legislature. Of the two lakes, Lake Michigan likely offers the greatest opportunities for development of off-shore wind projects and should be the focus of any future efforts by the State. Wisconsin’s waters in Lake Superior are not extensive and a substantial portion is subject to development or use restriction. Should the PSCW decide to continue its investigation of offshore wind development in the Great Lakes, the likely next step would be to collect wind resource, wildlife, and other ecological baseline data at specific lake sites. The off-shore capacity factors will be one of the fundamental economic drivers for these projects and will help to define the risk for the first Wisconsin project. Other possible next steps could include the following:

  • Further investigate and promote research and development on deep water foundations;
  • Initiate discussions with local ship builders, other states and Canada on procuring a construction vessel for the Great Lakes; and
  • Begin working with the Wisconsin Legislature to consider legislative changes that would facilitate the development of off-shore wind on the Great Lakes.

While tapping the vast wind resources on the Great Lakes has the potential to create significant quantities of renewable energy for Wisconsin, further investigation is required before moving forward with a large scale project.

The report is HARNESSING WISCONSIN’S ENERGY RESOURCES: AN INITIAL INVESTIGATION INTO GREAT LAKES WIND DEVELOPMENT, A REPORT TO THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION OF WISCONSIN (DOCKET 5-EI-144). We previously reported on a 2008 study from Buffalo Law regarding Great Lakes offshore potential in New York.