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.

NYSDEC encourages “Climate Smart” communities

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) announced that it formally encourages municipalities to consider climate change, green house gas emissions, “green collar” workforce development issues and other related issues in its zoning and land use and other decision making processes.

From NYSDEC:

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis today encouraged local governments to join in the fight against global warming by adopting a new Climate Smart Communities Pledge.

The Climate Smart Communities Pledge outlines a voluntary 10-point plan for reducing a community’s greenhouse gas emissions. By following the plan, communities large and small can play a key role in fighting global climate change. The Commissioner also announced the availability of the Climate Smart Communities Guide, which provides the tools to help communities meet the pledge.

“Global warming is the issue of our time. It’s a problem that demands the attention and the action of every government body, every business and every citizen,” Commissioner Grannis said. “Local communities can do their part by adopting timely strategies to decrease energy use and waste, increase recycling and supporting a green economy. By doing so, they can reduce greenhouse gas emissions – and save taxpayers’ dollars.”

Because many communities lack the technical resources to identify cost-effective emission-reduction measures, New York State also is offering the Climate Smart Communities Guide, which will provide a variety of planning steps and actions local governments can take to fight global warming. DEC is developing the guide along with the Department of State (DOS), the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) and the New York Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

The “Climate Smart” Community Pledge is here.

The Guide is here.