Looking to the Ocean for Power, And a Problem

September 27, 2018

In recent months, New York State has taken a number of significant steps forward toward the state’s previously announced goal of obtaining 50 percent of New York’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

Perhaps the most important of these recent steps is an order, issued and effective on July 12, 2018, in which the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) established an “Offshore Wind Standard and Framework for Phase I Procurement” (the OSW Order). In the OSW Order, the PSC required the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to solicit (as an initial step) approximately 800 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind renewable energy credits (ORECs). An OREC represents one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity generated from offshore wind resources and consumed by a retail customer in New York State. That initial solicitation is scheduled to be issued in the fourth quarter of 2018 and selected projects will be awarded in the second quarter of 2019. A second solicitation will be issued in 2019, if needed, to achieve the 800 MW objective. The offshore wind industry is projected to be a $6 billion industry, generating 5,000 new jobs, almost half of which will be long-term career opportunities.

Once the initial solicitation and awards take place, New York will be on a clear and inexorable path to reaching its goal of 2,400 MW of new offshore wind generation by 2030. That is enough electricity to power 1.2 million New York households.

Charlotte A. Biblow, a partner in the environmental, land use and municipal law and litigation departments of Farrell Fritz, can be reached at cbiblow@farrellfritz.com.

Reprinted with permission from New York Law Journal, Thursday, September 27, 2018 Vol 260 – No. 62 

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