New York State expects construction of offshore wind farms will generate $6bn in workforce and infrastructure investment, according to an Offshore Wind Master Plan released today. 

The plan outlines a pathway to building out 2.4GW by 2030, part of the state’s strategy to reach a 50% clean energy standard.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said: "While the federal government continues to turn its back on protecting natural resources and plots to open up our coastline to drilling, New York is doubling down on our commitment to renewable energy and the industries of tomorrow.”

The state says total demand for New York workers could peak at nearly 5,000 jobs in 2028 while the manufacture, installation and staging of components from local ports will provide knock-on economic impacts. 

Total annual health benefits of the 2030 offshore wind scenario are valued between $73m and $165m.

The government developed the plan after conducting 20 environmental, social, economic, regulatory and infrastructure studies and extensive public outreach and engagement. 

As a first step, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority plans to solicit at least 400MW this year and another 400MW in 2019.

The agency assessed a range of procurement options including long-term fixed contracts, offshore renewable energy credits and allowing a utility to buy and own the offshore wind farms after construction by developers. 

NYSERDA also said that jointly procuring the generating and transmission assets from a single bidder presents “the most easily-implementable and feasible option” for the initial solicitations. 

Officials today filed an ‘options paper’ to the New York Public Service Commission, who will gather public input before finalizing procurement details and dates. 

The agency expects the first call this year will attract bids from existing offshore wind lease areas in the region while the pool could widen for the second tranche, NYSERDA special advisor Greg Matzat said at a recent industry event. 

“We hope the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will be able to identify additional areas for our 2019 solicitation,” said Matzat. 

The federal agency plans to issue a Proposed Sale Notice early this year for two sites off Massachusetts with a competitive sale expected near the end of September, BOEM Office of Renewable Energy Programs chief Jim Bennett told reNEWS. 

The agency also anticipates launching a Call for Information and Nomination later this year for areas within the New York Bight.

“The earliest BOEM will be able to complete its renewable energy leasing process and all associated reviews, stakeholder engagement, consultations, and hold a (New York Bight) auction would be late 2019,” said Bennett. 

Image: New York to launch first 400MW offshore wind call in 2018 (Free Photos)