New York State regulators have issued a draft generic environmental impact statement for offshore wind development.

“Moving forward to enable offshore wind that is appropriately sited and in careful consideration of environmental impacts is critical to achieving the state’s vital clean energy goals,” Public Service Commission chair John Rhodes said today at a meeting, where commission members voted unanimously to approve the motion.

The GEIS will look at project size and the range of potential sites to be developed as well as other considerations.

The commission will accept comments on the draft through 9 April.

Individual offshore wind projects must still undergo federal environmental impact assessments with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and obtain more than a dozen local, state and federal permits.

The Department of Public Service is also continuing to review various offshore wind funding options submitted by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

NYSERDA proposes to hold two initial annual offshore wind procurement rounds of at least 400MW each in 2018 and 2019, part of the state’s plan to reach 2.4GW by 2030.

The department will meet with industry stakeholders at a technical conference 8 March to discuss potential procurement mechanisms.

Image: New York State proposes to procure 800MW of offshore wind by 2019 (Pixabay)