New York plan calls for 2.4 gigawatts offshore wind power

A plan released by New York state officials calls for a first stage of 800 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind to grow three-fold by 2030, with the potential for $6 billion in investment and 5,000 new jobs.

The 60-page master plan by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) identifies more than one million acres off New York and New Jersey as the “area for consideration” for future arrays of hundreds of turbines.

Two major blocks of ocean outlined in the report are in the middle of the New York Bight, that right-angle corner of the U.S. East Coast that has some of its busiest shipping lanes and fishing areas — along with myriad other uses, from undersea telecom cables to sand and gravel mining and beach tourism.

New York State officials outline more than 1 million acres as the "area for consideration" to build up to 2.4 gigawatts of wind farm capacity. NYSERDA image.

New York State officials outline more than one million acres as the “area for consideration” to build up to 2.4 gigawatts of wind farm capacity. NYSERDA image.

The report asserts that wind energy can be effectively and safely added to the mix, based on 20 studies commissioned by New York.

As a ground rule, state officials set a minimum distance of 20 miles for the area for consideration to makes sure “for the vast majority of the time, turbines would have no discernable or visible impact for a casual viewer on the shore,” the report noted. The prospect of seeing wind turbines looming in the distance was a deal killer for earlier proposals off Long Island’s seaside resort communities.

The area outlined in the study “presents, on balance, the fewest overall conflicts with ocean users, natural resources, infrastructure, and wildlife.” The NYSERDA paper promises “the state has launched a comprehensive planning process to minimize the negative impacts of offshore wind development in a concerted effort to protect our treasured marine environment and critically important activates like fishing, boating, and shipping that buoy our regional economy.”

Cuomo has committed $15 million to NYSERDA for workforce training in the offshore wind industry, and to develop port infrastructure. The agency is working with Empire State Development and other state agencies to pick out the most promising investments. One state study group has predicted the industry could grow to 2,000 jobs in operations and maintenance, 2,700 jobs in manufacturing, and 350 jobs in project management and development.

NYSERDA’s planning process has won support environmental groups that oppose the Trump administration’s recent moves to open the outer continental shelf to more oil and gas exploration. But the state’s offshore wind push is generating fierce opposition from commercial fishermen, who are already pushing back against the Deepwater Wind South Fork Wind Farm plan for 15 turbines producing 90 MW off southern New England.

Fishing advocates question the effects of pile driving, cable plowing and electrical fields on marine life and habitat. In a press statement after the state report was released, Bonnie Brady of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association brought up the fishermen’s objection that offshore wind developments are driven more by the financial opportunity of renewable energy credit pricing and government tax credits than need for new power.

“Through eminent domain, they are taking away historic fishing grounds and now they are destroying it in the name of green energy,” said Brady. “The only green here is about making money.”

The NYSERDA paper discusses those funding options in some detail – and how the state plans to address concerns of the fishing and maritime industries.

State officials will set up a maritime technical working group including representatives from the Coast Guard, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the port’s Harbor Operations and Safety Committee, and other commercial and recreational boating interests. That group and a similar collective representing the fishing industry will help develop and implement best management practices to avoid or minimize impacts and user conflicts, the report says.

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About the author

Kirk Moore

Associate Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been a field editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for almost 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.


  1. Pingback: The US Added Wind Power at a Leisurely Pace in 2017 | Hagen Ruff of Chava Wind

  2. Gee, the southern portion of the area New York wants to install offshore wind turbines sure looks off New Jersey to me. Who gave New York permission to develop that territory?

    Further, what state’s rate payers are going to get stuck paying the enormous costs of power that comes from offshore wind sites? No politician ever discusses that. Natural gas powered generators sell power at about $0.10 to $.12 per Kwh. Offshore wind costs more than triple that. Exactly how is offshore wind adding to the economy of the United States at those rates considering we have enough natural gas to be able to export it to other countries?

  3. We in the USA are decades behind the European Union, but the above comment is typical of the naysayers whomhave hobbled alternative energy for the last 40 years. They always talk about the cost, well the cost of NOT doing anything will be the possibility Of extinction. The no one wins and all, the money inthe world will not help.
    On the positive side as every one knows in the GOM that these structures will provide artificial reefs which will crease the fisheries.
    Let the nay Sayers keep saying it, but there are more positives than negatives.

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  5. Pingback: New York plan calls for 2.4 gigawatts offshore wind power | Hagen Ruff of Chava Wind

  6. After all these years of just talking about this project, I am very happy to hear that significant headway is being made to make it come to fruition. Besides the temporary job creation derived from the construction phase of the project, it will be an added bonus that many long-term high paying jobs with benefits will be brought to the maritime industry in our area.

  7. Pingback: NY Releases Master Plan to Grow Offshore Wind Power | Hagen Ruff of Chava Wind

  8. Pingback: NYS offshore wind energy plan envisions $6 billion industry by 2028 | Hagen Ruff of Chava Wind

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