New York State Launches Process to Upgrade Port Infrastructure to Support Expanding Offshore Wind Industry

 October 2, 2019 - The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority  (NYSERDA), Empire State Development (ESD), and the New York Department of Transportation (DOT) today announced the issuance of a Request for Qualifications seeking proposals for pre-qualification from port operators and market participants who are interested in upgrading and investing in New York ports to support the state’s burgeoning offshore wind industry.

The state’s ports are expected to unlock billions in long-term local economic develop potential and will be serving as a hub for the broader northeast region’s offshore wind industry. Today’s announcement advances Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s nation-leading Green New Deal goal to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035.

This RFQL is the first step in a two-phase process through which New York seeks to pre-qualify proposers and then competitively select proposals for public-private investment opportunities in port infrastructure. Only those proposers who are pre-qualified under this RFQL will be eligible to participate in a subsequent competitive solicitation for up to $200 million to be issued in 2020.

To be eligible, proposers must identify at least one port facility and describe the current level of site control or ability to obtain site control and will be evaluated based on the demonstrated value and viability of the project. Additionally, a webinar will be held on October 11, 2019 to provide prospective port operators an opportunity to clarify their understanding of any aspect of this solicitation.

Improved port infrastructure is an integral part of the offshore wind supply chain, serving as the link between land-based manufacturing, pre-assembly activities, and the offshore projects themselves. The offshore wind goals of both New York State and the broader northeast region now exceed 20,000 megawatts and are expected to create $70 billion in capital expenditure revenue opportunities for businesses in the U.S.  

The up to $200 million commitment made by Governor Cuomo represents the nation’s largest infrastructure investment in offshore wind and is a critical piece in realizing the potential long-term economic benefits to New York from the regional development of offshore wind. Today’s announcement builds on the selection of New York’s first two offshore wind projects – Empire Wind and Sunrise Wind – totaling nearly 1,700 megawatts, which will create enough energy to power over 1 million homes and representing the single large renewable energy procurement by any state in U.S. history.

Combined, the projects will create more than 1,600 jobs and result in $3.2 billion in economic activity including major investments to upgrade existing New York ports in downstate New York and up the Hudson River to the Capital Region. 

“Specialized port facilities are essential to the success of the fledgling offshore wind industry in the U.S.,” said New York Offshore Wind Alliance (NYOWA) Director Joe Martens. “NYOWA and its member organizations applaud New York State for initiating a process that will lead to strategic port investments and infrastructure improvements that will maximize in-state jobs and economic development and make New York the offshore wind capital of the U.S.”

Source: North American Clean Energy

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