Business, Environment, & Energy Groups Call on Gov Cuomo to Seize Clean Energy Opportunity
Environment New York Research & Policy Center
New York State can create jobs while powering our homes and businesses with local, clean energy, but only if Governor Cuomo takes the right steps now, according to a new report released today by national and state business, environment, and energy groups. The Turning Point for Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy: Time for Action to Create Jobs, Reduce Pollution, Protect Wildlife & Secure America’s Energy Future details the economic and environmental benefits of offshore wind energy, potential obstacles to progress, and a prosperous path forward.
“America’s Atlantic coast has some of the best offshore wind energy resources in the world, the technology to harvest it is ready right now, and we have workers ready to do the job,” said Catherine Bowes, the National Wildlife Federation’s senior manager for new energy solutions and lead author of the report. “We need to take advantage of this golden opportunity to make our electricity supply cleaner, more wildlife-friendly, and more secure.”
“The New York Building Congress is committed to advocating for an adequate supply of clean, cost-effective, and reliable power to support the continued growth of the New York City economy,” said Richard T. Anderson, New York Building Congress President. “Offshore wind can help the City achieve this goal as a realistic clean energy option, and an important untapped opportunity for the region’s construction and manufacturing industries.”
“The report provides a sound and comprehensive analysis of offshore U.S. wind energy markets, challenges, and recommendations to advance this important component in the nation’s overall energy strategy,” said Kevin Corbett, Vice President, AECOM. “More importantly, the report comes at a critical time as policymakers seek to expand the use of safe, environmentally friendly, reliable, and efficient energy sources to help meet the nation’s growing demand.”
“With progress short-circuited in Washington, New York has an unprecedented opportunity to lead the nation in clean energy,” said Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “Offshore wind energy will not only help clean the air, it will create the kind of 21st century jobs that New York State desperately needs. For the sake of our economy and environment, we urge Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Skelos, and Speaker Silver to support offshore wind energy in New York.”
Among the highlights of the report:
Offshore wind energy will be an economic powerhouse for New York. Harnessing 52 gigawatts of Atlantic offshore wind energy – just 4 percent of the estimated generation potential of this massive resource – could generate $200 billion in economic activity, create 300,000 jobs, and sustain power for about 14 million homes. The Great Lakes and New York State’s Atlantic Coast have a combined 157 megawatts of offshore wind potential, enough to generate electricity for all of New York’s homes.
New York is closer than ever to bringing offshore wind energy ashore. Steady progress has been made over the last few years to make offshore wind energy a reality for New York, thanks the active engagement of key public and private stakeholders. Several energy developers are planning projects off New York’s coast, and it is estimated that turbines placed off the coast of New York City could generate 10 percent of the cities’ electricity from offshore wind in the next 10 years.
Despite this progress, leadership is urgently needed to ensure offshore wind energy becomes a reality in New York:
The New York Power Authority (NYPA) and the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) must issue a request for proposals from wind developers for the Long Island–New York City Offshore Wind Project as soon as possible. This project is proposed for 350 megawatts of generation, with the ability to expand to 700 megawatts, giving it the potential to be the largest offshore wind project in the country. A 350 megawatt wind facility would displace about 540,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually, equivalent to removing 120,000 cars from local roads.
In response to its request for proposals from electricity suppliers, LIPA must establish a power purchase agreement with an offshore wind project closest to operation. LIPA is currently soliciting proposals to purchase 1,000 to 2,500 megawatts of new and/or repowered electricity from energy firms – a substantial opportunity to integrate local, clean offshore wind energy into New York’s energy mix.
“Installing wind turbines in the Atlantic Ocean can lead to a resurgence in New York’s port and related industries, help New York develop a sustainable economy for tomorrow, and create thousands of jobs in the next few years,” said David VanLuven, Executive Director of Environment New York. “This should be one of New York’s top energy priorities.”
“Environmental, business, public health, and labor groups know the benefits of offshore wind: cleaner air, a stronger economy, and more jobs,” said Gordian Raacke, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Long Island. “This report makes it clear there is no time to waste investing in this abundant and locally available energy source.”
“Europe has been harnessing wind off its coast for more than two decades,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “It’s time for New York to catch up. Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, New York has the opportunity to put this proven technology to work for the economic and environmental benefit of the Empire State. More time lost hurts New York and our nation.”
“Offshore wind is ready for deployment, but the industry needs a clear signal that New York is committed to supporting this technology and investing in an advanced energy economy,” said Carol E. Murphy, Executive Director of Alliance for Clean Energy New York. “We strongly encourage our state’s leaders and policymakers to heed the recommendations of this report and ensure New York doesn’t miss out on an important opportunity to expand its clean energy portfolio.”
“Deploying offshore wind is key – not only to reducing the pollution that is fouling our air and devastating our climate, but also to developing the renewable energy future needed to create a vibrant and sustainable economy,” said Ross Gould, Environmental Advocates of New York’s Air & Energy Program Director. “Governor Cuomo must take decisive action now to make New York a leader in offshore wind.”
“Offshore wind energy can generate explosive job growth, not just by putting up turbines but also loading ships, developing cutting edge technologies – the ripple effect goes right up the supply chain,” said Sail Van Nostrand, Chairman of Long Island Solar Energy Industries Association. “We can preserve the outdoor traditions that have made our coastal communities special while strengthening our economy, energy security, and environment for future generations.”
“On Long Island, we’re fortunate to live near the Ocean and the Sound, which is great for days at the beach and for developing clean, renewable energy for our homes and businesses, said Peter Gollon, Energy Chair for the Long Island Sierra Club. “Offshore wind is already a proven technology in Europe, and now New York could be the first state to bring this clean, safe, and reliable energy source to the U.S. It’s time for New York’s leaders to invest in offshore wind here and build a healthy, clean energy future for our kids.”
“Wind energy holds the promise of providing truly clean, dependable energy, while creating jobs right here in the U.S.,” said Bob DiBenedetto, President/Executive Director of HealthyPlanet. “It is one of the fastest growing forms of energy production, and when properly sited, has very little downside. On the other hand, we all pay the price for dirty fossil fuels. Most of that cost is, however, not reflected in our utility bills, but in the form of increased healthcare costs, water and air pollution, economic and geopolitical instability, and via the heavy burden of climate change to be borne by this and all future generations. Utility-scale wind power is affordable and the technology is available today. It’s a win-win for all!”
The Turning Point for Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy: Time for Action to Create Jobs, Reduce Pollution, Protect Wildlife & Secure America’s Energy Future is available online at www.nwf.org/offshorewind. The report was released by Alliance for Clean Energy New York, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Environment America, Environment New York, Environmental Advocates of New York, HealthyPlanet, Long Island Solar Energy Industries Association, National Wildlife Federation, New York Building Congress, New York League of Conservation Voters, New York Public Interest Research Group, Renewable Energy Long Island, and Sierra Club.