We, the undersigned elected officials, support the responsible development of offshore wind for New York to create jobs, lead America’s clean energy economy, and protect our state from the worst impacts of the climate emergency.
Superstorm Sandy highlighted New York’s vulnerability to the climate emergency and the urgency for rapid deployment of renewable energy. The storm’s destruction cost our region 159 lives and $75 billion. Without immediate action, much of New York’s coastline will be lost under a projected 8 feet of sea level rise by the end of the century, along with the homes and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. According to the Regional Plan Association, sea level rise in the New York Metropolitan Region will threaten 285,000 homes valued at $164 billion by 2100.
To achieve a carbon-free power grid by 2040, New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act(CLCPA) set a nation-leading offshore wind mandate of 9,000 megawatts by 2035, enough to power 30% of New York State’s electricity needs or 6 million homes. New York currently has five offshore wind projects in active development, which is the largest planned offshore wind deployment in the nation, totaling more than 4,300 megawatts (MW) and representing nearly half of our state’s 9,000 MW mandate.
Offshore wind development will be a major economic driver for New York State, creating thousands of good-paying sustainable jobs, and billions in economic investment in port facilities that support the offshore wind industry, from Long Island to Albany and host of other supply chain businesses.
From the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, New York State is uniquely positioned to benefit from offshore wind energy development. The Atlantic Seaboard has the potential to produce more than four times our current energy demand, and almost double the projected demand in 2050. New York’s strong, consistent offshore wind coupled with a wide, shallow continental shelf is perfectly suited for offshore wind deployment using existing technology.
New York is a member of the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Energy Consortium, which supports the efficient and responsible review of proposed offshore wind energy projects in the Great Lakes. Offshore wind potential in the Great Lakes is more than 700 gigawatts, representing one-fifth of America’s total offshore wind potential.
The Biden Administration has signaled through its recent actions that the federal government is a partner to the states in scaling up offshore wind development, which is essential for New York to reach its CLCPA mandate. Governor Cuomo and governors of nine Northeast states have committed to work with President Biden to accelerate offshore wind development.
Support for offshore wind development is growing rapidly. Businesses, community groups, environmental justice organizations, labor unions, and environmental groups all want to see offshore wind developed responsibly to help grow jobs and better health outcomes. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) conducted 20 studies and engaged with stakeholders and the public to create the offshore wind Master Plan to determine the most responsible and cost-effective pathways for developing offshore wind energy.
To ensure the economic benefits of offshore wind are shared equitably, in accordance with the CLCPA, frontline communities must be included in the manufacturing, development, and generation of offshore wind power. The law requires 35% of benefits accrue to underserved communities.
New York can lead our nation in developing America’s offshore wind power, which has the potential to meet 90% of total U.S. energy demand by 2050. We’re at the vanguard of a new clean, renewable energy industry that will generate thousands of jobs, create prosperity for our communities, improve our health, and help protect our coastlines. Offshore wind is essential for a prosperous, healthy, and just future for New York.
Members, EOPA-New York