The New York Power Authority has shared key learnings from a study of European offshore wind transmission models that will help guide the state of New York as it moves towards its 9-GW offshore wind goal
The aim of the report is to inform regional and national offshore wind development. The report, commissioned by New York Power Authority (NYPA) and its New York State energy partners, identified healthy competition and scaling up generation and transmission assets as key to building New York’s offshore wind capacity and meeting the state’s renewable energy goals.
The study’s release follows Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 18 July 2019 announcement of the Empire Wind and Sunrise Wind development projects selected in New York’s first comprehensive wind solicitation. Together they total 1.7 GW of offshore wind power.
“Offshore wind is an important renewable energy source that will help New York State achieve Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading clean energy goals,” said NYPA president and chief executive Gil Quiniones.
“We see great value in studying what European countries have learned about transmission and interconnection infrastructure. We can now apply those learnings to build cost-effective projects that benefit all New Yorkers and our key partners and stakeholders while advancing the Governor’s aggressive climate goals.”
The Governor’s clean energy agenda recognises the integral role of offshore wind to fulfil his mandate to decarbonise the energy sector by 2040 and have 70% of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2030. As of today, New York has awarded approximately 4.7 GW of large-scale renewable energy contracts since March 2018 through three separate solicitations, a globally significant advancement in renewable energy.
Takeaways from the Offshore Wind – A European Perspective report will help move the state even further along in its goals including the 70% renewable power by 2030 goal and its target for reducing energy-related greenhouse gas emissions by 85% from 1990 levels by 2050.
The study closely examined transmission and grid interconnection strategies, as well as development and electricity rate structures in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark, which enabled each country to reduce costs over time. Many successful approaches to developing an offshore wind system were identified. A series of key takeaways were highlighted to help guide the evolution of the offshore wind industry in the US as it continues to quickly evolve.
Key learnings from the report include that planning for scale and encouraging healthy competition have been key to the growth of offshore wind in the four countries studied and that transparent, long-term, onshore and offshore grid planning removes barriers to entry, improves co-ordination and lowers costs.
Other important learnings include that, in Europe, cross-border co-ordination has helped countries leverage planned transmission infrastructure, provide resource flexibility and take advantage of economies of scale, and that long-term grid planning for both onshore and offshore, co-ordination and performance incentive alignment are important so that parties are incentivised to finish projects in a timely manner.