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NYSERDA Offering $5 Million For Offshore Wind Resource Assessment

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is making up to $5 million available to support meteorological and oceanographic (metocean) data collection off the New York coast in areas with the potential for future offshore wind development.

NYSERDA is issuing a request for proposals (RFP) to collect more detailed metocean information about the wind resources off New York to help secure reliable and bankable data for wind farm developers to reduce uncertainty about site conditions. According to NYSERDA, metocean and other data will also be made available to the public on an ongoing basis to encourage broad usage and to inform further studies to better understand the offshore study area’s wind energy resources and ecosystem.

To jump-start the development of offshore wind resources for New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced in his 2018 State of the State address that in 2018 and 2019, the state will issue two solicitations to secure a combined total of at least 800 MW of offshore wind power. These solicitations represent a first step toward achieving the governor’s goal of 2.4 GW of offshore wind by 2030.

“Access to better meteorological and oceanographic data will enable New York to meet its ambitious offshore wind energy goals while protecting New York’s coastal resources and marine environment,” states Alicia Barton, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “Deploying this metocean data collection technology builds on the more than 20 robust studies the state completed over the past two years in support of the New York Offshore Wind Master Plan and reinforces Governor Cuomo’s steadfast commitment to safeguarding our natural resources for generations to come.”

This project will deploy two buoys equipped with light detection and ranging (LiDAR) system(s), remote sensing equipment that uses pulsed laser light to determine wind speeds at altitude. Each of the buoys will be deployed for approximately two years to measure wind speed and direction at turbine hub height, wave and current measurements, and other environmental data.

NYSERDA will also require successful proposers to coordinate with regional environmental scientists to collect information that could be useful in understanding more about ecosystem function, timing and relative density of wildlife in the area, or ambient underwater noise. This data will inform future environmental impact assessment studies for offshore wind and can be supported by the next generation of floating LiDAR buoys that are being designed to incorporate additional environmental sensors, such as hydrophones to detect marine mammals or bird and bat acoustic detectors. Similarly, the buoy anchors lines could be equipped with instrumentation to collect data on ocean currents, temperature or chlorophyll concentrations at different depths.

Funding will be divided as part of a competitive solicitation; one area of focus is permitting, hardware, deployment, maintenance and decommissioning, and the other area focuses on data analysis, data storage and data presentation.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management recently initiated the area identification process by issuing a call for information and nominations for identifying and leasing additional wind energy areas in the New York Bight. This region represents an area of shallow waters between Long Island (to the north and east) and the New Jersey coast (to the south and west).

More information about the funding is available here. The funding is made available through the state’s Clean Energy Fund.

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