- Governor Kathy Hochul: State of the State Address 2022
On January 4th, Governor Kathy Hochul delivered her State of the State Address where she announced that New York will make a nation-leading $500 million investment in offshore wind ports, manufacturing, and supply chain to be integrated within NYSERDA’s 2022 solicitation.
Shortly after, the Governor announced the finalization of contracts between NYSERDA and Empire Wind Offshore LLC and Beacon Wind LLC, each a 50-50 partnership between Equinor and bp, for the Empire Wind 2 and Beacon Wind offshore wind projects, representing a key milestone in the advancement of offshore wind development in New York State.
For more information on the State of the State Address and the Governor’s recent announcements regarding offshore wind development in New York, see her webpage.
- BOEM Announces Final Sale Notice for the New York Bight
BOEM has announced that it will hold a wind auction on February 23rd for six lease areas in the New York Bight, totaling more than 480,000 acres, the largest single-event auction thus far. This will be the first auction under the Biden-Harris administration and collectively New York and New Jersey have set the nation’s largest regional offshore wind target of installing over 16 GW of offshore wind by 2035.
Leases offered in this sale could result in 5.6 to 7 gigawatts of offshore wind energy, enough to power nearly 2 million homes. For more information, see the announcement or visit the New York Bight Page on the BOEM website.
- Northern NYB Port Access Route Study
The United States Coast Guard has published the Northern New York Bight Port Access Route Study (NNYBPARS). The study was conducted to evaluate the adequacy of existing vessel routing measures and determine whether additional vessel routing measures are necessary for port approaches to New York and New Jersey and international and domestic transit areas in the First Coast Guard District’s area of responsibility. To accomplish this goal, the First Coast Guard District has undertaken measures to determine whether existing or additional routing measures are necessary to improve navigation safety due to factors such as planned or potential offshore development, current port capabilities and planned improvements, increased vessel traffic, existing and potential anchorage areas, changing vessel traffic patterns, effects of weather, or navigational difficulty. The effort of conducting the NNYBPARS began in June of 2020 and was published January of 2022.
To view the report, see the Federal Register.
- BOEM completes Environmental Review of Offshore Wind Energy Leasing Activities in the New York
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has completed its environmental review of potential impacts from offshore wind energy leasing activities in the New York Bight. The final Environmental Assessment (EA) assessed potential impacts from the issuance of leases within nearly 800,000 acres of wind energy areas in the New York Bight. Based on the analysis in the EA, BOEM has issued a finding of no significant impact. For more information, see the BOEM website.
- Massachusetts to Purchase Power from Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind
The Massachusetts Governor’s Office has announced that it will buy 1,200 megawatts of offshore wind power from Vineyard Wind and 400 megawatts of offshore wind power from Mayflower Wind. The Vineyard Wind Project will generate 800 MW of energy, consist of 60 turbines, and will be located 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Mayflower Wind will generate roughly 800 MW.
For more information, see here.
- BOEM Fishing Industry Communication and Outreach
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is working with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and affected coastal states to develop guidance to be used in developing plans and environmental reviews for reducing or avoiding impacts from offshore wind projects on commercial and recreational fisheries and fishing. They are taking public comments and hosting public meetings, including:
- 12/1 – 10am ET – East Coast Workshop on Clams and Scallops (Bottom Gear)
- 12/2 – 10am EST – East Coast Workshop on Mobile Gear/Mixed Trawl/Pelagic
- 12/6 – 10am EST – East Coast Workshop on Fixed Gear
- 12/7 – 10am EST – Recreational Fishing Workshop
- 12/13 – 10am PST – West Coast Workshop
- 12/14 – 10am EST – Developers Workshop
- 12/15 – 10am CST – Gulf of Mexico Workshop
To learn more about this initiative and sign-up for meetings, see the program website.
- Regional State Letter to BOEM Regarding Fisheries Compensation
A group of regional state partners has submitted a letter to BOEM with regard to fisheries compensation efforts to encourage the development and advancement of a fair, equitable, and transparent process. These states include Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia. The States have identified topics for continued discussion with BOEM regarding its development of an efficient and effective compensatory fisheries mitigation framework. The States believe that these foundational topics require full consideration and discussion with BOEM, NOAA, and other federal agencies, as well as the fishing industry and offshore wind developers, in order to develop mutual understanding and agreement on a mitigation framework that will provide equity and certainty for affected fishing communities, state and federal agencies, and the offshore wind industry.
To access the letter, see here.
- Mayflower Wind Granted NOI
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Mayflower Wind Energy project. The Mayflower Wind Construction and Operations Plan is also available on the BOEM website.
The publication in the Federal Register opened a 30-day comment, or scoping, period during which the public may identify information that the EIS should consider.
Three virtual public meetings will be held during the scoping period at the following dates and times (Eastern):
- Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 5:00 pm EST
- Monday, November 15, 2021, 1:00 pm EST
- Thursday, November 18, 2021, 5:00 pm EST
To register for these public scoping meetings, please see the registration website.
- American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting
The American Fisheries Society (ASF) is hosting their annual meeting on November 6-10 in Baltimore, Maryland. This meeting has a symposium on the “Interactions Between Offshore Wind, Fisheries, and Fisheries Resources” which will examine the potential interactions of offshore wind on the Northeast U.S. shelf ecosystem, considering ecological, socio-economic, and fisheries management dimensions.
The first part of this 2-part symposium will report the findings from the Synthesis of the Science, a collaborative effort led by the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA), the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Responsible Offshore Science Alliance (ROSA). The second part of the Symposium will focus on original research related to offshore wind and fisheries interactions.
- Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Granted Notice of Intent
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind projects.
The NOI initiates a 30-day public comment period that ends at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on November 1, 2021. During the public comment period, BOEM will be hosting three virtual scoping meetings where you can learn more about project, ask questions, and provide oral testimony.
The virtual scoping meetings will be held on:
• Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at 5:00 PM ET
• Thursday, October 21, 2021 at 1:00 PM ET
• Monday, October 25, 2021 at 5:00 PM ET
Registrations to the meetings and access to the meeting agendas is available here.
- Final Report for the RUCOOL 2021 Partners in Science Workshop
The Rutgers University Center for Ocean Observing Leadership (RUCOOL) and Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) have issued the final report for the 2021 Partners in Science Workshop, which was hosted virtually on January 28, 2021. This workshop, Identifying Ecological Metrics and Sampling Strategies for Baseline Monitoring During Offshore Wind Development, included both a pre-workshop participant survey and “world café” format workshop discussions.
The survey and workshop aimed to gather community input to define the parameters required to quantify baseline ecological variability that will enable the evaluation of potential impacts from offshore wind development. The report details results from the pre-workshop survey, presentations from several workshop participants, and the multiple breakout sessions held during this half-day workshop.
- BOEM Extends Comment Period on Environmental Assessment for Proposed Wind Energy Leasing Offshore New York and New Jersey
- Sunrise Wind Scoping Meetings
BOEM is taking public comment on a Notice of Intent (NOI) to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Sunrise Wind project offshore New York. The updated September 3rd NOI, the August 31st NOI, and the Construction and Operations Plan (COP) are all available on the BOEM website.
During the public comment period, BOEM is asking for information that will help define issues and sources of information that should be considered in the EIS. BOEM is hosting three virtual scoping meetings where participants can learn more about the COP, ask questions, and provide oral testimony. The virtual meetings will occur on:
- Thursday, September 16, 2021; 5:30 p.m.
- Monday, September 20, 2021; 1:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, September 22, 2021; 5:30 p.m.
Meeting agendas and registration are available on the Sunrise Wind Scoping Meeting website.
- NJ DEP Offshore Wind Research Priorities Survey
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is seeking resource experts to take part in their offshore wind research priorities survey. New Jersey’s 2020 solicitation for offshore wind requires developers to commit $10K/MW to fund environmental and fisheries research. Responses should be submitted no later than 9/17/21 for consideration.
To access the questionnaire, visit the survey website.
- Port Access Route Studies Update & Map Data Webinar
Members of the public are invited to join a Port Access Route Studies Update & Map Data webinar on Sept. 14, at 10 a.m. In this special edition of the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal’s “How Tuesday” webinar series, presented in partnership with the Coast Guard and the Northeast Ocean Data Council, Coast Guard personnel will present information on findings, public comment opportunities and next steps for the PARS. In addition, demonstrations will be provided for publicly available tools and map data that can be used to explore the studies and their proposed routing measures in further depth. To register for this webinar, see the event website.
- E-TWG State of the Science Workgroup Final Reports
The final State of the Science workgroup reports are available on the NYSERDA Environmental Technical Working Group website.
Following plenary presentations in November of 2020 on the cumulative impacts to wildlife from offshore wind energy development, seven workgroups met over the winter to identify short-term research priorities for understanding offshore wind’s cumulative impacts on sea turtles, marine mammals, fishes, invertebrates, birds, bats, and oceanographic processes in the eastern United States. More than 200 people contributed their expertise to these discussions.
- Orsted Submits Skipjack 2 for Maryland Bid
- BOEM Publishes NOI for CVOWC Project
On July 1st, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Commercial Virginia Offshore Wind Commercial Project. The Notice of Intent initiates a 30-day public comment period that ends on August 2, 2021. During the public comment period, BOEM is hosting three public scoping meetings where participants may learn about the Project, ask questions, and share testimonies.
The virtual scoping meetings will be held on:
- Monday, July 12, 2021, 5:00 pm EST
- Wednesday, July 14, 2021, 1:00 pm EST
- Tuesday, July 20, 5:00 pm EST
For more information on the public comment period or attending a scoping meeting, see the BOEM website.
- Atlantic Shores and Ocean Wind 2 selected by New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities
New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities has selected both Atlantic Shores and Ørsted’s Ocean Wind 2 projects in its latest 2.7GW offshore wind solicitation. Both projects will use EEW foundation manufacturing facilities that will be constructed in Paulsboro, NJ and will invest $3.5 billion in the state.
- BOEM Publishes NOI for Vineyard Wind South Project
On June 30th, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement for the Vineyard Wind South Offshore Wind Project. A 30-day comment period is in effect June 30th through July 30th with three public scoping meetings.
The virtual scoping meetings will be held on:
- Monday, July 19, 2021
5:30 PM ET
- Friday, July 23, 2021
1:00 PM ET
- Monday, July 26, 2021
5:30 PM ET
For more information on attending the scoping meetings, see the BOEM website.
- Monday, July 19, 2021
- NYSERDA Learning from the Experts: Digital Aerial Surveys to Inform Offshore Wind Development
On June 9th, NYSERDA held a virtual webinar on digital aerial survey technology. In this webinar, Julia Robinson Willmott with Normandeau Associates described the technology behind digital aerial surveys and how they can inform offshore wind development. Julia works to design, test, and deploy innovative technology systems for remote monitoring of wildlife, and she has over 30 years of experience in 23 different countries assessing both offshore and onshore ecological impacts of anthropogenic and natural stressors on birds and other taxa.
This webinar was part of the Learning from the Experts series hosted by NYSERDA’s Offshore Wind Team and featuring experts in key offshore wind topics, including wind farm technologies, development practices, regulatory processes, and research initiatives. More information on this webinar as well as available materials can be found on the NYSERDA website.
- Empire Wind Receives a NOI from BOEM
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced that the Empire Wind Project will undergo an environmental review for their Construction and Operations Plan (COP). If approved, Empire Wind would be permitted to construct and operate two wind energy facilities consisting of up to 174 turbines offshore New York and New Jersey, thereby generating over 2,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity.
The publication of the NOI opens a 30-day public comment period to help BOEM define the scope of the EIS. Public input obtained during the comment period will be used to inform the preparation of the EIS. The public comment period for the proposed project extends through 11:59 p.m. EST on July 19, 2021.
BOEM’s virtual scoping meetings on Empire Wind will be held at the following dates and times (EST):
- Wednesday, June 30, 2021; 5 p.m.
- Thursday, July 8, 2021; 5 p.m.
- Tuesday, July 13, 2021; 1 p.m.
Registration for the virtual public meetings may be completed here: https://www.boem.gov/Empire-Wind-Scoping-Virtual-Meetings
- Proposed Sale Notice for 8 Leases within the New York Bight
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has issued a Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) for eight leases within the New York Bight. The PSN contains information pertaining to the areas available for leasing, certain provisions and conditions of the leases, auction details, lease forms, criteria for evaluating competing bids, award procedures, appeal procedures, and lease execution. The announcement opens a 60-day comment period where BOEM will host virtual meetings to share updates on BOEM’s renewable energy leasing process, provide an overview on how the proposed lease areas were chosen and discuss new lease stipulations that BOEM is considering in the proposed New York Bight auction. More information can be found on the announcement website.
- NYSERDA Publishes Offshore Wind Submarine Cabling Overview
NYSERDA has published the Offshore Wind Submarine Cabling Overview document following over a year of drafting and review with the F-TWG. The document provides an overview of offshore wind submarine power cable types, installation and burial methods, and operations and maintenance. This document also summarizes potential impacts cables might have on the commercial fishing industry, as well as how commercial fishing practices might impact cables, and potential measures to avoid, minimize, or mitigate these impacts, including site assessment, risk assessment, project planning and design, and proper cable installation and burial methods. Although this report doesn’t suggest an optimal cable burial depth for future projects, it does serve as a comprehensive summary on the cable planning and burial process.
- BOEM releases NOI to prepare an EIS on the Revolution Wind Project
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has released a notice of intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Revolution Wind Project. If approved by BOEM, Revolution Wind is permitted to construct and operate an 880-megawatt (MW) wind energy facility offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The publication of the NOI opens a 30-day public comment period.
Three public scoping webinars have been scheduled to allow the general public to learn more about the Project and to provide an opportunity for input. The three webinars are scheduled:
- Thursday, May 13, 5:30 p.m.
- Tuesday, May 18, 5:30 p.m.
- Thursday, May 20, 1:00 p.m.
Registration and more information on the Project can be found on the BOEM webpage.
- Ørsted and Eversource to develop foundation parts factory in Rhode Island
Joint venture partners Ørsted and Eversource are establishing a manufacturing facility for offshore wind foundation components at ProvPort in Rhode Island, United States. The new 228-foot long facility will be used for advanced fabrication and assembly of foundation platforms for the companies’ offshore wind projects in Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York. More information on the facility as well as details on their Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council can be found here.
- Fairways North and South withdrawn from 2021 New York Bight Lease
BOEM withdrew two New York Bight wind energy areas from consideration for 2021 leasing, citing potential conflicts with maritime traffic, fishing, and views from Long Island. The State of New York requests wind farms to be at least 18 miles from shore, and the Fairways are only 15 miles from shore. There are still eight wind energy areas up for leasing in the 2021 bid process within the New York Bight.
- NMFS Recommendations for Mapping Essential Fish Habitats
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has published recommendations to BOEM on mapping Essential Fish Habitats to refine developer’s benthic surveys and data collection. The recommendations include additional information for each step in the mapping process, includes details on sampling frequency, and incorporates recommendations for mapping inshore habitats, such as submerged aquatic vegetation.
- ROSA Issues Request for Proposal for Fisheries Resource Data Project
The Responsible Offshore Science Alliance (ROSA) requests proposals from qualified contractors to develop a report with recommendations for standardizing and sharing fisheries resource data. The report will aim to support better understanding of the impacts of offshore wind development on ecosystems. More information on the project and directions to apply can be found on the ROSA website. The deadline for proposals is May 11th, 2021.
- BOEM NY Bight Task Force Meeting
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will be hosting an upcoming virtual meeting of the Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force for the New York Bight on April 14 & 16, 2021.
The meeting will focus on the following topics:
- Introducing the New York Bight Wind Energy Areas and Environmental Assessment
- Providing an overview of and seeking in-depth feedback on the Proposed Sale Notice and related auction format
- Updating the Task Force on recent state activities
Registration and more information on this upcoming meeting can be found on their website.