- Cuomo Administration Signals Strong Interest to Pursue Offshore Wind Power for New York

For Immediate Release: June 3, 2016

Cuomo Administration Signals Strong Interest to Pursue Offshore Wind Power for New York

Albany, NY — Environmental groups are applauding the Cuomo Administration for announcing that New York State will participate in a federal auction to obtain a lease for offshore wind energy development in an area 11 miles off the Rockaways. By signaling their intent to pursue this lease and facilitate the development of an offshore wind project, the Cuomo Administration is showing much-needed innovative leadership to finally launch an offshore wind industry for New York. A large-scale commitment to offshore wind power will be needed to ensure New York becomes a global climate leader by meeting Governor Cuomo’s goal of producing 50% of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030. This action offers a promising opportunity to begin building the large-scale, long-term offshore wind program necessary to unleash the many benefits responsibly developed offshore wind power will bring to New York.

Following are comments from leaders in NY’s environmental community applauding this action:

Kit Kennedy, Energy & Transportation Program Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council said, The vision of a cleaner, renewable energy future for New York is another step closer to reality with word that there will be a federal lease auction for the New York Wind Energy Area and that the State of New York intends to be one of the bidders in order to expedite the process of opening the state’s vast offshore wind market. New York’s commitment to developing responsibly sited offshore wind is yet another commitment to the state’s climate and clean energy leadership. Governor Cuomo’s bold leadership is a vital step in helping the state meet its ‘50 by ’30’ clean energy goals, ensuring cleaner air and lower electricity systems costs for all New Yorkers.

Catherine Bowes, Senior Manager at the National Wildlife Federation said, “New Yorkers have much to celebrate with Governor Cuomo’s announcement that New York State will bring new, bold leadership in pursuit of offshore wind power. With a massive, untapped pollution-free energy source available right off our shores, we have no time to waste. Moving an offshore wind project forward off the Rockaways can be a critical first step in building the large scale, long term offshore wind commitment needed to truly launch offshore wind power for New York. We look forward to working with both state and federal leaders to bring responsibly developed offshore wind power to New York.”

Conor Bambrick, Air and Energy Director for Environmental Advocates of New York said, “Everyone that breathes the air in New York can thank Governor Cuomo for immediately seizing this opportunity to develop offshore wind. This abundant and clean source of power will directly offset the fossil fuel driven pollution that threatens the health and quality of life of the very communities on the front lines of climate change.”

Lisa Dix, Senior New York Representative of the Sierra Club said, “We applaud Governor Cuomo’s announcement that the state will take a step in the right direction to seize the opportunity to move offshore wind forward, further building New York into an economic powerhouse fueled by renewable energy.  Committing to a long term, large scale offshore wind program is an essential next step for the Administration to ensure the state achieves the Governor’s 50 x 30 renewable energy target. Offshore wind has the potential to power millions of homes while creating tens of thousands of new jobs in the state, all while protecting our environment and coastal communities from the worsening impacts of climate disruption.” 

Russ Haven, Legislative Counsel for NYPIRG said, "Everyone agrees that offshore wind at utility scale is essential to New York's renewable energy future. Fortunately New York is blessed with an extensive coastline close to the parts of the state that have the most residents and the greatest need for electric. This is an important step on the path to slashing the state's carbon footprint and meeting our renewable energy goals."

Gordian Raacke, Executive Director for Renewable Energy Long Island said, "NYSERDA's announcement is a clear signal that New York State is serious about harvesting our abundant offshore wind power off the coast of Long Island and building an industry here. With two large offshore wind areas now available, Long Island could soon become the cradle of the nascent U.S. offshore wind industry."

Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director for Citizens Campaign for the Environment said, “Offshore wind is an abundant, clean and sustainable power source that is currently untapped. This long stymied project has been given new life and NYSERDA’s announcement represents a substantial opportunity for New York to take a gigantic step forward in advancing our state’s critical clean energy goals and help fight climate change. Long Islanders know all too well the damaging impacts of intense storms and rising sea levels. Offshore wind must be part of our battle to fight climate change.”

Patrick Robbins, Co-Director of Sane Energy Project said, "It's great to see that NYSERDA is going all in on offshore wind power - we know this is necessary if we're going to have any chance at a stable climate. Offshore wind power can put huge numbers of New Yorkers back to work and help us move away from dirty fossil fuel projects that disproportionately pollute and impact the health of low-income communities and communities of color. With this news, almost all the pieces are in place to jumpstart a major offshore wind industry in New York State. All we need now is for Governor Cuomo to finish the job by making a major, long-term commitment to purchasing offshore wind power through policies like the Clean Energy Standard."

Heather Leibowitz, Director for Environment New York said, "We commend Governor Cuomo and New York energy officials' decision to join in the auction of offshore wind leases off of Long Island.  It’s a critical step forward that makes it much more likely we can meet our environmental challenges and our clean energy goals. We look forward to working with state leaders and other stakeholders in the efforts to capture this immense pollution-free resource and move the Empire State to 100 percent renewable energy.”  

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Media Contacts:

Catherine Bowes, National Wildlife Federation, (802)272-1243, bowes@nwf.org

Max Oppen, Environmental Advocates of New York, (518) 462-5526 x245, moppen@eany.org

Adrienne Esposito, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, (631) 384-1378, aesposito@citizenscampaign.org