States along the East Coast are competing for offshore wind supply-chain investment and jobs, with New York and New Jersey both taking steps to come out on top.

In October, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) finalized contracts for its first two offshore wind projects, which are part of the ambitious clean energy plan the state adopted this summer. The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) requires that 70 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewables by 2030, and requires 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040.

Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act

With the enactment of the CLPA, New York is again a leader in green energy policy. Below are several key aspects of the law:

  • The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) must adopt regulations to achieve an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, with an interim mandate of 40% reduction in emissions by 2030 (both relative to 1990 levels). 
  • The law mandates that at least 70 percent of New York's electricity come from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar by 2030, and that the state's power system is 100% carbon neutral by 2040. 
  • The law also codifies the state’s commitment to install 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035; 6,000 megawatts of distributed solar by 2025; and 3,000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030.
  • The newly-created Climate Action Council, co-chaired by the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA) and DEC, will establish sector-specific working groups to make sure experts and stakeholders inform all policies developed under the CLCPA. Planned working groups include a just transition working group, as well as working groups on transportation, agriculture, energy-intensive and trade-exposed industries, land use and energy efficiency.
  • Relevant state agencies will invest 35 percent of clean energy program resources to benefit disadvantaged communities and will aim to invest 40 percent. The just transition working group will work to ensure that individuals working in conventional energy industries are provided with training and opportunities in the growing clean energy economy.

New York’s Offshore Wind Projects

In connection with signing the CLCPA, New York has entered into agreements to build two offshore wind farms for a combined total of 1700 megawatts of clean energy. The Sunrise Wind project will be located in an offshore area 30 miles East of Long Island. It will be developed by Orsted and Eversource, providing 880 megawatts feeding Long Island. The Empire Wind project will be located 14 miles Southeast of Manhattan and will be developed by Equinor, a Norwegian company. It will develop 816 megawatts and feed New York City.

New York also plans to invest $287 million to construct manufacturing, service and port facilities in several areas of New York, including in Port Jefferson, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Capital region. The port upgrades will begin in 2020. Construction of the onshore facilities will begin in 2022. Offshore construction will begin in late 2022 and the projects will be completed by 2024.

Going forward, the green economies of both New York and New Jersey are poised for growth. Scarinci Hollenbeck’s Renewable Energy and Green Initiatives Practice Group can provide businesses with the broad range of legal services needed to succeed in this ever-evolving industry.

If you have questions, please contact us

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss the matter further, please contact me, Dan McKillop, or the Scarinci Hollenbeck attorney with whom you work, at 201-806-3364.