20 State Senators Sign Letter Supporting Offshore Wind

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016
Albany – Today, State Senators Liz Krueger and Brad Hoylman released a letter to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Audrey Zibelman, Chair of the New York State Public Service Commission, calling for the inclusion of an offshore wind tier in the forthcoming Clean Energy Standard. The letter was signed by 20 State Senators. Full text can be read below or viewed here.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) recently published a white paper outlining the Governor’s new Clean Energy Standard (CES), which mandates that the state source 50% of its energy from renewables by 2030. In response, Senators Krueger and Hoylman and their Senate colleagues thanked the Governor for developing a bold clean energy mandate, and urged him to include a separate offshore wind tier in the CES to jumpstart large-scale offshore wind production to meet the 50 by 30 goals. Their letter has also been submitted to the PSC’s official public comment docket for the Clean Energy Standard.

“The Governor’s commitment to creating an enforceable Clean Energy Standard gives New York a strong claim to being the national leader on climate,” said Senator Krueger. “But to meet our ambitious 50 by 30 goals, offshore wind must be a significant component of our energy mix. Offshore wind is a win-win for our state, with the potential to stabilize our energy prices, clean our air, and create thousands of jobs, all while putting us on track to avert climate catastrophe. I urge Governor Cuomo and the PSC to go all in for our climate future, and include an offshore wind tier in the Clean Energy Standard.”

“The Clean Energy Standard is a bold step forward in the transformation of New York’s energy infrastructure,” said Senator Hoylman. “As we confront the growing threat of climate change, however, we need to ensure we’re utilizing all the renewable energy resources at our disposal. Large-scale offshore wind, with the potential to power more than 11 million homes and create thousands of well-paying jobs, will be essential in achieving CES’ goal of 50% renewable energy production by 2030. I’m grateful to Governor Cuomo and PSC Chair Zibelman for this groundbreaking initiative and look forward to working with them and my colleagues in the legislature to build a cleaner, stronger and more sustainable future for New York.”

In the letter, the senators argue that harnessing New York’s abundant offshore wind resources — some of the strongest and most reliable in the world — is critical to meeting the state’s climate and clean energy goals, and a dedicated offshore wind tier in the CES would create the certainly and longevity needed to get the industry off the ground and up to scale. A recent report by the University of Delaware, commissioned by NYSERDA, found that a strong commitment to a phased-in series of offshore wind developments is the single most important action New York State can take to achieve significant cost reductions in over time. In addition to helping meet the 50 by 30 goals, offshore wind would also have tremendous economic benefits, with the potential to power millions of homes and create thousands of jobs, while stabilizing electricity rates and reducing airborne pollution.

“A comprehensive offshore wind program is essential to building a strong, clean-energy economy, and to meeting carbon reduction goals so that New York remains a responsible, conscientious player in tackling climate change,” said Senator Todd Kaminsky.  “I commend Governor Cuomo and Chair Zibelman for their ambitious plan, and encourage the adoption of an offshore wind tier to ensure a cleaner and more prosperous New York for future generations.”

“Enhancing New York State’s efforts to better utilize off-shore wind power is crucial to addressing climate change and moving us forward towards a clean, green, renewable energy economy,” said Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., a member of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee. “One of the reasons I so strenuously opposed the now-vetoed Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas Facility, which posed a serious environmental and public safety threat to the Rockaway Peninsula, is that it would have interfered with a highly promising offshore wind project now being pursued by the New York Power Authority, Long Island Power Authority, and Consolidated Edison in the same area.”

“New York should be leading the way on clean energy investment. We need to be creative in finding win-win ways to increase wind, solar and other clean energy,” said Senator Daniel Squadron. “I thank Senators Krueger and Hoylman for their work on this issue.”

“Establishing New York State as a leader in renewable energy means resolutely committing to the new Clean Energy Standard and including offshore wind in that commitment,” said Senator Jesse Hamilton. “That’s why I join with colleagues in focusing on a separate offshore wind tier in the Clean Energy Standard. New York has the capacity to lead and reap the benefits – environmental benefits, sustainability benefits, and benefits to our state’s economy. I urge Governor Cuomo and NYS Public Service Commission Chair Zibelman to take on board the analysis presented here. Together, we can advance the cause of sustainability for all New Yorkers.”

“The use of fossil fuels and non-renewables is so deeply bedded in our power production capabilities, it will take much more than commitments and single-source renewables to supplement and ultimately replace their use,” said Senator Martin Malavé Dilan. “Every resource must be considered for its viability and longterm power-production value. Wind meets both of these requirements with the added benefit of spurring local investment in terms of good paying manufacturing and service jobs. Offshore wind generation should be given great consideration as part of any Clean Energy Standard in New York.”

“Including an offshore wind tier in the Clean Energy Standard is critical to ensuring that our State meets its ambitious goal of sourcing 50 percent of its electric power from renewable energy sources by the year 2030,” said Senator Gustavo Rivera. “This proposal would not only boost our economy and thousands of New York families, but will help us to better face the imminent challenges caused by climate change.”

###

Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor
The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Audrey Zibelman
Chair
New York State Public Service Commission
Empire State Plaza
Agency Building 3
Albany, NY 12223

RE: PSC Case No. 15-E-0302 – Proceeding on Motion of the Commission to Implement a Large-Scale Renewable Program and a Clean Energy Standard.

Dear Governor Cuomo and Chair Zibelman:

Thank you for moving forward with your bold new Clean Energy Standard (CES), mandating that New York source 50% of its electric energy from renewable sources by 2030.  An enforceable CES—requiring utilities to purchase increasing amounts of power from renewable energy sources each year—represents a critical step forward in tackling climate change and building a 21st century clean energy economy in the Empire State.  To ensure the CES lives up to its fullest potential, we request the inclusion of a separate offshore wind tier in the CES.

Developing a long-term, large-scale, megawatt-certain offshore wind program is essential to meeting New York’s targets of cutting carbon 40% by 2030 and sourcing half of the state’s electric energy from renewables by the same year. Offshore wind has tremendous potential to deliver utility-scale, locally-sourced renewable power to New York families and businesses. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the wind energy off of New York’s coastline alone could generate 40,000 MW— enough to power more than 11 million homes—and NYSERDA has projected that offshore wind could meet 13% of New York’s total energy demand by 2030. Because offshore wind generation peaks during times of peak demand, it provides clean, safe and reliable energy when it’s needed most and helps avoid the price volatility of fossil fuels.

A large-scale offshore wind program would also be a boon for New York’s economy, jumpstarting an industry that is poised to create tens of thousands of new, family-wage jobs across the state and across a variety of sectors. In Europe, the offshore wind industry already employs more than 75,000 people and generates over 11,000 MW of electricity.  A long-term, large-scale program with specific targets would provide the certainty and longevity necessary to get offshore wind to scale.

Harnessing the immense potential of offshore wind power is necessary to achieve New York’s ambitious renewable energy and carbon reduction targets, and requires the leadership of both the Governor and the Public Service Commission. Please add an offshore wind tier to the CES, and help make 2016 the breakout year for offshore wind in New York. For the sake of our climate, our economy, and New York’s working families, it’s time to move forward this year with a comprehensive offshore wind program.

Sincerely,

Liz Krueger
Brad Hoylman
Todd Kaminsky
Timothy M. Kennedy
Ruth Hassell-Thompson
Martin Malavé Dilan
Jose Peralta
Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.
José M. Serrano
Bill Perkins
Velmanette Montgomery
Gustavo Rivera
Jesse Hamilton
Toby Ann Stavisky
Daniel Squadron
Kevin S. Parker
George Latimer
Roxanne J. Persuad
James Sanders, Jr.
Adriano Espaillat