To the editor:
Your Aug. 27 article “Twin Counties may have to help pay for downstate wind turbines” is misleading. In 2016, New York State adopted a “Clean Energy Standard or CES” requiring 50 percent of the state’s electricity generation come from renewable energy sources by 2030. This ambitious and forward-thinking standard is necessary to diversity our sources of electricity, make our electric system more resilient, and reduce harmful air pollutants including greenhouse gases that cause global warming. Electric ratepayers across the state share the cost and benefits of renewable energy, whether its solar in the Twin Counties, wind in the North Country, transmission across the state or cleaner air throughout New York.
In order to help meet the CES 50 percent standard, the Public Service Commission directed the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to secure 800 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind energy over the next two years from projects developed off the Atlantic coast. That enough to power for about 400,000 homes. This makes perfect sense, for downstate and upstate New York. It makes sense downstate, because New York City and Long Island use more than 40 percent of the electricity consumed in the state, and building clean energy closest to the demand centers reduces transmission costs. It makes sense upstate because it relieves the need to upgrade or build new transmission facilities that would bring upstate power downstate.
New York is not alone in its pursuit of offshore wind. States up and down the east coast are aggressively pursuing offshore wind projects. Massachusetts just awarded a contract for 800 MW and Rhode Island and Connecticut just announced winning bids for 400 and 200 MW, respectively. Maryland has awarded offshore wind contracts for 368 MW and New Jersey is preparing to solicit projects for 1,200 MW. Offshore wind is predicted to generate thousands of jobs, millions in tax revenue, billions of economic activity. It is estimated to cost the average ratepayer, upstate and downstate, less than 75 cents per month on their electric bills.
If you agree that meeting Cuomo’s renewable energy target is important to mitigate the life-threatening effects of climate change, as I and most New Yorkers do, then offshore and inland wind projects are essential.
Done right, New York’s offshore wind initiative could lead to upward of $6 billion in economic activity and 13,200 new jobs. These projects will require hundreds of turbines, thousands of component parts and the labor to build and assemble them — for New York and other states. These are jobs that can and should be located in New York, including upstate.
For less than $10 a month, this is a bargain and will benefit all New Yorkers.
Director, New York Offshore Wind Alliance