Originally published by Paul Gerke of Renewable Energy World.

In a tremendous blow to the offshore wind industry and an even heftier one to New York’s renewable energy goals, NYSERDA has announced the conclusion of its third offshore wind solicitation without granting final awards to any projects.

On October 24, 2023, NYSERDA provisionally awarded three offshore wind projects, subject to the successful conclusion of contract negotiations. These provisionally awarded projects, totaling more than 4 GW of clean energy, were supposed to begin commercial operation around 2030. They were:

Attentive Energy One: A 1,404 MW project developed by TotalEnergies, Rise Light & Power, and Corio Generation intended to benefit historically marginalized communities by retiring 1960’s fossil generation in New York City and reusing its physical and electrical infrastructure to cost-effectively deliver offshore wind power. Attentive Energy One was supposed to advance a community-driven initiative to repurpose the Ravenswood Generating Station into a clean energy hub.

Community Offshore Wind: A 1,314 MW venture developed by RWE Offshore Renewables and National Grid Ventures located 64 miles offshore that was supposed to deliver $3.3B in economic benefits and power more than 500,000 homes.

Excelsior Wind: A 1,314 MW Vineyard Offshore undertaking 24 miles off Long Island intending to generate enough power for 700,000 homes. The project could’ve avoided 1.1 million tons of carbon pollution annually, equivalent to taking nearly 225,000 cars off the road.

NYSERDA also provisionally awarded a $300 million chunk of New York State grant funding to GE Vernova and LM Wind Power for nacelle and blade manufacturing in New York’s Capital Region, which was associated with the provisionally awarded projects. These funds will be made available through a future competitive solicitation to continue the development of the offshore wind supply chain in New York.

“Subsequent to the provisional award announcement, material modifications to projects bid into New York’s third offshore wind solicitation caused technical and commercial complexities between provisional awardees and their partners, resulting in the provisionally awarded parties’ inability to come to terms,” reads NYSERDA’s release.

“Of note, GE Vernova’s offshore wind turbine product pivot away from the initially proposed 18 MW Haliade-X turbine platform to a 15.5/16.5 MW platform caused material changes to projects proposed into ORECRFP22-1. Given these developments, no final awards will be made, ORECRFP22-1 has been concluded, and NYSERDA will look to advance a future competitive solicitation.

“NYSERDA remains committed to advancing New York’s offshore wind industry in pursuit of the State’s Climate Act goals and pursuing next steps in alignment with Governor Hochul’s 10-Point Action Plan. These next steps will be announced in the near future,” concludes the statement from the NYSERDA Offshore Wind Team.

2023 was a record year for wind power; the world installed 117 gigawatts of new wind capacity in 2023, a 50% increase from the year before, making it the best year for new wind projects on record, according to the latest Global Wind Report.

However, the offshore wind industry has been grappling with uncertainties recently; multiple PPAs have ended and developers and utilities have backed out of some projects.

Rhode Island Energy recently pulled out of its PPA with Ørsted and Eversource for the Revolution Wind 2 offshore project — citing higher interest rates, increased expense, and questionable federal tax credits, concluding that the project had become uneconomical.

In July 2023, Avangrid agreed to pay $48 million to pull out of a PPA with Eversource Energy, National Grid and Unitil for another offshore wind project, the 1,223 MW Commonwealth Wind located 20 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. Rhode Island Energy, meanwhile, terminated its PPA with Ørsted and Eversource for the offshore wind farm Revolution Wind 2.

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