Orange County Looks to Capitalize on New York State’s Investment in Clean Energy

The Orange County Partnership’s Eckert said that the latest solicitations serve as “a critical path item for advancing our clean energy future.”

Orange County Looks to Capitalize on New York State’s Investment in Clean Energy
New York State has a $500-million funding commitment to incentivize offshore wind and supply chain activities in the state.

Talk about a well-timed business trip! Conor Eckert, Senior Development Officer & Vice President of Business Attraction for the Orange County Partnership, while attending the premier offshore wind supply chain conference in New Orleans, learned that New York State was preparing the next phase of its ambitious efforts to incentivize its Offshore Wind Supply Chain operations.

While Eckert was at the Oceantic Network IPF Conference in New Orleans conference (April 22-25) promoting Orange County locations for wind supply chain operations, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that as part of the next phase of the state’s $500-million commitment to offshore wind supply chain activities, a $200-million Supportive Manufacturing and Logistics Request for Proposals (RFP) is open to support investments in infrastructure and manufacturing to grow the domestic offshore wind supply chain in New York.

In addition, state officials announced that a Request for Information (RFI) will be issued to inform the development of New York’s fifth offshore wind project solicitation (NY5) and design of a coordinated $300 million RFP focusing on major component offshore wind supply chain investments.

The Orange County Partnership’s Eckert said that the latest solicitations serve as “a critical path item for advancing our clean energy future.”

“It’s important to note that Orange County, just 60 miles from New York City, has two 30-acre sites on the Hudson River with rail, heavy infrastructure and marine assets, well positioned for offshore wind supply chain manufacturing,” he said. “We stand ready to facilitate all supply chain site selection and economic development opportunities”

Based on industry feedback collected through a Request for Information (RFI) in 2023, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is launching a $200-million competitive supply chain development solicitation seeking proposals for Tier 2 to Tier 4 infrastructure and manufacturing facilities.

Proposers to the supply chain RFP will be required to demonstrate how state funding will leverage significant private investments in supply chain projects and demonstrate that the funds awarded by the state are the final funds needed to develop a project. Proposals are due by 3 p.m. ET on August 13, 2024. Solicitation details and associated documents are available on NYSERDA’s website.

“New York is solidifying its leadership role in the offshore wind industry, building the supply chain right here in the State to build the industry and drive down costs,” Gov. Hochul said. “This commitment and momentum will help us realize a future where clean energy powers our grid, creates long-term jobs, and boosts our economy.”

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “With the issuance of today’s supply chain funding opportunity and requests for input on our next offshore wind solicitations, we continue to demonstrate a steadfast commitment to moving large-scale renewable energy forward on a competitive basis despite macroeconomic headwinds facing the industry. We are undaunted in our efforts to build this industry with a thoughtful, collaborative approach that is responsive to market needs and inclusive of robust stakeholder engagement to ensure a solid foundation for success.”

In addition to administering this new offshore wind supply chain development solicitation, NYSERDA also issued on April 23 a Request for Information to invite industry stakeholders to review and comment on the potential structure of the next Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Certificates (ORECs) solicitation (NY5) and a coordinated $300 million Major Component Supply Chain RFP. Responses are due on May 21, 2024.

NYSERDA also plans to launch the fifth offshore wind solicitation in summer of 2024. Once launched, the NY5 solicitation will run in parallel to a $300-million Major Component Supply Chain solicitation.

NYSERDA anticipates issuing a $300 million Major Component Supply Chain solicitation simultaneously with launching NY5 to allow offshore wind proposers to negotiate the use of localized supply chain components in their bids. The design of the solicitation will be informed by comments received through the RFI and aimed at attracting investments in major offshore wind supply chain components, including major port upgrades to accommodate major offshore wind component manufacturing, state officials said.

In advance of his trip to New Orleans, Eckert in a recent article in the Orange County Partnership’s Resources & Results online newsletter, noted that the offshore wind supply industry was identified as a future growth sector for Orange County.

He noted that there have been offshore wind supply chain manufacturing opportunities for communities with access to the Hudson River. “The offshore wind supply chain is dynamic and robust – consisting of the production of cables, blades, nacelles, and steel components used to produce finished windmills. These projects are often significant capital investments, creating hundreds of good-paying advanced manufacturing jobs – the type of jobs we want to create in Orange County and New York State,” Eckert said.

He added, “At the Orange County Partnership, we’ve identified multiple industrial sites along the Hudson River that can accommodate domestic offshore wind supply chain manufacturing—sites that have the public infrastructure, rail, proximity to highway assets, and importantly—barge access via the Hudson River. Over the past year, we’ve worked on opportunities with some of the largest offshore wind manufacturing companies in the world—it has become abundantly clear that Orange County can play a key role in this emerging sector.”

Recent Setback for Industry

The state did suffer a recent setback in its clean energy program. NYSERDA announced on April 19 that no final agreements could be reached with the three offshore wind projects that received provisional awards in October 2023. Those bids were all linked to major supply chain investments by General Electric and a larger turbine it planned to build that was aimed at boosting the region’s renewable energy portfolio, Politico reported.

“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,” NYSERDA wrote in an announcement.

John Jordan

Editor, Real Estate In-Depth

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