Carbon Trust supports New York's offshore wind ambitions

Building on experience gained over a decade working in the European market, the Carbon Trust has generated guidance for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) on how to deploy cost effective wind resource measurement technology to generate bankable data to improve project financing of future offshore wind developments. The Metocean Plan aims to support developers and financiers with the deployment of floating Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) solutions, a proven technology which delivers cost savings of up to  90 per cent compared to traditional fixed met masts. 

Offshore wind development in New York has a lot of potential. In the 2017 State of the State, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo proposed an unprecedented commitment: to develop up to 2.4 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, enough to power 1.25 million homes. NYSERDA is the lead agency coordinating offshore wind development on behalf of New York State, which will support the ambitious Clean Energy Standard to meet 50 per cent of New York's electricity needs with renewable sources by 2030. In support of the Governor’s proposal, NYSERDA continues to work closely with coastal communities and the fishing and maritime industries to identify offshore wind sites to be included in New York State’s Offshore Wind Master Plan.

Data gathered through a number of validation trials carried out through the Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) programme and subsequently a number of commercial wind resource assessments, has helped to increase confidence in the use of floating LiDAR and supported the commercialisation of a range of devices and increased acceptance of floating LiDAR technology.  The OWA has been at the forefront of accelerating the acceptance of floating LiDAR in Europe, and in this project the Carbon Trust was able to transfer learnings from Europe to support the development of the new market in the US.

Recommendations detailed in the plan cover all aspects of deployment including project management set up and operations and maintenance of the devices themselves. Site specific elements such as New York permitting requirements and the current lack of offshore met masts to validate a floating LiDAR in New York waters are also considered. The plan draws on recent publications from the OWA, including the OWA Floating LiDAR Recommended Practice. NYSERDA also sought pubic feedback on the plan to ensure the final plan reflected views of wider stakeholders.

The New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has made a clear commitment to develop offshore wind in New York state, which presents a huge opportunity for the US to benefit from knowledge gained over the past couple of decades in the European market. Floating LiDAR is one of the cost reduction success stories in Europe and sharing knowledge on this type of innovation will be essential to drive costs down and accelerate the deployment of offshore wind in New York and other US states.

- Michael Stephenson, Project Manager for Wakes and Wind Research in the Carbon Trust's Offshore Wind Accelerator

The Metocean Plan is available for any prospective developers, research bodies or other organisations to use when installing floating LiDARs in New York waters.