Release: Recommendations for Regional Environmental Research
August 22, 2023
An expert committee of the New York State Offshore Wind Environmental Technical Working Group (E-TWG) has released guidance for conducting regional environmental research and monitoring efforts in relation to offshore wind energy development. These recommendations are intended to support environmental research in the U.S. Atlantic, but have broad applicability to research efforts in all regions of offshore wind development. The guidance was developed with extensive stakeholder feedback. View recommendations.
The Regional Synthesis Workgroup of the Offshore Wind Environmental Technical Working Group (E-TWG) is hosting a public webinar on May 24, 2023 (11 am - 1 pm EDT)
May 24, 2023
This webinar will discuss the draft document “Responsible Practices for Regional Wildlife Monitoring and Research in Relation to Offshore Wind Energy Development.” This document was developed by the Regional Synthesis Workgroup to provide high-level recommendations on how to design, implement, and communicate regional research and monitoring efforts. The Zoom webinar on May 24th will review the contents of the document and request feedback from stakeholders. A public feedback period will open following the webinar. If interested, please register for the webinar using this link: https://cbuilding.zoom.us/j/83073596013
Paper published on the TWGs: "Effective Stakeholder Engagement for Offshore Wind Energy Development: The State of New York's Fisheries and Environmental Technical Working Groups"
April 12, 2023
A new paper has been published on the Fisheries Technical Working Group and Environment Technical Working Group (F-TWG and E-TWG; collectively, “the TWGs”). To advance OSW in a way that is both environmentally and socially responsible as well as cost-effective, New York State developed technical working groups (TWGs) in 2017 focused on critical topics relating to OSW energy development. The TWGs are composed of OSW developers, fishing industry (F-TWG) or environmental nongovernmental organizations (E-TWG), federal agency representatives, and state representatives from Maine to North Carolina. These groups advise the state of New York on OSW issues by emphasizing the use of science and technical expertise to inform decision making. The regional collaboration and communication fostered by the TWGs are essential for building trust among stakeholder groups and working collectively to minimize fisheries and environmental impacts as the OSW industry progresses. Read the paper here.
Across Acoustics Podcast: Save the Fishes! Offshore Wind Farm Noise and Aquatic Life
March 27, 2023
Kate Williams, director of the Center for Research on Offshore Wind and the Environment at Biodiversity Research Institute, and Dr. Arthur Popper, Emeritus Professor from the University of Maryland, were interviewed for the Across Acoustics podcast.
The podcast is based on a paper published in JASA in 2022, which was a revision of the 2020 State of the Science Workgroup report for fishes and aquatic invertebrates. Read the paper here. Listen to the podcast here, or find it available on all podcast platforms.
New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Opens Third Offshore Wind Solicitation of Between 1.2 GW and 4 GW
March 7, 2023
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) voted to open the application window for the State’s third solicitation for offshore wind capacity. The third solicitation seeks to award between 1.2 GW and 4 GW of offshore wind capacity, building on the previously awarded 3.75 GW. The environmental requirements included in the proposal (section 3.10 and attachments 6-8) build from E-TWG recommendations and reports.
Atlantic Offshore Wind Environmental Research Recommendations Database
January 5, 2023
With support from the New York Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the U.S. Department of Energy, the Regional Synthesis Workgroup of the E-TWG has created a database that compiles and synthesizes data gaps and research needs from existing sources relevant to the environmental effects of offshore wind energy development on the U.S. Atlantic Coast. The database allows researchers and funders to easily access, sort, and prioritize research recommendations. View Database.
NYSERDA Great Lakes Wind Energy Feasibility Study
January 4, 2023
NYSERDA filed the New York State Great Lakes Wind Energy Feasibility Study and supporting technical reports, which provide analysis around the role of Great Lakes wind projects in the context of New York State’s renewable energy portfolio and pathways to reach New York’s Climate Act goals, with consideration of existing and emerging technologies for fixed and floating turbines, new technology development, geospatial conditions, resource assessment, regulatory processes, permitting requirements and risks, potential conflicts, costs and economic opportunities, electrical infrastructure, and overall cost-reduction pathways for Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
Upcoming Virtual Session for the State of the Science Workshop 2022
September 5, 2022
The final session of the 2022 State of the Science Workshop on Wildlife and Offshore Wind Energy will take place fully virtually on September 21st, 10:30-12:30 EDT. This session will be held on Zoom and is open to all those who registered for the Workshop. The session includes a series of eight presentations, followed by a panel Q&A discussion including all speakers. Presentations are listed in the agenda, and abstracts can be found in the Book of Abstracts (page 39-46) available here. Attendance does require free virtual workshop registration, which is still open here.
Opportunity for Public Feedback on Wildlife Research Priorities Database
September 5, 2022
The E-TWG regional synthesis workgroup is hosting an open Zoom meeting on September 28th, 2022 (11 am – 12:30 pm EDT) to present the database development process and a beta version of the database for stakeholder input. If you are interested in participating in this discussion, please register for the meeting here. Opportunities for written feedback will also be available following this meeting; additional information will be available shortly on the regional synthesis workgroup webpage. If you are interested in receiving information about these and future opportunities, please sign up for the E-TWG mailing list or contact Julia Gulka.
South Fork Wind and Leading Environmental Organizations Sign Agreement to Further Enhance Protections for North Atlantic Right Whales
June 27, 2022
South Fork Wind, a joint venture offshore wind project developed by Ørsted and Eversource, announced it has signed an agreement with leading environmental organizations to further enhance measures designed to protect the North Atlantic right whale during construction and operations of the offshore wind farm. South Fork Wind will adopt a suite of monitoring measures to help ensure right whales are not in close proximity to the site during construction activities, implement mitigation to reduce noise during piling, and evaluate other new monitoring technologies as part of the agreement. To guard against vessel strikes, the agreement also includes a 10-knot speed limit for all project related vessels unless an effective adaptive speed management plan is in place. Learn more.
Proceedings from the 2020 State of the Science Workshop Available
June 10, 2022
The proceedings from the 2020 State of the Science Workshop are available here. The workshop, hosted by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in November 2020, was a great success, bringing together stakeholders to discuss the state of the knowledge regarding offshore wind development's cumulative effects on populations and ecosystems, followed by workgroup efforts to develop research priorities to improve our understanding of cumulative biological impacts in the next five years. Learn More.
Final Reports from New York Bight Digital Aerial Surveys Available
May 19, 2022
The final reports from an analysis of three years’ worth of aerial digital imagery collected on behalf of NYSERDA between 2016 and 2019 are now publicly available. These reports include data that provide support for the development of offshore wind in the New York Offshore Planning Area and comprises six volumes: a Summary Report; Methods, Results, Limitations, and Discussion; and four volumes of results covering birds, marine mammals, turtles, and sharks and rays. Learn More.
Call for Late-Breaking Poster Abstracts
May 13, 2022
We are now accepting abstracts for posters for the 3rd State of the Science Workshop for Wildlife and Offshore Wind Energy. Due to the high number of fantastic symposia, oral presentations, and poster submissions submitted during the first round of abstract submissions, we have expanded the size of the Workshop and are therefore happy to announce that we are re-opening abstract submissions for posters! The deadline for poster abstract submission is June 13th, 11:59 pm EDT. Learn More.
State of the Science Workshop 2022 Registration now open
April 11, 2022
Registration for the State of the Science on Wildlife and Offshore Wind Energy 2022 Building on the Existing Knowledge and Emerging Collaborations is open until June 13. Registration for in-person meeting attendance is $95 ($25 for students) and includes attendance and lunches both days of the workshop, as well as the evening poster session. Virtual attendance is free, though please note that we are currently anticipating that few if any workshop events will be livestreamed. As such, remote participation will primarily provide access to recordings of workshop presentations after they have been completed.
Webinar Library Update
April 1, 2022
Last year NYSERDA developed an archive of free, publicly available webinars for stakeholders interested in issues relating to offshore wind and the environment. We have recently published a substantial update to the webinar library to include recent relevant webinars and to add a new feature that allows you to filter webinars by topic, webinar series, and year to increase usability. Learn More.
2022 State of the Science Workshop on Wildlife and Offshore Wind Energy to be held July 26-28, 2022 in Tarrytown, New York
January 13, 2022
On behalf of the E-TWG, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is pleased to bring you the next State of the Science Workshop on Wildlife and Offshore Wind Energy Building on the Existing Knowledge and Emerging Collaborations. The workshop will be held on July 26-28, 2022 in Tarrytown, New York. The third State of the Science Workshop will offer opportunities across a multi-day program to share and discuss research in all areas involving wildlife and offshore wind energy development. To enable broad participation, this meeting will have options for both virtual and in-person meeting components. Learn More.
NYSERDA announces Request for Proposals for Acoustic and Oceanographic Surveys to Support Offshore Wind Development in the New York Bight
December 8, 2021
One of the most pressing data needs, for conducting required environmental reviews and reducing risk to both development and wildlife, is contemporary baseline data on environmental variables and species’ presence or absence in proposed development areas. NYSERDA seeks to select contractors to undertake passive acoustic monitoring and autonomous surface or underwater vehicle surveys of the New York Bight Proposed Commercial Lease areas. Both survey methods will provide data on the presence and movement of marine mammals in the New York Bight, as well as oceanographic data that can help understand wildlife presence and Cold Pool operation. Learn More.
NYSERDA Stakeholder Engagement Guiding Principles
October 21, 2021
Stakeholder input is a critical component for the responsible development of renewable energy resources for New York State. The newly developed Stakeholder Engagement Guiding Principles are intended to support developers as they design their Stakeholder Engagement Plans, which, similar to existing Environmental and Fisheries Mitigation Plans, will be required in future NYSERDA solicitations for Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Certificates. Learn More.
State of the Science Workgroup Reports Available
August 27, 2021
Following plenary presentations in November of 2020 for the State of the Science Workshop on Wildlife and Offshore Wind focused on the cumulative impacts to wildlife from offshore wind energy development, seven workgroups met over the winter to identify short-term research priorities for understanding offshore wind’s cumulative impacts on sea turtles, marine mammals, fishes, invertebrates, birds, bats, and oceanographic processes in the eastern United States. More than 200 people contributed their expertise to these discussions. The final reports from these efforts are now finalized and available to download.
The New York Bight Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) Data Synthesis Workshop (WCS, 2021)
May 27, 2021
In October 2020, The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), with support from NYSERDA, held a workshop that brought together local, state, and regional research and government organizations to explore opportunities for coordinated and optimal PAM research priorities for the New York Bight (NYB) and mid-Atlantic region, with a focus on marine mammals. The discussions focused on: 1) outlining and establishing commonalities in current NYB PAM data resources and identifying opportunities for collaboration and data synthesis; 2) exploring the importance of data collection and analysis standardization across projects; and 3) identifying PAM research priorities and opportunities to collaborate moving forward, both within the NYB, as well as across the Mid-Atlantic region.
State of the Science Culmination Webinar
May 26, 2021
Following plenary presentations for the State of the Science Workshop on Wildlife and Offshore Wind Energy 2020: Cumulative Impacts in November 2020, seven workgroups were formed to identify research priorities for understanding offshore wind's cumulative impacts on sea turtles, marine mammals, fishes and aquatic invertebrates, benthos, birds, bats, and oceanographic processes in the eastern United States. A final webinar in May 2021 brought together the leads from the seven workgroups to present the groups' recommendations and discuss common themes. Draft reports from workgroups and a recording of the culmination webinar are now available. Learn more.
Department of the Interior targets 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030 and announces New York Wind Energy Areas
March 29, 2021
The Department of the Interior is working with agencies across the federal government to advance the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of increasing renewable energy development. Today they announced a target to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, creating nearly 80,000 jobs. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management have also identified final Wind Energy Areas (WEA) in the New York Bight. The agency will now initiate an environmental review, with public input, on these areas in federal waters for potential offshore wind leasing. Additionally, the Department is initiating the environmental review of the third commercial scale offshore wind project by announcing a Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Ocean Wind, LLC’s proposed project offshore New Jersey. The Department previously announced environmental reviews for Vineyard Wind and South Fork and anticipates initiating the environmental reviews for up to ten additional projects later this year. Learn more.
Offshore Wind Projects Selected under New York's Phase 2 Procurement
January 13, 2021
In his 2021 State of the State address, Former Governor Cuomo announced the selection of two offshore wind projects, Empire Wind 2 and Beacon Wind (Equinor Wind US LLC) as part of New York's Phase 2 procurement. Combined, these offshore wind projects will yield a combined 2,490 MW of clean energy, representing the largest procurement of renewable energy by a state in U.S. history. These projects will play a large role in New York reaching its goal of 70 percent renewable energy by 2030. Learn more.
The State of the Science Offshore Wind and Wildlife Updates
December 1, 2020
The 2020 State of the Science Workshop was held virtually from November 16-20, 2020. This workshop brought together over 450 stakeholders from 21 states and 20 countries engaged with environmental and wildlife research relevant to offshore wind energy development for information exchange on assessing the state of the knowledge regarding offshore wind development's cumulative effects on populations and ecosystems. Through late 2020 and early 2021, workshop attendees, with the guidance of technical leads, will participate in virtual work groups to identify key research priorities for the next 3-5 years to improve our understanding of cumulative biological impacts as the offshore wind industry develops in the U.S. Efforts will culminate in a final webinar in the Spring of 2021 to report the outcomes of the work group efforts. Learn more.
New York's second offshore wind solicitation announced
July 21, 2020
Former Governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, announced New York's second offshore wind solicitation, which seeks at least 1,000 and up to 2,500 megawatts of renewable energy. The solicitation includes Environmental and Fisheries Mitigation Plans with new requirements to mitigate potential impacts from noise, vessel strikes, and lighting, as well as a provision for financial and technical support to regional monitoring of wildlife and key commercial fish stocks through a minimum contribution of $10,000 per megawatt. Learn more.
2020 State of the Science Workshop is going virtual
June 18, 2020
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) along with our workshop organizers have made the decision to hold the State of the Science Workshop on Wildlife and Offshore Wind Energy 2020 entirely virtually in response to COVID-19. Plenary presentations and Q&A panel discussions will occur throughout the week of November 16-20 with smaller taxon-specific working meetings in late 2020 and early 2021, along with a final group webinar in the Spring of 2021. Learn more.
2020 State of the Science Workshop rescheduled
March 18, 2020
To ensure the safety of our staff and participants and in accordance with the state’s directives around large gatherings, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) along with our workshop organizers are rescheduling the State of the Science Workshop on Wildlife and Offshore Wind Energy 2020 to November 16-20, 2020. Learn more.
2018 State of the Science Workshop proceedings are now available
March 17, 2020
The proceedings for the first State of the Science on Wildlife and Offshore Wind Energy Development Workshop are now available here. The workshop was hosted by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) on November 13-14, 2018 and was a great success, bringing together stakeholders engaged with environmental and wildlife research relevant to offshore wind energy development, and promoting coordination and collaboration in efforts along the eastern seaboard from Massachusetts to North Carolina. Learn more.
NYSERDA files a petition to initiate a regulatory proceeding seeking Commission authorization to issue a 2020 offshore wind solicitation
January 29, 2020
Based on the terms of the Public Service Commission's July 2018 Order Establishing Offshore Wind Standard and Framework for Phase 1 Procurement, NYSERDA filed a petition to initiate a regulatory proceeding seeking Commission authorization to issue a 2020 offshore wind solicitation. The petition addresses Former Governor Cuomo's announcement in his 2020 State of the State Address, that in 2020, NYSERDA should issue its second solicitation for offshore wind facilities to yield at least an additional 1,000 megawatts of clean power. Learn more.
Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection announces selection of 804 MW Offshore Wind Project
December 5, 2019
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Katie Dykes announced the selection of Vineyard Wind's 804 megawatt Park City Wind Project. The bid was selected through a competitive request for proposals. The project will provide the equivalent of 14% of the state's electricity supply and represents the largest renewable energy purchase in Connecticut's history. This represents a major step toward Governor Lamont's goal of a 100% zero-carbon electricity supply by 2040. Learn more
NYSERDA Finalizes Contracts for Empire Wind and Sunrise Wind Projects Under the First New York Offshore Wind Procurement
October 23, 2019
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) finalized contracts with Equinor Wind US LLC for its 816 megawatt Empire Wind Project and Sunrise Wind LLC (a joint venture of Ørsted A/S and Eversource Energy) for its 880 megawatt Sunrise Wind Project. Concurrently, NYSERDA submitted a report to New York State Department of Public Service detailing the success of the first large-scale offshore wind solicitation for New York. The report highlights the unprecedented level of competition, the cost effectiveness of projects, an innovative contracting structure, the inclusion of environmental, fishing and ocean use priorities, and the health impact benefits among other topics. Learn more
New NYSERDA Multi-year Projects Announced
August 8, 2019
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has selected five multi-year projects totaling more than $2 million dollars to study important environmental and commercial fishing topics related to offshore wind energy development. Topics include developing solutions to ensure access to fishing grounds, the inclusion of fishermen’s knowledge in decision-making, understanding linkages between forage fish and marine predator behavior and distributions, modeling oceanographic dynamics in the New York Bight, and developing guidelines for nanotag transmitters to monitor birds and bats in relation to offshore wind energy development. These projects will help advance New York’s ambitious renewable energy goals. Learn more
Former Governor Cuomo Executes the Nation's Largest Offshore Wind Agreement and Signs Climate Leadership and Community Protection
July 18, 2019
Former Governor Cuomo executed the nation's largest offshore wind agreement and the single largest renewable energy procurement by any state in U.S. history - nearly 1,700 megawatts -with the selection of two offshore wind projects, Empire Wind (Equinor US Holdings) and Sunrise Wind (Bay State Wind LLC). Former Governor Cuomo also signed the Climate Leadership Community Protection Act (CLCPA), clean energy legislation that requires carbon free electricity by 2040 and an 85% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels by 2050, as part of New York's effort to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy.
Connecticut DEEP issues Draft Request for Proposals and Opportunity for Public Comment for Offshore Wind Procurement
July 1, 2019
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) on July 1 issued a draft request for proposals (RFP) to procure up to 2 GW of offshore wind capacity. For more details see the CT DEEP procurement website.
BOEM Announces Renewable Energy Path Forward on the Atlantic
June 11, 2019
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) sought input on the Proposed Path Forward for Future Offshore Renewable Energy Leasing on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf through a Request for Feedback (RFF) that published in the Federal Register on April 6, 2018. Comments and feedback on the proposed path forward can be found on regulations.gov.
Massachusetts Announces Second 800 MW Offshore Wind Solicitation
May 23, 2019
The Massachusetts Electric Distribution companies, in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, are issuing an RFP for Long-term Contracts for Offshore Wind Energy Projects pursuant to Section 83C of Chapter 169 of the Acts of 2008, as amended by chapter 188 of the Acts of 2016, An Act to Promote Energy Diversity. Learn more
Vineyard Wind Launches Search for Acoustic Monitoring Systems to Help Safeguard Critically Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales
May 21, 2019
Vineyard Wind announced that it is seeking proposals from universities, technology companies and other innovators for implementation of advanced Passive Acoustic Monitoring Systems (PAMS) to be deployed alongside transit routes to the offshore wind area located off the coast of Massachusetts.
Agreement Signed to Protect North Atlantic Right Whales
January 23, 2019
The Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Conservation Law Foundation signed an agreement to help protect the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. The agreement for Vineyard’s 84-turbine project off of Massachusetts ensures that turbine construction will be curtailed in the winter and early spring, when right whales may be in the area and that the presence of whales near the site will be closely monitored and construction noise will be limited.
Photo credits: Big brown bat © Michael Durham