Spurred by New York’s target to meet 45% of its electricity needs through renewable resources by 2015, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) last week issued a call for proposals to develop offshore wind projects of up to 120 MW in New York State waters of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

NYPA’s request for expressions of interest (RFEI) to initiate efforts to develop offshore wind projects in the Great Lakes will be followed by a request for proposals (RFP) to examine technical issues related to the viability of such projects before the end of the month.

The $1 billion initiative, called the “Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project,” seeks to gather a wide range of environmental, economic development, technical, financial, and other information for the possible installation of wind power projects by one or more private wind power developers.

It will be supported by wind power proponents, including National Grid, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, state and local environmental organizations, wind power developers, and the University of Buffalo.

The power is expected to be sold to state-owned NYPA for resale to upstate customers.

NYPA intends to hold public and community forums to gather input as the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project initiative proceeds. In parallel with the RFEI process, NYPA will study, through the RFP on technical issues, the best locations for the Great Lakes offshore wind projects. The studies will review the wind resource, impacts on birds, visibility, vessel traffic, and lake bottom conditions. The results of these studies will be included in the RFP.

The deadline for receipt of RFEI proposals is June 15, 2009.

Source: NYPA