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Calling it "a critical first step," the New York State Department of State (NYSDOS) released a study showing how offshore wind located off its coasts can greatly improve the state's ocean-based economy.

According to the NYSDOS, the results of a 154-page Offshore Atlantic Ocean Study are expected to lay the groundwork for selecting offshore areas where wind development could be most suitable and appropriate.

At 8.5 m/s, the wind resource located off of New York in the Atlantic Ocean is relatively strong. Additionally, the resource is close to load centers, and commercially available technology currently exists to generate and transmit electricity from offshore wind resources to New York’s electric grid.

Taking advantage of this renewable resource could help New York State reduce
its dependency on fossil fuels while meeting a growing energy demand. In addition, offshore wind could bring new economic development opportunities to New York industries involved in the siting, permitting, manufacturing, construction, operations or decommissioning activities necessary to build, maintain and retire an offshore wind energy facility.

"The [study] is a critical first step as New York State seeks to plan for current and future uses of the Atlantic Ocean," says Cesar A. Perales, New York secretary of state. "Our coastal communities rely on a vibrant ocean economy, and this information will help protect existing industries while we explore new economic opportunities, such as the development of offshore wind capabilities."

Drawing from four individual reports created for the NYSDOS to support offshore ocean planning efforts, the information will serve as a foundation for future site assessment and other relevant research activities, reducing the potential for wasted and duplicative research efforts, saving time and money.

The study includes research critical to advancing one of the action items of Governor Cuomo's "New York Energy Highway Blueprint," which outlines recommendations for utilizing public-private partnerships to help transport New York’s aging energy infrastructure into the future.

The study will provide guidance to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management - which regulates ocean waters beyond three miles - to show New York impacts for any proposed leasing of federal waters for siting of offshore wind projects.

The study is also expected to shape the current federal review of the Long Island-New York City Offshore Wind Project lease application, filed in September 2011 by the New York Power Authority on behalf of the Long Island-New York City Offshore Wind Collaborative, which also includes Con Edison and the Long Island Power Authority.

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