On July 21, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the largest combined clean energy solicitation ever issued in the United States, seeking up to 4 GW of renewable capacity. This capacity is broken up into 2500 MW of offshore wind and 1500 MW of onshore large-scale renewable energy projects.
Increasing Renewable Energy Investments in the United States
The United States remains one of the most attractive jurisdictions for renewable energy investments. It is the world’s biggest consumer of electricity and is now increasingly transitioning to renewable energy sources. It is a growing market with a stable regulatory environment and a transparent legal system and access to low cost of capital. The size and diversity of the United States also create numerous opportunities for various types of renewable energy projects.
The United States is ranked first in the EY’s 2020 Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a total of $55.5 billion was spent in the US renewables sector in 2019 alone (setting new investment records), an increase of 28%, second only to China and beating Europe.
Offshore Wind Solicitation
This is New York’s second offshore wind solicitation; last year’s solicitation resulted in awards for projects of nearly 1700 MW in total capacity. The solicitation this year requires offshore wind generators to partner with any of the 11 prequalified New York ports to stage, construct key components, manufacture and coordinate operations and maintenance activities. New York is seeking at least 1000 MW of offshore capacity and will be accepting bids of between 400 MW and 2500 MW. New York will be providing $400 million in private and public funding to upgrade the state’s port infrastructure.
The timeline for the latest round of solicitations includes an online conference for bidders on August 12, 2020, followed by a September 23, 2020, deadline for notices of intent to propose and an October 20, 2020, deadline for the submission of proposals.
See more about the Offshore Wind solicitation here.
Onshore Renewables Solicitation
Governor Cuomo also announced that the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Power Authority of the State of New York (NYPA) will be running a coordinated solicitation to procure over 1500 MW of renewable energy. Projects selected in these solicitations will be fast-tracked to construction by seeking permitting through the new Office of Renewable Energy Siting.
NYSERDA is seeking Tier 1 renewable energy projects with combined generation of 1.6 million MWh annually. Eligible projects must have entered operation after January 1, 2015, and must enter commercial operation by November 30, 2022 (or November 30, 2025 with extensions). NYSERDA will also allow proposers to leverage renewable energy credits (REC) via the Index REC contract structure for the first time.
NYSERDA will open the Step One Eligibility Application on August 5, 2020.
See more about the NYSERDA solicitation here.
NYPA is seeking solar photovoltaic and wind projects (with an option to combine with energy storage) with combined generation of 2 million MWh annually. Eligible projects will be required to interconnect into New York state and have generation capacities of between 20 and 25 MW or 100 MW or larger. NYPA will be purchasing energy, capacity and RECs from the selected projects, which are expected to come online between 2021 and 2024. Winning bidders are expected to be notified in late 2020.
See more about the NYPA solicitation here.
Our global team of more than 50 dedicated renewable energy project finance lawyers is closely monitoring market developments for our clients engaged in the acquisition, development, construction and financing of renewables projects. Our team has extensive experience working with offshore projects in both Europe and the United States and has acted as counsel on a broad range of NYSERDA and NYPA projects and solicitations. For any immediate questions, or to set up a complimentary virtual meeting, we invite you to reach out to the authors of this article.