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Published on March 18th, 2015 | by James Ayre


Offshore Wind Power Roadmap For New York Developed — Key Steps To Reduce Costs Identified

March 18th, 2015 by  

A new report from the University of Delaware’s Special Initiative on Offshore Wind (SIOW) — created for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority — has outlined the key steps necessary for reducing the costs of offshore wind power in New York State over the coming decade, and thereby spurring development.

The costs associated with offshore wind energy in the state could be reduced by as much as 50% during this time period via the combined actions of: specific actions taken by New York State and/or other states, ongoing technological improvements, and continuing industry advances; according to the new study/report.

offshore wind farm sunligh baltic 1

One of the key conclusions of the new report is that support of offshore wind energy development at scale, rather than on a project-by-project basis, would have the greatest effect on costs amongst the economical options.

According to the study, though, there are many other possibilities, including: developing specific infrastructure to help reduce costs; the development and use of innovative financing mechanisms; and the support of “site characterization for early projects to reduce development expenses and risk.”

As the report makes a point of noting, the US is still lacking any significant offshore wind energy capacity — nothing’s been completed to date owing to a lack of operational infrastructure and other issues. If this is to change anytime soon, proactive actions need to be taken.


The report has identified multiple different paths that can be taken for a reduction in costs — with direct actions available to New York State comprising a potential 30% in cost reduction, and technological + industry advances comprising a further 20%.

“Well-designed policies and actions taken by New York, as well as by other states, can play an essential role in helping New York City and other US East Coast population centers benefit from gigawatts of clean energy that could be generated by deploying wind turbines off the Atlantic coast,” stated Stephanie McClellan, Director, SIOW.

“In Europe, advanced offshore wind turbines are already in the water and powering the grid today,” McClellan continued. “The US can take advantage of innovations and cost efficiencies that have already been developed in Germany, Denmark, and elsewhere. The key for US states is to send clear signals to the markets and begin implementing these steps now to help make offshore wind more competitive with other sources of electricity.”

“New York State is laying the groundwork to bring closer the potential of large-scale development of offshore wind and accelerate the cost savings we expect can be achieved through identified actions,” stated John B Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “As cost-reduction within the offshore wind sector occurs, and as we develop approaches whether independently or in collaboration with other states to integrating the value of this renewable resource, offshore wind has the potential to support the State’s energy goals under Governor Cuomo. While offering the promise of a vast renewable energy resource for the state’s most populous region, it will also bring with it economic development, job creation, and a cleaner environment.”

Those interested in reading the full report can find it here.

Image by Zachary Shahan | CleanTechnica (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • Matt

    Want to lower the cost it is simple. You can write off any money you make sell electricity from off-shore wind in first 10 (15?) years of each turbine for total sunk costs. Where sunk cost include cost to studies, manufacture, install, and maintain the farm; including legal fees to defend said farms. Limit it to turbines install before 2030, then ramp it down over ten years. Note that if you produce so much power cost are cover in 5 oh well. It would spin up a large industrial base to support off shore wind. Like for example special purpose ships for installation of really big turbines. True that is small support compare to what has been/is given to nuclear, but it is a good start. In the semi-free market we have, society benefit happens when help along.

    • Jenny Sommer

      Cost can be reduced by a factor of 2-4 by just embracing the Kitegen or Skysails Power technology.

      • Bob_Wallace

        We need some turbines up in the air and generating power for extended periods of time before cost statements can be made.

        • Jenny Sommer

          The turbines stay on the ground 😉
          I very much trust the simulations, they have proven to be dead on accurate in scale models. It would be a problem if not because the whole control depends on the simulations.
          The first full scale Kitegen Stem production plant will be up in the air this year.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Some of the kite/glider designs have flying turbines.

            AFAIK none have been proven by hooking them to the grid for extended periods.

            I’m open to being convinced by data.

  • spec9

    The lack of offshore wind off the US East Coast is shameful. Such great resources out there and it is not being tapped. Get on it!

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