New York Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Study

Special Initiative on Offshore Wind
Stephanie McClellan

A new study, conducted by the University of Delaware's Special Initiative on Offshore Wind for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, offers a roadmap of key strategic steps New York State can take to reduce costs of offshore wind power over the next decade. The study finds that ongoing technology and industry advances combined with actions New York could take, independently or with other states, could lower costs for offshore wind power as much as 50 percent and bring the clean-energy source closer to realizing its potential for "delivering utility-scale renewable electric generation" to New York City and nearby areas such as Long Island.  

A primary conclusion from the report is that supporting offshore wind development at scale, rather than on a project-by-project basis, could have the greatest impact on reducing costs.  Other actions the report cites that could lower costs include creating and using innovative financing mechanisms, developing infrastructure to reduce costs, and supporting site characterization for early projects to reduce development expenses and risk.

The study notes that while onshore wind development has expanded rapidly in the U.S., no operational offshore wind power projects have been completed to date due to complex construction challenges and the need for operational infrastructure that doesn't exist today in the U.S.  These factors lead to high costs and have delayed deployment.

The study identifies multiple paths for reducing offshore wind power costs in New York State, emphasizing that the "State can take actions in the near term to lower its costs substantially, independent of expected external reductions over the next decade." The study finds that taking advantage of wind turbine innovations and other technology and industry advances could lower costs about 20 percent. Direct steps taken by New York State could contribute up to an additional 30 percent reduction in a project's cost.

Publication Date: 
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Resource Type: 
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