Today, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held a lease auction for approximately 80,000 acres of federal waters over 12 miles off the Rockaway Peninsula, and after 32 rounds Statoil Wind US LLC was the winning bidder.

Today’s auction builds on significant national momentum for offshore wind power. Just this week, as our first offshore wind project came online off the coast of Rhode Island, America finally joined the 14 other countries around the world already tapping into this booming industry that currently supports over 75,000 jobs.

The Cuomo Administration has repeatedly stated that offshore wind power is essential for meeting New York’s goal of producing 50 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable sources.  A broad, diverse coalition of environmental, labor, business, public health, and community leaders have called on the Governor to make a long-term, large-scale commitment to offshore wind power that can unleash the many economic and environmental benefits of this massive local energy opportunity.

Follow links for press releases from Department of the Interior and Statoil.

In response to today’s auction, leaders from the following groups issued the following comments:

Catherine Bowes, Senior Manager at National Wildlife Federation, said:

“New York is one major step closer to tapping into the booming global offshore wind industry that can put thousands of people to work across New York State. We look forward to working with Statoil and NYSERDA to maximize opportunities for stakeholder input and accelerate the responsible development of this site. Now is the time for Governor Cuomo build on this momentum with the long-term, large-scale commitment needed to unleash the many economic and environmental benefits of the massive energy opportunity far off our shores.”

Lisa Dix, Senior New York Representative for the Sierra Club, said:

“The Sierra Club applauds the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for taking a monumental first step today by moving offshore wind forward off the Rockaways. The rapid development of offshore wind is not only essential to meeting Governor Cuomo’s goals to power 50% of the state with renewable energy and propel New York as a national climate leader but will also build New York into a renewable energy economic powerhouse creating thousands of new jobs and economic development opportunities for New Yorkers.”

Kit Kennedy, Director of NRDC’s Energy & Transportation Program, said:

“The intense bidding and record-breaking price for the New York offshore wind lease area shows strong investor confidence in offshore wind and demonstrates that U.S. offshore wind power is a valuable commodity and a smart infrastructure investment. The result of today’s auction is yet another sign that the wave of the future for offshore energy is wind, not expanded fossil fuel drilling that puts our oceans, coastal businesses, and health in jeopardy.  The development of offshore wind off New York’s coast will contribute to the hundreds of thousands of skilled construction, manufacturing and operations jobs that American offshore wind will generate nationwide.  New York State took a smart step in participating in this auction, and we hope that New York will continue with this important approach to shape and empower offshore wind development in a manner that keeps costs lower for ratepayers and ensure efficient and fair use of this ocean resource for all parties. We look forward to working with the private sector, New York, the federal government and other stakeholders to make bring sustainable offshore wind to New York’s waters.”

Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said:

“The reality of offshore wind power for New York just took a giant, exciting leap forward. CCE commends BOEM on their historic lease agreement to move forward with a wind farm off the coast of Long Beach. Offshore wind energy in New York is plentiful, doesn’t deplete our natural resources and produces clean power. This lease agreement will propel New York forward to advance offshore wind power to ensure significant strides towards reaching 50% renewable energy by 2030.  NYC and Long Island residents are on the front lines of climate change, that’s why we support wind power.  We know that continued reliance on fossil fuels has dire consequence to our lives.  Today’s lease announcement has answered the public’s call for offshore wind and poised our region to be a national leader in the fight against climate change.”

Gordian Raacke, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Long Island, said:

“The strong interest in the New York offshore wind auction demonstrates that this industry is ready to make the big capital investments needed to allow Long Island and New York to harvest this clean and reliable offshore energy source. We commend Governor Cuomo, NYSERDA and LIPA for taking the needed steps to bring offshore wind power to New York.”

Conor Bambrick, Air & Energy Director for Environmental Advocates of New York, said:

“Even though NYSERDA did not win today’s auction, Governor Cuomo still has a big role to play to make New York an offshore wind energy leader.  The Governor needs to aggressively work with Statoil to get this project up and running as quickly as possible.”

Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters, said:

“In order to reach our goal of having 50 percent of New York’s energy come from renewable sources by 2030, we must pursue every viable option. Offshore wind is a critical part of the solution in Long Island, which suffers from both high energy prices and heavy reliance on long distance transmission for its energy needs. We are thrilled to see the lease auction process coming to completion so Long Islanders can tap into it clean energy potential by advancing offshore development in a smart and responsible manner.”

Heather Leibowitz, Environment New York Director, said:

“The Empire State has a great opportunity to be a national leader in tackling climate change and developing offshore wind. The successful lease sale of New York’s first Wind Energy Area is a great step forward to tapping into this tremendous clean, pollution-free resource. We look forward to continuing to work with local, state and national officials to bring offshore wind to New York.”

Kim Fraczek and Patrick Robbins, Co-Directors of Sane Energy Project, said:

“We look forward to working in partnership with Governor Cuomo to help all New Yorkers have renewable generation, and become the leader in a national transition to a sustainable workforce. We want to see New York State develop a key industry hub for the nation, and set the standards that will benefit all Americans.”