How a Turbine Put The Brakes on NY Offshore Wind Projects

How a Turbine Put The Brakes on NY Offshore Wind Projects

Article content

(Bloomberg) — The fledgling US offshore wind industry took another blow Friday — but for a new reason: a desired turbine isn’t available.

The absence of 18-megawatt turbines set off a chain of events leading to New York State ending negotiations for three major projects that would have totaled 4 gigawatts. The cancellation represents about two-thirds of projects in development there. 

Article content

The decision is a big step back for an industry that had thought it was inching forward after sustaining repeated disappointments in the past year due to inflation, higher interest rates and supply-chain kinks. It reinforces the challenge for President Joe Biden to meet his target of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind nationwide by 2030 — as well as for New York’s goal.

Article content

New York’s decision means the state now has 1.7 gigawatts of offshore projects in development, said Atin Jain, an analyst at BloombergNEF. “That’s not enough to reach New York’s 9 gigawatt by 2035 goal,” he said.

Read More: A 48% Surge in Costs Wrecks Biden’s Much-Lauded Wind-Power Plans

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority said the decision to cancel negotiations came after GE Vernova Inc. said it wouldn’t be able to deliver 18-megawatt turbines to the projects. Their owners include units of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners P/S, TotalEnergies SE, Rise Light & Power LLC, National Grid Plc and RWE AG.

GE said in late 2022 it would make an 18-megawatt turbine, then decided in late 2023 that reliability concerns meant it shouldn’t go bigger than 16.5 megawatts, according to a representative. 

See also  Norway LNG plant to perform final tests before restart, Equinor says

Both turbines have 250-meter rotors, and wind farms built with the smaller ones would actually produce more electricity, according to the representative, who cited the tough market conditions as a big reason the contract talks ended.

Lack of the larger turbine forced developers to redesign their projects with smaller ones, which meant more foundations and more cables — and thus higher costs, Jain said.

Still, the end of the contract talks doesn’t necessarily mean the projects are dead. Developers indicated Friday they would work with New York on future bids.

Share this article in your social network

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *