Climate Jobs NY Update: Biden Administration Announces Historic Auction for New Offshore Wind Lease Areas in the New York Bight
On Wednesday, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, joined by NY Governor Kathy Hochul, NJ Governor Phil Murphy, and AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold a wind energy auction on February 23 for more than 480,000 acres in the New York Bight. The auction will allow offshore wind developers to bid on six lease areas – the most areas ever offered in a single auction – as described in BOEM’s Final Sale Notice. Leases offered in this sale could result in 5.6 to 7 gigawatts of offshore wind energy, enough to power nearly 2 million homes.
Crucially, the sale notice includes:
- Stipulations concerning project labor agreements (PLAs) -- leaseholders will be required to make every reasonable effort to enter into a PLA covering construction of new wind farms
- New incentives for use of domestic supply chain – lessees will be given a credit off their rental fee for domestic assembly or manufacturing of major project components, which encourages locally sourced materials and jobs
- Stipulations concerning enhanced/early engagement with interested and affected stakeholders
“Today's announcement from the Biden administration that they are issuing a final sale notice for six new lease areas in the New York Bight is a crucial step forward for offshore wind in New York and the region," said Gary LaBarbera, President of the New York State Building & Construction Trades Council and Climate Jobs NY Director. "Development in the New York Bight will create tens of thousands of jobs, and by including Project Labor Agreement requirements for construction of new wind farms, the administration has taken an important step to ensure that these projects move forward with highly skilled labor—and that the jobs we're creating in offshore wind are good family-sustaining union jobs."