Five developers submitted proposals by the June 1, 2010 deadline. Since then, NYPA has been reviewing the proposals, aiming to select one or more projects for approval by early 2011. (The RFP requires proposals to be firm through May 31, 2011, after which terms like pricing might be open for renegotiation.) In the interim, NYPA has been fairly quiet about the process, citing New York’s procurement law as prohibiting the disclosure of information about proposals under review. We may soon see what the RFP will yield, as NYPA has suggested it may be ready to announce the results of its review of the five proposals as soon as March 31.

One question that remains open is where the proposed projects would be built. The RFP solicited proposals to develop sites in the New York State waters of Lake Erie and/or Lake Ontario that would interconnect with the NYISO transmission system. New York’s portion of Lake Erie consists roughly of the southeasternmost part of the lake, running from Buffalo at the about 70 miles southwest to just east of Erie, PA. New York’s Lake Ontario waters are more extensive, running about 200 miles east from the Niagara River just north of Buffalo to the head of the St. Lawrence River in the northeast part of the lake. Prior to issuing the RFP, NYPA evaluated wind resource potential and a variety of environmental and siting factors affecting where projects could be placed in these waters. While NYPA designated certain Project Site Areas that it found to be potentially feasible, NYPA stated that it would consider proposals for sites anywhere in these waters.

At the same time, there has been a mix of local support for and opposition to siting the project in certain locations. Last fall, in the wake of the initial publicity about the GLOW project and the submission of responsive proposals, town boards in the New York coastal towns of Irondequoit, Greece and Webster passed resolutions in opposition to the siting of wind turbines nearby in Lake Ontario. Likewise, a majority of Monroe County, NY, legislators signed a non-binding resolution opposing the siting of GLOW projects offshore of that region. On the other hand, a survey of likely Monroe County voters in fall 2010 found that 68 percent supported offshore wind turbines somewhere in Lake Ontario.

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