This Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (draft GEIS), prepared pur-suant to the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), ana-lyzes the potential environmental impacts associated with the State’s procurement of this 2.4 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030, and builds upon and incorpo-rates by reference relevant material from NYSERDA’s Offshore Wind Master Plan. The offshore wind procurement contemplated by the Offshore Options pa-per is a separate action and procurement program from the Renewable Energy Standard (RES) or the Zero Emission Credit (ZEC) programs previously approved by the Commission. The environmental review conducted for the Commission pursuant to the “Reforming the Energy Vision” (REV) proceeding and the RES and ZEC programs, did consider the impacts of offshore generation and whererelevant the information contained in those documents is also incorporated herein. However, the previous environmental reviews did not contemplate a standalone procurement of offshore wind at the scale now being proposed, necessitating the development and consideration of this draft GEIS.
The Proposed Action under consideration is the procurement by 2030 of 2,400 MW of offshore wind energy capacity through a competitive mechanism with the ability to meet the delivery requirements of the RES. The procurement contem-plated by the Proposed Action is meant to encourage the development of new off-shore wind energy projects in the Atlantic Ocean. However, those projects, if de-veloped, could be undertaken in a broad range of scenarios with countless varia-bles, including the geographic area of the marine environment (offshore between Maine and North Carolina), project timing (2018 to 2030), project scale, and pro-ject technology. Therefore, it is not possible at this stage to meaningfully assess the specific potential environmental impacts of future offshore development pur-suant to SEQRA.