The generation of electricity through hydrokinetic in-stream energy conversion shows great promise for New York State with its abundant waterways and access to the ocean. New York State has long been a leader in driving investment in renewable energy. The State has established an ambitious goal of getting 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015. Achieving this goal, and going beyond it in the future, means embracing many different forms of renewable generation.
This paper reviews the regulatory and policy requirements for hydrokinetic power projects in New York State. The paper begins with a brief examination of the different environments in New York that are possible sites for hydrokinetic power installations. A limited review of the types of hydrokinetic installations will follow. Because a number of the regulatory approvals necessary relate to potential environmental impacts, the paper very briefly outlines the potential environmental impacts. The review of federal regulatory requirements comes next, followed by an examination of state requirements and the State’s role in approving projects. The paper concludes with reflections on key opportunities and challenges facing hydrokinetic power installations in New York State.