Community Offshore Wind Signs Agreement with NOAA for First-of-Its-Kind Marine Monitoring & Research Partnership to Promote New Offshore Wind Environmental Principles
- Community Offshore Wind is the first offshore wind developer to sign a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
- The 5-year formal partnership sets a new industry standard, allowing federal experts to have early input in planning environmental monitoring of offshore wind development for the first time and increase transparency between researchers and developers.
- The collaboration will transform environmental monitoring for offshore wind projects and create more responsible development of offshore wind to support the conservation of marine life and ecosystems and fishing communities.
New York, NY
Community Offshore Wind, a joint venture between RWE and National Grid Ventures, today announced a groundbreaking five-year partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to promote the exchange of data and expertise that will transform environmental monitoring for offshore wind projects.
Community Offshore Wind's collaboration with NOAA sets a new industry standard to increase transparency and share expertise between researchers and developers. For the first time, an offshore wind developer and NOAA will collaborate on how to study environmental impacts on the marine ecosystem to inform the responsible development of offshore wind projects. The partnership reflects Community Offshore Wind’s dedication to environmental stewardship and the protection of marine life.
The CRADA creates a framework for developers and federal experts to work together from the start to accurately assess and monitor potential impacts of offshore wind development on marine ecosystems, seeking, to address two core areas:
- Development of a responsible environmental monitoring program: Community Offshore Wind is required to create and implement an environmental monitoring program as part of the development of its offshore wind projects in the New York Bight. Through direct collaboration with NOAA, Community Offshore Wind will be able to create an industry-leading monitoring program that can support a regional approach to scientific monitoring. New data and monitoring innovations generated through the agreement will ensure that our projects are developed in a more responsible and environmentally-conscious way.
- Improving the Benefits of Environmental Data: The partnership aims to ensure that relevant data collected through offshore wind monitoring efforts can be seamlessly integrated into existing regional scientific assessments the federal government conducts for fisheries, habitat, and protected resources like sea turtles and marine mammals. This will enable Community Offshore Wind’s monitoring program to augment NOAA Fisheries surveys and assessments, supporting the implementation of important elements of the NOAA/BOEM Federal Survey Mitigation Strategy. This integrated approach is expected to improve the overall quality of environmental data collected in the region to provide for more informed decision-making and sustainable management of marine resources.
The long-term partnership is focused on continued collaboration over the lifetime of Community Offshore Wind’s project. This agreement will complement NOAA’s ongoing environmental monitoring research with additional data, as offshore wind development activity continues across the region.
“Through this initiative, Community Offshore Wind is taking a proactive lead in working with federal researchers to develop our project responsibly. The scientific data collected through our environmental monitoring program will be invaluable as we continue to study, and seek to mitigate, the impacts of offshore wind development on marine ecosystems,” said Doug Perkins, President and Project Director of Community Offshore Wind. “Community Offshore Wind looks forward to collaborating with NOAA to design marine wildlife monitoring programs that are thoughtfully informed and scientifically sound and support existing regional scientific assessments.
“With help from a number of collaborators and the fishing industry, our agency maintains some of the world’s most comprehensive data sets on large marine ecosystems,” said Jon Hare, Director of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center. “Our goal is to bring offshore wind energy monitoring activities into this partnership. This agreement is our first chance to make these partnerships a reality and show by example that effective scientific monitoring benefits everyone.”
The central location and size of Community Offshore Wind’s lease area in the New York Bight region offshore will allow the findings to be applied more regionally and the CRADA will help facilitate regional approaches to scientific monitoring. The offshore wind industry has a vital role not only in the clean energy transition, but in supporting the future of marine conservation and regional science. Community Offshore Wind and NOAA plan to organize workshops and other engagement opportunities to involve regional stakeholders and scientific collaborators in the research process.
Since acquiring its lease area in 2022, Community Offshore Wind has engaged thoroughly with regional fisheries to identify concerns and develop opportunities to achieve successful outcomes. This agreement is the latest proactive step taken by Community Offshore Wind to support regional fisheries and environmental science, and is responsive to feedback received through ongoing, direct engagement with the fishing industry, researchers, and fishery managers.
Community Offshore Wind
Community Offshore Wind, a joint venture between RWE and National Grid Ventures, will bring clean energy from offshore wind to the region. We will develop offshore wind on the largest parcel in the New York Bight with the potential to host 3 gigawatts (GW) of capacity, which is enough to power over one million US homes and businesses. The project is expected to be in operation by the beginning of the next decade. Community Offshore Wind is dedicated to investing in communities by bringing clean energy jobs to the region and growing the local economy. We will deliver sustainable energy safely, reliably and efficiently to the communities we serve. For more information, please visit www.communityoffshorewind.com.
RWE is leading the way to a green energy world. With an extensive investment and growth strategy, the company will expand its powerful, green generation capacity to more than 50 gigawatts internationally by 2030. RWE is investing more than €50 billion gross for this purpose in this decade. The portfolio is based on offshore and onshore wind, solar, hydrogen, batteries, biomass and gas. RWE Supply & Trading provides tailored energy solutions for large customers. RWE has locations in the attractive markets of Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region. The company is responsibly phasing out nuclear energy and coal. Government-mandated phaseout roadmaps have been defined for both of these energy sources. RWE employs around 19,000 people worldwide and has a clear target: to get to net zero by 2040. On its way there, the company has set itself ambitious targets for all activities that cause greenhouse gas emissions. The Science Based Targets initiative has confirmed that these emission reduction targets are in line with the Paris Agreement. Very much in the spirit of the company’s purpose: Our energy for a sustainable life.
National Grid Ventures
National Grid is an electricity, natural gas, and clean energy delivery company serving more than 20 million people throughout our networks in New York and Massachusetts. National Grid is focused on building a path to a more affordable, reliable clean energy future through our fossil-free vision.
National Grid Ventures (NGV) is the non-regulated division of National Grid plc, one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world. NGV operates outside of National Grid’s core regulated businesses in the US and UK where it develops, operates and invests in energy projects, technologies and partnerships to accelerate the development of a clean energy future. NGV’s diverse portfolio of low carbon and renewable energy businesses across the UK, Europe and US includes subsea electricity interconnectors, wind and solar power, and battery storage. For more information, visit https://www.nationalgrid.com/national-grid-ventures.