New York offshore wind economy ‘coming together’ as contracts awarded for 1.7 GW   

The conditional deals were awarded to the 810-MW Empire Wind 1 project developed by Equinor and 924-MW Sunrise Wind project developed by Ørsted and Eversource. The Community Offshore Wind 2 project may be considered for award and contract negotiation at a later date.

Responding to the awards, Equinor Renewables Americas president Molly Morris said, “This is an advanced project that will soon deliver reliable renewable power to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, with environmental and economic benefits that begin at the local level and will extend across the state. We thank Governor Hochul and NYSERDA for executing on this expedited process and look forward to continued community engagement as we move toward a groundbreaking at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal this spring.” Ørsted Group EVP and chief executive Americas David Hardy said that, with the provisional awards, “We can see all the pieces of the state’s offshore wind economy coming together.”

The projects will create more than 800 near-term construction jobs and see US$2Bn invested in near-term enhanced economic development. The projects will be the largest power generation projects in New York State in more than 35 years, once they enter operation in 2026. 

“I promised to make New York a place for the renewable energy industry to do business, and we are delivering on that promise,” Governor Hochul said. White House deputy national climate advisor Mary Frances Repko said, “This announcement is the latest step forward as President Biden continues to deliver historic progress on growing the American offshore wind industry.”

As mature projects, Empire Wind I, located 15 miles offshore New York, and Sunrise Wind, located more than 30 miles east of the eastern point of Long Island, have already completed most federal and state permitting milestones.

Empire Wind I secured final approval for its construction and operations plan from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in late February. Both projects are expected to ramp up construction activity later in 2024, driving local investments and enhanced economic benefits to New York State at cost-competitive rates. The awards are conditional on successful contract execution. 

Empire Wind 1 and Sunrise Wind were awarded contracts by the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority in 2019, as part of NYSERDA’s first offshore wind solicitation. As part of the new awards, the projects will be held to new contract provisions that bring additional benefits to the State, including new economic benefit commitments above what was originally contracted; commitments to purchasing a minimum of US$188M of US iron and steel; and requirements for Labor Peace Agreements for operations and maintenance services.    

The average bill impact for customers over the life of the projects under the new awards will be approximately two per cent, or about US$2.09 per month. The weighted average all-in development cost of the projects over the life of the contracts is US$150.15 per megawatt-hour which is on-par with latest market prices. Following successful contract execution, NYSERDA payments under the awards will only begin once projects have obtained all required permits and approvals, have been completed and begin delivering clean energy to New York. 



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