Norwegian offshore oil & gas supermajor Equinor has handed in bids for New York’s second offshore wind solicitation that could result in the construction of a pair of projects capable of generating power to more than 1 million homes.
The bids, for Empire Wind phase 2 and Beacon Wind, were submitted to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in response to the state’s call for proposals for up to 2.5GW of offshore wind and a multi-port infrastructure investment plan.
The two projects, which build on Equinor’s under-development 816MW Empire Wind phase 1, won in 2017, and Beacon Wind acreage, awarded last year, could generate more than 3,000 new jobs for New York state.
“The US offshore wind industry is poised for expansion and we are passionate about creating substantial value in the New York market,” said Equinor Wind US president Siri Espedal Kindem.
“These proposals include significant new benefits for New York – from workforce training, economic development, and community benefits – alongside a tremendous amount of homegrown, renewable energy. We look forward to building on our collective success in New York together.”
Empire Wind is located in an 80,000-acre lease area some 15-30 miles (9-18km) southeast of Long Island in water depths between 65-131 feet (20-40 metres), while Beacon Wind is to be developed on a 128,000-acre lease area 20 miles south of Massachusetts and 60 miles east of New York in waters 120-200 feet deep.
Kindem said in September that the company planned to bid into New York and New Jersey offshore wind auctions using the unused part of these lease areas.
Equinor’s projects, she said, would help usher forward New York’s nation-leading renewable energy goals and aid the region to “build back better, supporting the state’s economic rebound and strengthening economically disadvantaged communities”.
The Norwegian developer aims to use the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal for construction activities and as an operations and maintenance base.
The proposal submitted to NYSERDA include plans for manufacturing offshore wind componentry at the Port of Coeymans and the Port of Albany, as well as advancing efforts to address “environmental justice and support disadvantaged communities, basing many of the project’s investments in these underserved communities”.
New York State, which has a target of derived 70% of its electricity from renewable energy by the end of the decade and at least 9GW of offshore wind by 2035, has indicated it will notify winners in the solicitation during the fourth quarter of 2020.
In September, Equinor signed a deal with BP for form strategic partnership for offshore wind in the US, with the transitioning UK oil giant becoming a 50% non-operating partner in the Empire Wind and Beacon Wind assets.