N.Y. finalizes new contracts for two offshore wind farms

The (DOE) report predicts that during the offshore wind ... construction period, there will be a need for 31,300 full-time-equivalent jobs per year.

(ALBANY, N.Y.) — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced the finalization of new contracts for Empire Wind 1, a planned 810-megawatt project (developed by Equinor), and Sunrise Wind, a planned 924-megawatt project (developed by Orsted and Eversource) as the result of New York’s fourth offshore wind solicitation.

The two offshore wind projects, totaling over 1,700 megawatts, will produce enough clean energy to power over 1 million New York homes and will be the largest power generation projects in New York State in over 35 years once they enter operation in 2026.

The announcement is part of New York’s 10-Point Action Plan to support the growing large-scale renewable energy industry, and represents progress toward the achievement of the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) goal to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2035.

“New York is leading the nation to build the clean energy industry, create good-paying jobs, and advance our climate goals,” Hochul said. “Offshore wind is a critical piece of our clean energy blueprint to address the climate crisis, and our investments are building a healthy, sustainable New York so that future generations can thrive.”

The competitively selected projects will create more than 800 near-term family-sustaining construction jobs, and invest $2 billion in enhanced economic development statewide, including developer-committed investments to support disadvantaged communities. Beyond the projects’ contractual obligations, Empire Wind 1 and Sunrise Wind are expected to deliver more than $6 billion in economic benefits statewide over the 25-year life of the projects.

As mature projects, Empire Wind I, located 15 miles off New York’s shore, 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. To support the wind farm’s connection to New York’s electric grid, onshore construction relating to the Sunrise Wind project is well underway, having received approval of its proposed onshore cable route on Long Island in November 2022.

Empire Wind 1 achieved a critical milestone last month when the New York State Public Service Commission approved the project’s plan to connect to New York’s electric grid. Work is underway to transform the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal into a state-of-the-art staging and assembly port and long-term operations and maintenance hub for project developer Equinor.

Empire Wind 1 and Sunrise Wind were previously awarded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in 2019 as part of NYSERDA’s first offshore wind solicitation, and re-awarded in 2023. As part of the new contracts, the projects will be held to new provisions that bring additional benefits to the state, including:

• New economic benefit commitments above what was originally contracted, including $32 million committed to community-focused investments in New York’s disadvantaged communities and $16.5 million toward wildlife and fisheries monitoring.
• Commitments to purchasing a minimum of $188 million of U.S. iron and steel, supporting U.S. manufacturing and the New York Buy American Act.
• Requirements for Labor Peace Agreements for operations and maintenance services.

– New York State

By Professional Mariner Staff