New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that Equinor’s Empire Wind 2 and Beacon Wind 1 projects have won the state’s latest offshore wind solicitation
Equinor and partner BP will provide 1,260 MW of offshore wind generating capacity from Empire Wind 2 and 1,230 MW from Beacon Wind 1, adding to an existing commitment to provide New York with 816 MW of offshore wind capacity from Empire Wind 1.
Execution of the award is subject to successful negotiation of a purchase and sale agreement the partners hope to finalise shortly with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
As part of the award, the companies will partner with the state to transform two New York port facilities, South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT) and Port of Albany into large-scale offshore wind facilities.
Equinor chief executive Anders Opedal said, “These projects will deliver homegrown, renewable electricity to New York and play a major role in the state’s ambition to become a global offshore wind hub.
“The US east coast is one of the most attractive growth markets for offshore wind in the world,” Mr Opedal said. “The successful bids for Empire Wind 2 and Beacon Wind 1 are a game-changer for our offshore wind business in the US and underline Equinor’s commitment to be a leader in the energy transition. These projects will also create value through economies of scale and support our strategic ambition of becoming a global offshore wind major.”
Equinor Wind US president Siri Espedal Kindem said, “Together, Equinor and the State of New York will create a robust offshore wind supply chain capable of manufacturing, assembling and staging projects at scale.”
Equinor said it will invest in port upgrades “to help transform SBMT into a world-class offshore wind staging and assembling facility.” The facility will become the operations and maintenance base for Equinor and, it is hoped, other project developers.
At approximately 73 acres, SBMT will be one of the largest dedicated offshore wind facilities in the US, with the capacity to accommodate wind turbine generator staging and assembly activity at the scale required by component manufacturers.
Equinor said it plans to combine forces with Marmen and Welcon at Port of Albany to help the port become America’s first offshore wind tower and transition piece manufacturing facility and produce components for Equinor’s projects.
The company said the site “stands to become a go-to destination for towers, transition pieces and other components for future projects.”
Marmen president Patrick Pellerin said, “Marmen and Welcon are manufacturing partners. We look forward to expanding our activities and developing the offshore wind market in the US. We intend to set up and develop a long-term offshore manufacturing operation.”
The company said the facility will produce next-generation wind towers and transition pieces and will be able to produce components with a diameter of more than 10 m, a length up to 70 m, weighing up to 500 tonnes. It will have sufficient capacity to produce up to 200 units a year depending on product mix and will generate 350 full time manufacturing jobs.
National and local supply chains will also benefit from manufacturing operations, including the planned sourcing of more than 100,000 tonnes of steel per year from US mills.
If Equinor’s bid is confirmed by NYSERDA, construction of the manufacturing facility is expected to begin later in 2021 with production to start in 2023.