NY Gov. Hochul announces new contracts for Empire Wind 1 and Sunrise Wind

New York Governor Kathleen Hochul has announced the finalisation of new contracts for the 810 MW Empire Wind 1, developed by Equinor, and the 924 MW Sunrise Wind, developed by Ørsted and Eversource, as the result of New York’s fourth offshore wind solicitation.
NY Gov. Hochul announces new contracts for Empire Wind 1 and Sunrise Wind
Equinor's Hywind offshore wind farm in Scotland. Courtesy of Equinor.

The two offshore wind projects, totaling over 1,700 megawatts, will produce enough clean energy to power over one 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, made by Governor Hochul yesterday (4th June), 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” said Governor Hochul. “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 the largest power generation projects in the State in over thirty-five years, these landmark projects, when built, will be a historic milepost in New York’s transition to a clean energy economy” added New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Doreen M. Harris. “Achieving a zero-emissions electric grid will deliver significant economic and public health benefits as well as reliability to all New Yorkers.”

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 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

Commitments to purchasing a minimum of $188 million of US iron and steel, supporting US

Requirements for Labour Peace Agreements for operations and maintenance services.

The projects are now on a path to near term project completion, driving local investments and enhanced economic benefits to New York State at cost-competitive rates. The average bill impact for residential customers over the life of these projects under these awards will be approximately two percent, or about $2.09 per month. The weighted average all-in development cost of the contracted offshore wind projects over the life of the contracts is $150.15 per megawatt-hour which is on-par with the latest market prices.

For additional information:

Empire Wind 1

Sunrise Wind

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