Norwegian energy company Equinor has proposed the Port of Albany, in upstate New York, as the first offshore wind tower manufacturing facility in the U.S.
"Developed jointly with leading wind industry manufacturers Marmen and Welcon, Equinor stands ready to transform the port for manufacturing offshore wind towers and transition pieces (TPs), creating up to 350 direct jobs in the region," Equinor said.
The Port of Albany extension initiative is part of the bid Equinor submitted in response to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) latest offshore wind energy solicitation, which seeks up to 2.5 gigawatts of offshore wind and multi-port infrastructure investment plans (PIIPs). The development of a tower manufacturing facility at the Port of Albany is contingent upon NYSERDA selecting Equinor’s bid and PIIP.
"With this latest solicitation, New York solidifies its commitment to renewable energy and its desire to make the offshore wind industry an important component of the state’s economy,” said Siri Espedal Kindem, President of Equinor Wind U.S. “Equinor is excited about the possibility of expanding its business within New York, and this plan would create the first facility for offshore wind tower and transition piece manufacturing in the U.S. Our proposal helps secure New York and the Port of Albany as a regional leader in this exciting new industry.”
"Hundreds of jobs"
According to Equinor, the construction of an offshore wind tower/TP manufacturing facility at the Port of Albany could provide an immediate economic boost to the area as it recovers from the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, creating new employment opportunities as early as the second half of 2021.
"If Equinor’s plan is chosen by NYSERDA, hundreds of jobs will flow to Albany for the construction of the port’s infrastructure and for the long-term assembly. In addition, maritime operations related to industry components will sustain hundreds of other jobs for decades," Equinor said.
“The port is the ideal location to build these components and we are excited about the prospect of the area becoming a manufacturing hub for offshore wind,” said Katie Newcombe, Chief Economic Development Officer for the Center for Economic Growth.
"With the ongoing expansion of offshore wind power on the East coast, the Port of Albany would become a natural destination for future projects to source components. The economic potential for the NY Capital Region is enormous. We commend New York State leadership for their focused work in developing this industry and will continue our active engagement with local manufacturers to participate.”
In September 2020, BP and Equinor announced that they formed a strategic partnership for offshore wind in the U.S., and that bp will be a 50% non-operating partner in the Empire Wind and Beacon Wind assets on the U.S. East Coast. The transaction is expected to close in early 2021.