BOEM Approves COP for Equinor's Empire Wind Project

Thursday, February 22, 2024

The United States’ Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) approved the Construction and Operations Plan (COP) for Equinor’s Empire Wind project, marking another milestone in advancing the New York offshore wind project.

With this permitting action by BOEM secured, Empire Wind is on track to begin construction in its federal lease area off the southern coast of Long Island later this year. Already well advanced in planning and development, Empire Wind 1 could deliver first power to New Yorkers by 2026. In addition, construction to transform the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal into a major hub for offshore wind could begin as early as this spring.

“We are ready to get to work,” said Molly Morris, president of Equinor Renewables Americas. “Today’s COP approval follows years of rigorous review and collaboration with BOEM and other federal agencies. Equinor is grateful for a shared commitment to achieving state and federal offshore wind ambitions and Empire Wind is one step closer to delivering renewable power to hundreds of thousands of New York homes.”

Empire Wind is located 15-30 miles southeast of Long Island and spans 80,000 acres, with water depths of between approximately 75 and 135 feet. The lease was acquired in 2017. The project’s two phases, Empire Wind 1 and 2, have a potential capacity of more than 2 GW (810 + 1,260 MW), enough to power over 1 million New York homes.

First submitted in 2020, the Empire Wind COP authorizes detailed plans for offshore and onshore construction and operations based on years of environmental reviews, input from outside experts, and extensive public feedback. BOEM’s announcement follows the November 2023 approval of Empire Wind’s federal Record of Decision.

Empire Wind has recently received several federal approvals. Last week, it received its Clean Air Act permit from the Environmental Protection Agency. Earlier this week, it received its approval from the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service in accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Empire Wind 1 is currently bidding into New York’s fourth offshore wind solicitation.

The 73-acre South Brooklyn Marine Terminal will serve as the operations and maintenance (O&M) hub for Empire Wind 1 and will be the site of the project’s onshore substation. The port will also provide onshore power and charging for the Empire Wind service operations vessel (SOV), the first plug-in hybrid vessel for the U.S. offshore wind industry. The vessel is currently under construction at Edison Chouest Offshore's (ECO) LaShip Shipyard in Houma, La.

Categories: Offshore Engineering Activity North America Renewables Offshore Wind

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