Equinor Files Application for Empire Wind 1 to New York Solicitation

SBMT Rendering (Credit: Equinor)
SBMT Rendering (Credit: Equinor)

Norway's Equinor has submitted a bid for ‘shovel-ready’ Empire Wind 1 offshore wind project to New York’s expedited fourth wind solicitation.

If awarded, Empire Wind 1 is expected to provide first power in 2026, and will be able to deliver renewable power to more than half a million New York home, according to Equinor.

Already several years into development, Empire Wind 1 will anchor the East Coast offshore wind industry in New York City through the transformation of the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT) into a world-class hub for offshore wind.

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 (810 MW) and 2 (1.26GW) , have a potential capacity of more than 2 GW (810 + 1,260 MW), enough to power over 1 million New York homes.

“Empire Wind 1 is ready and so is Equinor. New York has demonstrated its commitment to offshore wind and this project will play a foundational role in driving that commitment forward. Empire Wind 1 puts New York City at the heart of this new industry and the economic and environmental benefits will extend throughout the state,” said Molly Morris, President of Equinor Renewables Americas.

The Empire Wind 1 bid into the the latest New York’s solicitation follows the announcement of a swap transaction between Equinor and BP under which Equinor will take full ownership of the Empire Wind lease and associated projects, including SBMT, where construction is expected to begin in the first half of this year.

On the other hand, BP will take full ownership of Beacon Wind and its assets. A mutual termination agreement has also been reached with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for the Beacon Wind 1 Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Certificate (OREC) Purchase and Sale Agreement.

Earlier in January, Empire Wind 2 agreed to cancel its OREC agreement as part of a strategic reset due to macroeconomic factors that have had an industry-wide impact.

According to Equinor, Empire Wind 1 is in a clear position to move forward in NY4, while Empire Wind 2 will be further matured for future solicitation rounds. 

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