New York Awards Equinor and Orsted New Offshore Wind Contracts

© Fokke Baarssen / Adobe Stock
© Fokke Baarssen / Adobe Stock

New York officials on Thursday awarded provisional contracts to two proposed offshore wind projects under a program meant to support the embattled industry and keep the state's clean energy goals on track.

The state selected a planned 810-megawatt project, Empire Wind 1, (developed by Equinor) and Sunrise Wind, a planned 924-megawatt project (developed by Orsted and Eversource).

The closely watched solicitation by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) allowed companies to exit old contracts and re-offer projects at higher prices amid warnings from offshore wind developers that proposed projects cannot be built profitably due to soaring construction costs, higher interest rates and supply chain challenges.

Both Sunrise Wind and Empire Wind 1 submitted revised bids under the solicitation. Both awards are conditional on successful execution of Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Certificate (OREC) Purchase and Sale Agreements. 

"I promised to make New York a place for the renewable energy industry to do business, and we are delivering on that promise," Governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement. "Offshore wind is foundational to our fight against climate change, and these awards demonstrate our national leadership to advance a zero-emissions electric grid at the best value to New Yorkers."

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, including Empire Wind I receiving final approval of their Construction and Operations plan from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) last week. Both projects are expected to ramp up construction activity this year and enter operation in 2026.

“This is a promising new beginning for Empire Wind and we’re ready to get started,” said Molly Morris, president of Equinor Renewables America. “We commend the Hochul Administration and NYSERDA for their strong commitment to offshore wind. Now it’s time to deliver a major renewable energy project that will power half a million homes and generate thousands of jobs. Empire Wind 1 will create value for New Yorkers and for investors for years to come. We have a highly experienced organization in place and will continue to engage closely with the community as we prepare to break ground at SBMT.”  

“With the selection of Sunrise Wind, New York’s offshore wind story is set to enter a new chapter of large-scale job creation and economic development, and we thank Governor Hochul and her administration for their continued leadership,” said David Hardy, Group EVP and CEO Americas at Ørsted. “We’re ready to build on the foundation we’ve laid with New York’s first offshore wind project, South Fork Wind, while delivering significantly more jobs, local supply chain and community investments, and renewable power for New Yorkers.”

With this successful re-bid, Ørsted will acquire Eversource’s 50 percent ownership share in Sunrise Wind, becoming the sole owner of Sunrise Wind, subject to signing of an OREC contract with NYSERDA, finalization of acquisition agreements, receipt of the federal construction and operations plan, and relevant regulatory approvals. Eversource will remain contracted to lead the project’s onshore construction.

“We’re grateful for the Hochul Administration’s support of the state’s offshore wind industry and their selection of our updated Sunrise Wind project,” said Eversource Energy Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Nolan. “Sunrise Wind is another major step forward for our shared clean energy future and will deliver significant new investments to New York State, including the creation of hundreds of local union jobs building the project’s onshore transmission system. We’re excited to get shovels in the ground and begin the full scope of onshore construction.”

In addition, the Community Offshore Wind 2 project, a joint venture between RWE and National Grid Ventures, has been waitlisted and may be considered for award and contract negotiation at a later date.

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