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New York awards 2.5GW of offshore wind projects to Equinor and BP

January 14, 2021

Greentech Media:

The state of New York has awarded 2.5 gigawatts of offshore wind projects to developers Equinor and BP, the largest yet in the state’s massive offshore wind build-out and one of the single largest U.S. renewable energy contracts yet awarded.

Wednesday’s award, announced by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his 2021 State of the State address, hands the entirety of New York’s second large-scale solicitation to the two European oil majors that have joined forces in targeting the emerging Eastern U.S. offshore wind opportunity.

The projects, which add up to $8.9 billion in investment, include 1,230 MW from the Beacon Wind 1 project off the Massachusetts coast and 1,260 megawatts from the Empire Wind 2 project, an expansion of the 816 MW Empire Wind 1 project Equinor is already building off the Long Island coast under the state’s first solicitation, held in 2019.

The awards, which still must be finalized in a purchase and sale agreement with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, bring Equinor’s total offshore wind plans for the state to 3.3 gigawatts. That’s more than one-third of the 9 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035 that New York is targeting, the highest yet announced in a region that’s seeing multiple states jostling for the leadership role.

Wednesday’s news puts Equinor and strategic partner BP, which invested $1.1 billion in Empire Wind last year, ahead of rivals in the race to supply New York with the carbon-free energy that under state law must constitute 70 percent of its generation by 2030 and 100 percent by 2040. Denmark’s Ørsted won part of New York’s first 1.7 GW solicitation in 2019 with its plans for the 880 MW Sunrise Wind project to be built with utility partner Eversource Energy.

Gov. Cuomo also pledged a host of investments into New York’s broader clean energy transformation in Wednesday’s speech, including a more robust transmission system to carry clean power from upstate resources to downstate load centers still largely reliant on fossil fuel-fired power plants. Those include a $2 billion “green energy superhighway” plan to build 250 miles of transmission and a request for proposals for projects to link upstate and Canadian wind and hydropower to New York City, with a projected $5 billion in public and private investment. 

[Jeff St. John]

More: New York’s latest clean energy push includes 2.5GW of offshore wind contracts for Equinor and BP

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