Equinor Wind US has submitted a bid to provide New York state with a significant, long-term source of renewable energy from its Empire Wind lease site located offshore New York and New Jersey. The bid comes in response to the 800-MW New York State Offshore Wind Power Procurement, the state’s first formal solicitation targeted to the newly developing U.S. offshore wind industry. The state is expected to announce the chosen supplier(s) later this spring.
“Submitting this offer to provide New York with a steady supply of offshore wind is both a major step forward in the development process of the Empire Wind project and an important milestone for New York’s transition to renewable energy,” said Christer af Geijerstam, President of Equinor Wind US. “Our project can make a major contribution toward fulfilling New York’s robust renewable energy goals, and the emissions reductions and economic impacts of our bid provide a clear benefit to New Yorkers.”
Equinor secured the 80,000-acre lease in a federal auction in December 2016. The site is located between 14 and 35 miles south of Long Island in the New York Bight, with a potential capacity of up to 2 GW of renewable power.
“We look forward to working with the state as we turn that potential into a tangible asset that the people of New York can rely on for energy well into the future,” added af Geijerstam.
Equinor has already undertaken considerable work to bring offshore wind to the New York area, gathering detailed information about the seabed conditions, grid connection options, and wind resources throughout the site for nearly two years. The company recently deployed a specialized buoy known as a Floating LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) to measure wind speed, wind direction, wave conditions and other factors that inform the resource potential and eventual development of the wind farm.
Because offshore wind is a relatively new technology and a new industry in the U.S., New York will benefit from the infrastructure that will be developed to support offshore wind in the state and region. The state’s strong maritime workforce and port infrastructure assets will also play an important role in the growth of the industry. Over the life of the project, Empire Wind is expected to generate savings of about one billion dollars in reduced wholesale energy costs in New York.
Equinor’s growing offshore wind portfolio
The Empire Wind project marked the first stage of Equinor’s commitment to take a leading role in renewable energy development in the U.S. The company is developing a separate project in the lease area called Boardwalk Wind geared to New Jersey and submitted a bid in response to that state’s offshore wind solicitation in December 2018.
That same month, Equinor acquired a second lease area in the U.S. east coast wind market, a 128,000-acre site offshore Massachusetts. In total, Equinor’s U.S. offshore wind portfolio now has the potential to power more than two million homes with renewable power.
“We firmly believe in the long-term potential for offshore wind as a major local source of renewable, reliable and cost-effective energy in the region,” said Pål Eitrheim, Equinor’s Executive Vice President for New Energy Solutions. “The U.S. northeast is a key component of our growing commitment to develop offshore wind resources around the globe.”