Bid marks significant milestone for company’s first US offshore wind site
NEW YORK: Equinor Wind US today 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. Equinor’s bid comes in response to the 800MW 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 chosen supplier(s) later this spring.
The company 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 2GW of renewable power.
“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. 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. 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,” says Christer af Geijerstam, President of Equinor Wind US.
New York poised to harness offshore wind potential
New York is a leader in the U.S. in its commitment to renewable energy, and to using offshore wind to help achieve its ambitious renewable energy goals. The state has excellent offshore wind conditions that make it well-suited to the development of this promising new source of energy. 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 will generate savings of around 1 billion dollars in reduced wholesale energy costs in New York.
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.
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 US. 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 US east coast wind market, a 128,000 acre site offshore Massachusetts. In total, Equinor’s US 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. The US northeast is a key component of our growing commitment to develop offshore wind resources around the globe,” said Pål Eitrheim, Equinor’s Executive Vice President for New Energy Solutions.
Building a material position in renewables
Equinor is building a material position in renewable energy, particularly in offshore wind. Equinor now powers more than 1 million European homes with renewable wind power from five projects in the United Kingdom and Germany. Equinor commissioned the world’s first floating offshore wind farm in 2017, off the coast of Scotland. Equinor is also developing offshore wind in Poland, as well as solar energy in Brazil and Argentina.