New York Takes Next Step in Nation-Leading Offshore Wind Efforts

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The deadline for submitting proposals in response to New York’s second solicitation for offshore wind procurement recently expired, with three companies in the running to land contracts, including Vineyard Wind, Equinor Wind, and Bay State Wind (a joint venture of Ørsted A/S and Eversource Energy). Each submitted proposals in response to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s July 21, 2020, solicitation for 2,500 megawatts of offshore wind energy. These proposals followed along the heels of the state’s 2018 solicitation for 1,700 megawatts of offshore wind, which could bring New York nearly halfway to its goal of 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035.

The recent submissions come from familiar faces in the offshore wind industry, as the contract’s awarded in 2019 include Equinor Wind’s 816 megawatt Empire Wind Project, and Sunrise Wind’s― another joint venture of Ørsted A/S and Eversource Energy―880 megawatt Sunrise Wind Project. The newcomer in the latest round of proposals is Vineyard Wind, which is no stranger to offshore wind projects in the east coast, as it has an 800 megawatt project underway in Massachusetts called Vineyard Wind 1 and procured an 804 megawatt project in Connecticut called Park City Project in 2019.

In response to the latest solicitation, Vineyard Wind’s Liberty Wind proposal includes six different project options accounting for up to 1,300 megawatts of offshore wind power, located 84 miles east of Montauk Point. Equinor’s proposal includes two projects, Empire Wind Phase 2, which is located 15-30 miles southeast of Long Island, and Beacon Wind, located 60 miles east of Montauk Point. Finally, Bay State Wind’s proposal, Sunrise Wind 2, includes multiple project configurations that are expected to expand upon Bay State Wind’s Sunrise Wind 1 project, which was awarded last year.

In addition to the offshore wind proposals, New York’s solicitation also sought a complementary multi-port infrastructure investment. Although few details regarding the infrastructure improvements are disclosed in the public release of the Liberty Wind project, Vineyard Wind did confirm that its bid includes a community engagement plan to put disadvantaged communities at the forefront of its efforts to maximize the benefits of the project. The advantages they outline include economic development, job creation, and environmental benefits.

Meanwhile, Equinor has disclosed that it plans to use the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal for construction activities and its operations and maintenance plan, and plans for manufacturing offshore wind components further upstate at the Port of Coeymans and the Port of Albany. The Sunrise Wind project proposal is reported to include port infrastructure investment plans that would support the revitalization of New York’s maritime infrastructure, and would include a partnership with Con Edison Transmission to support the development of transmission facilities to deliver offshore wind to the electric transmission grid.

The latest clean energy development initiatives are expected to result in nearly $7 billion in direct investments to the state and to create approximately 4,500 jobs.