Offshore Wind Contracts Finally Awarded by New York

New York seen from the water
Updated Published

On February 29, New York authorities granted provisional agreements for the purchase of electricity from two upcoming offshore wind initiatives, aiming to bolster the struggling sector and ensure the state meets its aggressive renewable energy targets.

Empire Wind 1, a project by Norway's Equinor, and the Sunrise Wind project, a joint venture between Denmark's Orsted and the American utility company Eversource, were the chosen proposals by the state.

Upon completion, these ventures are expected to generate sufficient power for 1 million households, marking them as the most significant power generation developments in New York in nearly forty years.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's (NYSERDA) request for proposals was notably significant as it permitted firms to terminate previous contracts and submit new bids at increased prices.

The selected projects will sign agreements to provide Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Certificates (ORECs) to NYSERDA, which benefits electric consumers across New York.

The offshore wind industry has raised concerns that due to escalating construction costs, higher interest rates, and supply chain issues, it is not financially viable to construct proposed projects.

Both Equinor and Orsted, which have experienced substantial financial setbacks in their U.S. offshore wind endeavors, had requested to increase the power prices of their projects. New York rejected this plea but allowed them to participate in the rebidding process.

Governor Kathy Hochul expressed her commitment to making New York a hub for renewable energy, stating, “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.”

The state's objective is to achieve 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2035, with Sunrise Wind and Empire Wind 1 contributing 1,700 MW towards this goal.

The companies are set to finalize the terms for 25-year contracts, anticipated to be signed in the second quarter of this year.

Equinor Renewables America's President, Molly Morris, remarked on the new opportunity for Empire Wind 1, highlighting plans to repurpose a marine terminal in Brooklyn for offshore wind development activities.

Orsted has announced its intention to buy out Eversource's 50% interest in the 924-MW Sunrise Wind project, with Eversource leading its onshore construction efforts. Orsted claims that Sunrise Wind will be the largest offshore wind project in the nation upon completion.