Equinor's port infrastructure plan gets support from members of Congress

In: Windfarms
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) have sent a letter to Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo in support of Empire Wind’s Port Infrastructure Improvement Plan to build what would become the nation’s first offshore wind production hub at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT) in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

“A project at SBMT will be part of the ecosystem of working waterfront we foster in Brooklyn,”
wrote the lawmakers. “It is also located in an environmental justice community and can offer equitable economic opportunity for residents and area small businesses through training, workforce development and contracting. Indeed, this project is well suited to meet the goals set out five years ago by the Sunset Park Waterfront Planning and Jobs Task Force to maximize the waterfront’s potential as an economic hub of traditional and innovating industries, job creation and workforce development.”

As the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) seeks proposals to expand the City’s offshore wind production capacity, Velázquez and Nadler are asking for “full and fair consideration” for Empire Wind’s proposal to build and operate a wind farm production hub at SBMT. The lawmakers argue the proposal is in line with the Sunset Park community’s commitment to environmental justice and to the creation of green jobs and a clean energy future. SBMT is located less than one day’s sail from each of the nine East Coast wind farm development areas.

Last month, NYSERDA issued a solicitation requesting proposals for up to 2,500 MW of offshore wind. New York State has a goal to secure 70 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030, and at least 9,000 MW of offshore wind by 2035. The state plans to announce awards for the solicitation during Q4 2020.

Equinor has offered bids including two projects,
Empire Wind Phase 2 and Beacon Wind, which is claims have the potential to power more than one million homes and generate more than 3,000 new jobs for New York State. Equinor plans to use the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal for construction activities and its operations and maintenance (O&M) base going forward. The proposals also include plans for manufacturing offshore wind components upstate at the Port of Coeymans and the Port of Albany.

Equinor's bid follows the success of Empire Wind Phase 1, an 816 MW winning bid in 2019 that is currently under development.

In September 2020, BP and Equinor announced that they have formed a strategic partnership for offshore wind in the U.S., and that BP will be a 50% non-operating partner in the Empire Wind and Beacon Wind assets on the U.S. East Coast. The transaction is expected to close in early 2021.

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