New York finalizes contracts for Empire Wind 1 and Sunrise Wind

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has entered into agreements with Equinor’s Empire Wind 1 projects and Ørsted’s and Eversource’s Sunrise Wind projects.

NYSERDA had awarded conditional contracts in February 2024 for the purchase of electricity from the two projects.

With their combined capacity of 1.7 GW, they are crucial to the state’s strategy to achieve 9 GW of offshore wind energy by 2035.

The Empire Wind 1 and Sunrise Wind projects will become operational in 2026.

Empire Wind 1 will be located 15 miles off the coast of New York. Sunrise Wind will be located 30 miles east of the eastern tip of Long Island.

The competitively selected projects are expected to be built with an investment of $2 billion and are expected to deliver significant economic benefits.

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Over their 25-year lifespan, Empire Wind 1 and Sunrise Wind are expected to contribute more than $6 billion in economic benefits to New York State.

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M Harris said, “As the largest power generation projects in the state in more than thirty-five years, these historic projects, when built, will represent a historic milestone in New York’s transition to a clean energy economy.

“Achieving a zero-emissions electric grid will deliver significant economic and public health benefits, as well as reliability for all New Yorkers.”

Equinor has already begun onshore construction of the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal – the beginning of tangible development of Empire Wind 1, the first offshore wind farm to connect directly to New York City’s electrical grid.

The aim is to supply the first electricity at the end of 2026.

Molly Morris, president of Equinor Renewables Americas, said: “We thank NYSERDA and New York State for their steadfast commitment to the offshore wind industry and for achieving the state’s broader renewable energy goals.

“Empire Wind 1 is a defining project for Equinor and the agreement is an important milestone in mitigating risk and ensuring a robust path forward as we work to deliver first power.”

The company also plans to secure project financing following a final investment decision, with financial close expected by the end of 2024.

A partner is being sought to limit the financial risks.

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