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Wind turbines off of Block Island

Wind turbines at Orsted's Block Island wind farm off Rhode Island, one of two commercial offshore wind farms in the United States. Credit: PennyJack Creative/Shutterstock

Equinor Awarded Key Approval for New York ‘Empire Wind’ Offshore Wind Farm

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February 22, 2024

Feb 22 (Reuters) – U.S. officials on Thursday gave Norway’s Equinor EQNR.OL approval to start building a massive offshore wind farm off the coast of New York, a positive milestone for a project that has faced soaring costs and does not have a power supply contract.

The plan approved by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management includes construction and operation of both the Empire Wind 1 and Empire Wind 2 facilities, which could power more than 700,000 homes annually once built.

“We are ready to get to work,” Molly Morris, president of Equinor Renewables Americas, said in a statement.

The offshore wind industry is expected to play a key role in helping the U.S. and states including New York meet their goals to decarbonize the power grid and combat climate change.

Equinor said construction of Empire Wind is on track to start later this year, and the project could start delivering power to New York by 2026.

But first, it must secure a contract. Empire Wind 1 last month submitted a revised bid to supply power to New York state as part of a solicitation that allowed companies to exit old contracts and re-offer at higher prices.

New York is expected to announce contract awards in the coming weeks.

Equinor and others in the industry had sought new contract terms because of rocketing construction costs, higher interest rates and supply chain snags.

Empire Wind 2 is expected to be submitted in a future solicitation, Equinor has said. 

(Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Alexander Smith)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2024.

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