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An illustration of Great Lakes Dredge and Docks' Jones Act-compliant rock installation vessel that will support the growing U.S. offshore wind industry. Illustration courtesy Great Lakes Dredge & Dock

An illustration of Great Lakes Dredge and Docks' Jones Act-compliant rock installation vessel that will support the growing U.S. offshore wind industry. Illustration courtesy Great Lakes Dredge & Dock

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Receives Termination Notice for Empire Wind 2 Rock Installation

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 5502
January 9, 2024

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation (NASDAQ: GLDD) has announced the termination of the rock installation contract for Empire Wind 2 offshore wind farm off New York after developers pulled the plug on the project.

GLDD said Empire Offshore Wind LLC, the joint venture between Equinor and BP, has officially informed it about the cancellation of the contract, which was set to commence in 2026.

The termination of the contract follows Empire Wind’s decision to terminate its power purchase agreement with New York State for the Empire Wind 2 offshore wind project. Empire Wind 2, the second phase of the Empire Wind project, was planned to have an installed capacity of megawatts. Empire Wind 1, which remains on track as of now, has a smaller installed capacity of 816 megawatts.

A consortium between Great Lakes and Netherlands-based Van Oord had been awarded the subsea rock installation contract for both the Empire Wind I and II offshore wind farms in May 2022. The installation windows for the projects were scheduled for 2025 and 2026, respectively.

Great Lakes’ newbuild subsea rock installation vessel, named Acadia, was set to be used for the work. The Jones Act-compliant vessel is under construction at Philly Shipyard for Great Lakes.

Great Lakes said that due to the termination of the Empire Wind 2 contract, a contractually obligated termination fee will be paid to the consortium.

Despite the setback, Equinor and BP, the joint venture partners of Empire Wind, have left open the possibility of future development for Empire Wind 2, stating that the termination provides an opportunity for a project reset by reposition it to continue its development in anticipation of new offtake opportunities.

“New York remains committed to meeting the State’s clean energy goals and they have taken steps forward with the accelerated solicitations for new PPAs to allow developers to adjust prices for inflation and develop more robust projects going forward,” said Eleni Beyko, Senior Vice President-Offshore Wind at Great Lakes. “Awards for the next solicitation round are expected in February 2024. We look forward to the start of the Empire Wind I installation expected in 2025, continuing our relationship with Equinor and bp as a preferred supplier, and bidding on future projects. We continue to pursue additional opportunities including projects internationally for 2026 and beyond.”

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