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New York restarts major offshore wind projects

New York restarts major offshore wind projects

By Blake Jackson

New York State secured the future of two major offshore wind projects after finalizing new contracts with developers. Empire Wind 1 and Sunrise Wind were previously jeopardized by rising costs, but the revised agreements bring them back on track.

Developed by Equinor, Empire Wind 1 will be an 810-megawatt project located south of New York. ├śrsted will take over the 924-megawatt Sunrise Wind project from Eversource. Both projects were originally awarded contracts in 2019, but renegotiation requests in 2023 were denied.

The new contracts reflect current market prices, with an average cost of $150.15 per megawatt-hour. This is lower than the $160 requested by developers last year but still higher than the original prices. Governor Hochul highlighted the minimal impact on residential electricity bills, averaging $2.09 per month.

These projects will be the largest power generators built in New York in over 35 years, providing enough clean energy to power over one million homes. Additionally, the agreements include:

  • $32 million for community investments
  • $16.5 million for wildlife and fisheries monitoring
  • Requirement to purchase US-made steel
  • Labor agreements for operations and maintenance

Both projects are well-developed, with significant permitting completed. Sunrise Wind’s onshore construction has already begun on Long Island, and Empire Wind 1 secured approval for its grid connection plan.

Restarting these projects is crucial for New York's clean energy goals. Previous solicitations faced setbacks due to technical and financial challenges.

NYSERDA is seeking public input for a fifth solicitation expected to launch this summer, demonstrating continued commitment to offshore wind development.

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Categories: New York, Energy

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