Equinor Announces Offtake Deal for New York Offshore Wind Project

Equinor on June 4 announced its has finalized an agreement with New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for the renewable power generated by the 810-MW Empire Wind 1 offshore wind project.

The deal comes after NYSERDA in February announced that Equinor had been selected as a conditional winner in New York’s fourth offshore wind solicitation. New York officials last month gave Equinor approval to begin construction of the project, and onshore construction activity for the project is ongoing at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal.

“We thank NYSERDA and the state of New York for their steadfast commitment to the offshore wind industry and to achieving the state’s broader renewable energy targets,” said Molly Morris, president of Equinor Renewables Americas. “Empire Wind 1 is a defining project for Equinor and the PSA agreement is an important milestone in de-risking and ensuring a robust path forward as we work toward delivering first power.”

Empire Wind 1 will be America’s first offshore wind project to plug directly into the New York City grid. The installation is targeting its first power delivery in late 2026. Equinor and BP in January of this year terminated their agreement to sell power to New York state from their proposed Empire Wind 2 offshore wind farm.

Strike Price

Empire Wind 1 will have a strike price of $155 per MWh. A strike price is an agreement between a seller and customer in a financial power purchase agreement. The seller is paid the strike price for delivering null electricity, or power from a renewable energy installation, into the wholesale market. The seller and customer then exchange any difference between the strike price and the wholesale market price, so the seller always receives the strike price.

Equinor said it expects financial close of the project by the end of this year. The company said it intends to bring in a partner to reduce financial exposure.

Officials said the signing of the offtake agreement further solidifies progress made by Empire Wind 1. The project will create more than 1,000 union jobs during the construction phase, and help build out a domestic supply chain for the U.S. offshore wind industry.

Terminal Being Rebuilt

An important feature of Empire Wind 1 is the transformation of the venerable South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The terminal will be rebuilt using union labor and serve as the primary staging and assembly area for Empire Wind 1. Going forward, the port will be positioned as a central hub for future offshore wind projects as the industry grows along the Northeast seaboard in the coming decades.

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Major renewable energy infrastructure projects such as Empire Wind 1 are a crucial component in reaching toward New York’s climate goals. NYSERDA applauds Equinor for its ongoing commitment to investing in New York’s green economy, including the redevelopment of South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, and helping to stand up New York’s offshore wind industry one significant milestone at a time.”

As part of this agreement, the project is set to provide a range of economic benefits that will support economic development in New York City and across the state, including increased funding for workforce and community development, with significant local investments already made in the Offshore Wind Learning Center, the Offshore Wind Innovation Hub, and the Offshore Wind Ecosystem Fund. Empire Wind 1 has a commitment to spend tens of millions of dollars on businesses owned by minorities, women, and service-disabled veterans, mostly focused on onshore development at South Brooklyn Marine Terminal.

POWER edited this content, which was contributed by Equinor Renewables America’s communications department.

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