New York Offshore Wind Project Empire Wind 2 Faces Reset

Offshore wind turbines

(Credit: Equinor)

by | Jan 5, 2024

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Equinor and BP are ending their offshore wind renewable energy certificate agreement for the Empire Wind 2 near New York.

The termination agreement marks a reset for Empire Wind 2, a joint venture between Equinor and BP located off the coast of Long Island. The companies attribute the reset to the changing economic circumstances of the offshore wind industry at large, such as inflation and supply chain disruptions. The companies aim to seek new offtake opportunities for the already-mature Empire Wind project in order to continue its development.

Both the Empire Wind 1 and Empire Wind 2 have recently achieved significant permitting milestones and are expected to eventually power around 1 million New York homes.

“Commercial viability is fundamental for ambitious projects of this size and scale,” said Molly Morris, president of Equinor Renewables Americas. “The Empire Wind 2 decision provides the opportunity to reset and develop a stronger and more robust project going forward. We will continue to closely engage our many community partners across the state.”

Despite the delay, Equinor and BP cite their continued engagement with the United States’ goal of scaling up offshore wind development and consider New York state’s commitment to the renewable energy source a promising indicator for successful continuation of the project.

Offshore Wind Industry Experiences Mixed Success

Empire Wind 2’s reset may come without surprise as a number of offshore wind projects in the U.S. have faced similar delays. Late last year, two of Ørsted’s major offshore wind projects in New Jersey were canceled after the projects were considered to be no longer financially feasible.

Experts reportedly claim meeting the Biden administration’s goal of generating 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030 is unlikely at this point, according to a PBS report, but they expect the country to reach 20 to 22 gigawatts or more.

Nonetheless, some offshore wind projects in the U.S. have progressed, with some reaching commercial operation. Earlier this week, the Vineyard Wind project led by Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners began to deliver power to the New England grid. Leases for new offshore wind projects have also been recently issued in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.

Efforts have also been made to strengthen U.S. supply chains for offshore wind in order to reduce uncertainty and delays often associated with reliance on imports.

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