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New York Announces Two Offshore Wind Project Awards, to Deliver Clean Power in 2026

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced a significant step forward in New York's clean energy future with the conditional awarding of contracts for two offshore wind projects: Empire Wind 1 and Sunrise Wind. These projects, expected to be operational by 2026, represent a substantial boost to the state's efforts to combat climate change, create jobs, and foster a robust clean energy sector.

Delivering Clean Power and Economic Benefits:

Empire Wind 1 and Sunrise Wind, with their combined capacity of over 1,700 megawatts, will generate enough clean energy to power roughly one million New York homes, contributing significantly to the state's ambitious goal of obtaining 70% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.  Furthermore, these projects are estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over three million metric tons annually, equivalent to taking over 740,000 cars off the road.

Beyond environmental benefits, these projects are poised to create significant economic opportunities. Over 800 near-term, family-sustaining construction jobs are projected to be generated, alongside $2 billion in near-term economic development investments across the state. Additionally, the projects prioritize disadvantaged communities, with over $1 billion dedicated investments planned and $117 million specifically allocated to support minority, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses.

Building a Robust Offshore Wind Industry:

The selection of Empire Wind 1 and Sunrise Wind underscores New York's commitment to becoming a national leader in the burgeoning offshore wind industry. Both projects have already completed most federal and state permitting milestones, demonstrating a streamlined and efficient approach for future developments.

Empire Wind 1, developed by Equinor, is an 810-megawatt project situated approximately 15 miles offshore New York. Notably, the project received final approval for its Construction and Operations Plan from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) last week, further paving the way for its development.

Sunrise Wind, developed by Orsted and Eversource, boasts a capacity of 924 megawatts and is located over 30 miles east of Long Island. Both projects are anticipated to commence construction activities this year, marking a tangible step towards realizing their clean energy and economic benefits.

Investing in Infrastructure and Workforce Development:

The awarded projects showcase a commitment to building a comprehensive infrastructure framework for the state's offshore wind industry. The South Brooklyn Marine Terminal will be transformed into one of the largest dedicated offshore wind port facilities in the United States, with construction activity expected to start this spring. This transformation, spearheaded by Empire Wind 1, will create over 400 construction jobs and serve as a crucial hub for future wind projects.

Additionally, the projects prioritize workforce development, allocating over $43 million to equip individuals with the necessary skills to thrive in this growing sector. This investment ensures a skilled and qualified workforce is available to support the construction, operation, and maintenance of these projects, paving the way for a sustainable clean energy future.

State Officials Celebrate Landmark Announcement:

Governor Hochul emphasized the importance of these projects, stating, "I promised to make New York a place for the renewable energy industry to do business, and we are delivering on that promise. Offshore wind is foundational to our fight against climate change, and these awards demonstrate our national leadership to advance a zero-emissions electric grid at the best value to New Yorkers."

Public Service Commission Chair Rory M. Christian echoed the governor's sentiment, applauding her "determined drive" to ensure New York remains on track to meet its clean energy goals. He further highlighted the projects' potential to create "good-paying, clean energy jobs that we will need to support our economy long into the future."

Industry Voices Applaud New York's Leadership:

Industry leaders also expressed their enthusiasm for the project awards. Molly Morris, President of Equinor Renewables Americas, highlighted Empire Wind's "environmental and economic benefits that begin at the local level and will extend across the state." David Hardy, EVP and CEO Americas for Orsted, emphasized Sunrise Wind's role in "this new American clean energy industry," praising Governor Hochul's leadership in driving the industry forward.

These awards represent a pivotal moment for New York's clean energy journey. Empire Wind 1 and Sunrise Wind not only contribute significantly to achieving ambitious climate goals and generating clean energy, but they also lay the groundwork for a thriving clean energy sector, creating jobs, fostering economic development, and positioning New York as a leader in offshore wind energy.

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