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Equinor and BP awarded with 2.5 GW in projects for New York

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Two major European offshore wind developers, Equinor and BP, were awarded Wednesday with 2.5 gigawatts in projects by the state of New York. This award is the state’s largest and one of the single largest U.S. renewable energy contracts.

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Equinor and BP: at the forefront in New York’s renewable energy transition

Equinor and BP, two European major offshore wind developers, announced Wednesday with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, they’ve been awarded the entirety of New York’s second large-scale solicitation. The announcement was made during the Governor’s his 2021 State of the State address.

The projects, which will add up to $8.9 billion in investment, include 1,230 MW from the Beacon Wind 1 and 1,260 megawatts from the Empire Wind 2 project. This represents an expansion of the $1.1 billion and 816 MW Empire Wind 1 project Equinor is already building for the Long Island coast under the state’s first solicitation, held in 2019.

Both awards must be finalized in a purchase and sale agreement with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. However, Equinor’s representatives believe this award will total its offshore wind plans for the state to 3.3 gigawatts.

That capacity is more than one-third of the 9 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035 that New York is targeting.

According to analyses provided by Green Tech Media, the news put Equinor and its strategic partner, BP, ahead of rivals in the race to supply New York with renewable and carbon-free energy. Under the state’s law, New York must advance its energy transition path, with 70% of its power generation being cleaner by 2030 and 100% by 2040.

Denmark’s Ørsted and its partner, Eversource Energy; won the part of New York’s first 1.7 GW solicitation in 2019 through its plans for the 880 MW Sunrise Wind project.

Offshore wind goals

As part of Wednesday’s award, Equinor and BP will partner with New York state to convert the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal and the Port of Albany into large-scale offshore wind manufacturing hubs.

Upgrades at another three ports are planned, including increasing the Hudson River Port of Coeymans’ use for turbine manufacturing. The agreements also include expanding operations and maintenance at Port Jefferson and Port of Montauk Harbor in Long Island.

Gov. Cuomo also pledged a host of investments into New York’s clean energy transformation in his speech, including a more robust transmission system.

Those plans include a $2 billion “green energy superhighway” plan to build 250 miles of transmission. Also a request for proposals for projects to link upstate and Canadian wind and hydropower to New York City. These projects would have a projected $5 billion in public and private investment. 

Cuomo’s “Reimagine, Rebuild, Renew” plan also calls for boosting the state’s latest round of onshore wind and solar projects; by building 23 new solar facilities and a hydroelectric project in 2021.

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