The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has nodded approval for the Empire Wind offshore wind project, a two-phase development that, once complete, will total 2,076 MW of output about 12 nm south of Long Island, N.Y., and 16.9 nm east of Long Branch, N.J.
This decision is the sixth approval of a commercial-scale offshore wind energy project during the Biden administration.
Empire Wind US LLC is developing Empire Wind 1 and Empire Wind 2 – the two of which will feature up to 147 wind turbines in total, powering more than 700,000 homes annually.
“Empire Wind is a defining project for New York, and we continue our work to connect with communities and realize the project’s potential,” says Molly Morris, president of Equinor Renewables Americas, the company partnered with bp on Empire Wind.
The record of decision includes measures aimed at avoiding, minimizing and mitigating the potential impacts that may result from the construction and operation of the project. Among those measures, Empire Wind has committed to establishing fishery mitigation funds to compensate commercial and for-hire recreational fishers for any losses directly arising from the project.
“The American offshore wind industry is continuing to expand rapidly – creating good-paying union jobs across the manufacturing, shipbuilding and construction sectors,” says Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. “Together with the labor community, industry, Tribes and partners from coast to coast, we will continue to expand clean energy development in a manner that will benefit communities, strengthen our nation’s energy security and address climate change.”
“Approval of the 2+ GW Empire Wind projects brings the total U.S. pipeline approved for construction to 7 GW, a substantial jump from just a year ago,” says Liz Burdock, founder and CEO of Oceantic Network. “A New York parade of positive developments has lifted the industry over the past month with the successful installation of turbines at the nation’s second commercial-scale project, securing a $1 billion new investment in turbine manufacturing, and keeping the market on track by opening a new procurement round.”
Since the start of the Biden-Harris administration, BOEM has held four offshore wind lease auctions that have brought in almost $5.5 billion in high bids, including a record-breaking sale offshore New York and New Jersey and the first-ever sales offshore the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts. BOEM has also advanced the process to explore additional opportunities for offshore wind energy development in the U.S., including in the Gulf of Maine and offshore Oregon and the U.S. Central Atlantic coast.
The record of decision will be published in the Federal Register in the coming days and be found on the BOEM website.