Equinor and bp have launched the New York-based Offshore Wind Innovation Hub to facilitate partnerships with start-ups that bring new technological solutions to the rapidly growing U.S. offshore wind industry.
The initiative springs from a new three-year partnership between Equinor, the Urban Future Lab (UFL) at the NY Tandon School of Engineering, and the National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium (NOWRDC), supported by New York City Economic Development Corp. (NYCEDC).
“Offshore wind is increasingly accepted as a viable new source of renewable energy, but the industry has evolved by harnessing the power of nature through cutting-edge technological solutions,” says Siri Espedal Kindem, president of Equinor Wind U.S. “Equinor and bp are thrilled to launch this partnership in an effort to push the envelope even further by nurturing innovative new ideas from around the world that will help drive technological growth and efficiency even further. Establishing this innovation hub is just one way we are accelerating the development of the offshore wind industry in New York and beyond.”
The new Innovation Hub will leverage UFL’s success in promoting and helping the launch of cleantech start-ups, fostering collaboration with the international incubator community to cultivate pilots and demonstration projects that accelerate advances in offshore wind.
“NOWRDC is pleased to provide its support to the Innovation Hub and its future cohorts,” comments Robert Catell, NOWRDC’s chair.
The hub, located adjacent to Equinor and bp’s new project office in Sunset Park, will create a physical location for offshore wind programming and serve as a center for the industry’s innovation ecosystem. It will host educational programming, workshops and curricula for the startups, as well as networking opportunities with industry participants.
“NYCEDC is committed to accelerating equitable innovation in New York City’s growing offshore wind industry,” adds Melissa Burch, NYCEDC’s COO. “We look forward to supporting the Innovation Hub’s partners in building a program that ensures a diverse startup ecosystem with a curriculum that focuses on generating shared equity for all New Yorkers.”
Equinor is leading the initiative on behalf of its 50-50 strategic partnership with bp. Together, the companies are developing the Beacon Wind and Empire Wind projects, which will supply 3.3 GW of renewable energy to New York.
“New York is committed to being the nation’s hub for offshore wind development, setting a template for the green economy and the clean energy grid of the future,” states Doreen M. Harris, NYSERDA’s president and CEO. “We applaud the efforts of Equinor and bp, NYU’s Urban Future Lab, NOWRDC, and NYCEDC to grow this industry by harnessing the intellectual and entrepreneurial power of New Yorkers.”
In the coming months, the partners will develop a call for applications to identify and select startups with technologies that address key challenges facing U.S. offshore wind. Once chosen, these startups will receive tailored support and unique programming that draws on UFL’s network of mentors, NOWRDC industry community and key policy figures in the technology areas identified for the cohort – laying the groundwork for potential partnerships between Equinor and the participating startups.
“The benefits of this program to the citizens of NYS are twofold. Not only will the Equinor/bp projects bring us clean, renewable energy, but the Innovation Hub will be an important step in building a new wind industry based in N.Y.,” says Pat Sapinsley, managing director of cleantech initiatives at NYU Urban Future Lab. “The nascent technologies that are necessary for successful deployment will find a receptive home and business development services at the Hub.”