Equinor and bp, in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corp. (NYCEDC) and the Sunset Park Task Force (SPTF), have created the Offshore Wind Ecosystem Fund, a $5 million clean energy community grant program designed to support sustainable growth, workforce development, empowerment of underserved communities and climate justice in New York City’s emerging offshore wind ecosystem.
The fund will provide grants that help spur job education and training, provide historically marginalized communities access to workforce and small business opportunities, and assist minority and women-owned business enterprises in New York City to foster innovation that contributes to the growth of the offshore wind ecosystem.
The Ecosystem Fund is governed by a strategy development committee responsible for creating investment strategies that align with the fund’s objectives, and a selection committee that will help evaluate and select funding proposals. Both include representatives of the Sunset Park Task Force, which advocates to maximize the economic potential and community links between Sunset Park residents and the waterfront, NYCEDC and Equinor.
Equinor is leading the Ecosystem Fund initiative on behalf of its 50-50 strategic partnership with bp in the U.S. Together, the companies are developing the Empire Wind and Beacon Wind projects. Empire Wind, located off the southern coast of Long Island, will provide over two GW of offshore wind energy, and Beacon Wind will provide an additional 1.2 GW of power.
“We are thrilled to announce the launch of the Ecosystem Fund that will provide important funding to help develop the future of the clean energy economy in New York. This initiative will help spur a new pipeline of creative ideas and talented people from across the city, especially from underserved communities, to build careers in this exciting new field,” says Molly Morris, president of Equinor Wind US. “It also aligns with our work with the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal and the community of Sunset Park in Brooklyn to revitalize the industrial port facility and transform it into a major staging and assembly port for offshore wind turbines that will last well into the future.”
“bp recognizes the importance of a just energy transition that delivers quality jobs, supports the livelihoods of local communities and prepares workers for new opportunities in the energy sector,” states Dave Lawler, chairman and president of bp America. “That’s why we’re investing to support equity within the offshore-wind sector, help people develop skills for the future energy system and build greater workforce resilience.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Equinor in the creation of the Offshore Wind Ecosystem Fund, which will be a critical program helping to advance New York City’s Offshore Wind vision,” comments Andrew Kimball, NYCEDC’s president and CEO. “This fund is the result of a great public private partnership that will help ensure the green economy is accessible to all New Yorkers.”
“NYSERDA’s partnership with Equinor includes three of New York’s five offshore wind projects currently in development – part of the largest active portfolio in the U.S., that will anchor this game-changing renewable resource here in the Empire State and bring benefits to all New Yorkers – especially those who have historically been left behind,” adds Doreen M. Harris, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “This Ecosystem Fund will support communities like Sunset Park with a pathway to provide historical knowledge and local expertise for workforce training and development initiatives – and guide community investments that will best serve their neighborhoods and the broader development of offshore wind projects.”
Further information on the Ecosystem Fund, guidance on applications, and matching opportunities for collaborating with other applicants will be provided in the coming weeks.
Read the full release and further statements by officials here.