Equinor has proposed to locate the U.S.’ first offshore wind tower manufacturing facility at the Port of Albany, in upstate New York. Developed jointly with wind industry manufacturers Marmen and Welcon, Equinor stands ready to transform the port for manufacturing offshore wind towers and transition pieces (TPs), creating up to 350 direct jobs in the region.
The Port of Albany extension initiative is part of the bid Equinor submitted in response to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) latest offshore wind energy solicitation, which seeks up to 2.5 GW of offshore wind and multi-port infrastructure investment plans (PIIPs). Development of a tower manufacturing facility at the Port of Albany is contingent upon NYSERDA selecting Equinor’s bid and PIIP.
“With this latest solicitation, New York solidifies its commitment to renewable energy and its desire to make the offshore wind industry an important component of the state’s economy,” says Siri Espedal Kindem, president of Equinor Wind U.S. “Equinor is excited about the possibility of expanding its business within New York, and this plan would create the first facility for offshore wind tower and transition piece manufacturing in the U.S. Our proposal helps secure New York and the Port of Albany as a regional leader in this exciting new industry.”
The construction of an offshore wind tower/TP manufacturing facility at the Port of Albany could provide an immediate economic boost to the area as it recovers from the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, creating new employment opportunities as early as the second half of 2021. If Equinor’s plan is chosen by NYSERDA, hundreds of jobs will flow to Albany for the construction of the port’s infrastructure and for the long-term assembly. In addition, maritime operations related to industry components will sustain hundreds of other jobs for decades.
In September, bp and Equinor announced that they formed a strategic partnership for offshore wind in the U.S. and that bp will be a 50% non-operating partner in the Empire Wind and Beacon Wind assets on the U.S. East Coast.
The transaction is expected to close in early 2021.