Equinor and BP’s New York Offshore Wind Projects Take Next Step in Federal Permitting Process

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy and Management (BOEM) has issued the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Empire Wind offshore wind projects, being developed by Equinor and BP in New York.

The DEIS encompasses the Empire Wind 1 and Empire Wind 2 offshore wind farms that are proposed to be built in waters between 24 and 48 kilometres (15 to 30 miles) offshore Long Island.

The two projects are planned to have up to 147 offshore wind turbine generators, two offshore substations, two offshore export cable routes, up to three export cable landfall sites, up to three onshore cable routes, and two onshore substations, providing connection to the existing electrical grid in Brooklyn and Long Beach.

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement analyses the potential environmental impacts of all the projects’ components and planned activities and several alternatives to the proposed action.

The DEIS will go on 60-day public consultation from 18 November, with the feedback from that process to be used to inform the preparation of the Final EIS.

BOEM will use the findings of the EIS to inform its decision on whether to approve Empire Wind’s Construction and Operation Plan (COP), and if so, which mitigation measures to require.

Equinor acquired the lease for the area in 2017 and decided to develop it in two phases.

The 816 MW Empire Wind Phase 1 wind farm which was selected in New York’s first-ever offshore wind solicitation in 2019 alongside Ørsted and Eversource Energy’s Sunrise Wind project.

The 1,260 MW Empire Wind 2 was selected in the state’s offshore wind power solicitation in January 2021 together with their Beacon Wind 1 project south of Nantucket. 

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If approved, the two projects could together bring more than 2 GW of installed capacity to New York and power 700,000 households.

Equinor and BP’s portfolio of active offshore wind projects (Empire Wind 1, Empire Wind 2 and Beacon Wind 1) could produce enough electricity to power about 2 million New York homes, and help generate more than USD 1 billion in economic output to New York State, including investments in ports and infrastructure, according to the developers.

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Photo: Illustration; Photo source: Equinor