New York City Greenlights Empire Wind O&M Base Design

The New York City Public Design Commission (PDC) has approved Equinor’s design for the offshore wind operations and maintenance (O&M) building that the developer of the Empire Wind projects plans to build at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT).

Approved rendering of the design for the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Sunset Park; Image: Equinor

The O&M base would be New York’s first-ever purpose-built facility of this kind, according to Equinor.

The Empire Wind developer says that, during the design process of its O&M base, the company conducted significant community engagement to solicit input and ensure that public feedback was reflected in the final design.

“The approval of the design for our operations and maintenance building at SBMT is a significant milestone in the transformation of SBMT into a hub for offshore wind and a staging area for our projects,” said Teddy Muhlfelder, Vice President for Equinor Renewables Americas.

“Our project team worked with City officials and community leaders for over two years to incorporate their input and arrive at a building design that reflects our commitment to partnering with New York City and the Sunset Park community. We are excited to move forward with our efforts to revitalize this port, create new jobs, and help boost the local economy while connecting New Yorkers to a reliable, long-term source of renewable energy.” 

The South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, on which the construction is expected to start this Spring, will become the staging facility for the 810 MW Empire Wind 1 project. After securing an offtake agreement with New York in 2019, Equinor is now re-bidding Empire Wind 1 in the state’s latest offshore wind solicitation.

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South Brooklyn Marine Terminal will serve as the O&M hub for Empire Wind 1 and will be the site of the project’s onshore substation. Being a low-emissions facility with solar power and EV charging stations installed onsite, SBMT will provide onshore power and charging for the Empire Wind service operations vessel (SOV), the first plug-in hybrid vessel for the US offshore wind industry.

According to Equinor, the 73-acre terminal will transform into one of the nation’s largest dedicated port facilities for offshore wind in the US and will support not only Empire Wind but also the East Coast’s growing offshore wind industry.   

The company is redeveloping the SBMT together with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and terminal operator Sustainable South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SSBMT), a joint venture of Red Hook Terminals and Industry City. 

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Besides Empire Wind 1, Equinor is also developing the second phase at the Empire Wind lease site. Empire Wind 2 also had an offtake agreement secured with the New York State, however, Equinor and its now-former Empire Wind partner BP decided to terminate the OREC contract for Empire Wind 2 at the beginning of this year and said the projects would be matured for future solicitation rounds.


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