Hywind Scotland

Empire Wind 1 Cleared to Start Construction

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has approved the Construction and Operations Plan (COP) for Equinor’s Empire Wind offshore wind project in New York, the US. With this approval secured, the developer is planning to start the construction of Empire Wind 1 later this year.

The approved plan includes the construction and operation of two offshore wind farms, known as the 816 MW Empire Wind 1 and the 1,260 MW Empire Wind 2.

The wind project is located in federal waters on the Outer Continental Shelf about 12 nautical miles south of Long Island, New York, and 17 nautical miles east of Long Branch, New Jersey.

With this key permitting action by BOEM secured, Empire Wind is on track to begin construction in its federal lease area later this year, said Equinor.

Already well-advanced in planning and development, the Empire Wind 1 could deliver the first power to New Yorkers by 2026. In addition, the construction to transform the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal into a major hub for offshore wind could begin as early as this spring.

“Today’s COP approval follows years of rigorous review and collaboration with BOEM and other federal agencies. Equinor is grateful for a shared commitment to achieving state and federal offshore wind ambitions and Empire Wind is one step closer to delivering renewable power to hundreds of thousands of New York homes,” said Molly Morris, President of Equinor Renewables Americas.

First submitted in 2020, the Empire Wind COP authorizes detailed plans for offshore and onshore construction and operations based on years of environmental reviews, input from outside experts, and extensive public feedback. 

BOEM’s announcement follows the November 2023 approval of Empire Wind’s Federal Record of Decision.

Empire Wind has recently received several federal approvals. Last week, it received its Clean Air Act permit from the Environmental Protection Agency while this week, it received its approval from the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.


In January, Equinor and BP announced that they reached an agreement to restructure the ownership of their US joint venture offshore wind projects, with Equinor taking full control of the Empire Wind 1 and 2 projects, and BP assuming full ownership of the 2.5 GW Beacon Wind 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 as NYSERDA rules allow participation with an existing PPA, while for Empire Wind 2 the company terminated the PPA at the beginning of this year and said the move repositioned the project to “continue development in anticipation of new offtake opportunities”.


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