Approval keeps Empire Wind on target to start construction this year

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New York Construction Report staff writer

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has approved the construction and operations plan for Equinor’s Empire Wind project, a significant milestone for the New York offshore wind project.

With key permitting in place, Empire Wind expects to begin construction in its federal lease area off the southern coast of Long Island later this year and Empire Wind 1 could deliver first power to New Yorkers by 2026.

Also, construction to transform the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal into a major hub for offshore wind could begin as early as this spring.

“We are ready to get to work,” said Molly Morris, president of Equinor Renewables Americas. “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.”

The COP authorizes detailed plans for offshore and onshore construction and operations based on environmental reviews, input from experts, and extensive public feedback.

The project has also received a Clean Air Act permit from the Environmental Protection Agency and approval from the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service in accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Empire Wind 1 is currently bidding into New York’s fourth offshore wind solicitation.

The site, being developed by Equinor, is located 15-30 miles southeast of Long Island and spans 80,000 acres, with water depths of between approximately 75 and 135 feet. The lease was acquired in 2017.

“This project represents a major milestone in our efforts to expand clean energy production and combat climate change,” said Elizabeth Klein, Director of BOEM. “The Biden-Harris administration is committed to advancing offshore wind projects like Empire Wind to create jobs, drive economic growth, and cut harmful climate pollution.”

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