June 4, 2024
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces the Finalization of New Contracts for Empire Wind 1 and Sunrise Wind

Governor Hochul Announces the Finalization of New Contracts for Empire Wind 1 and Sunrise Wind

Once in Operation in 2026, Offshore Wind Projects Will Be the Largest Power Generation Projects in New York State in Over 35 Years

Supports Progress Towards Achievement of the State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act Goal for 9,000 Megawatts of Offshore Wind by 2035

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the finalization of new contracts for Empire Wind 1, a planned 810-megawatt project (developed by Equinor), and Sunrise Wind, a planned 924-megawatt project (developed by Ørsted and Eversource) as the result of New York’s fourth offshore wind solicitation. The two offshore wind projects, totaling over 1,700 megawatts, will produce enough clean energy to power over one million New York homes and will be the largest power generation projects in New York State in over 35 years once they enter operation in 2026. Today’s announcement is part of New York’s 10-Point Action Plan to support the growing large-scale renewable energy industry, and represents progress toward the achievement of the State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) goal to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2035.

“New York is leading the nation to build the clean energy industry, create good-paying jobs, and advance our climate goals,” Governor Hochul said. “Offshore wind is a critical piece of our clean energy blueprint to address the climate crisis, and our investments are building a healthy, sustainable New York so that future generations can thrive.”

The competitively selected projects will create more than 800 near-term family-sustaining construction jobs, and invest $2 billion in enhanced economic development statewide, including developer-committed investments to support disadvantaged communities. Beyond the projects’ contractual obligations, Empire Wind 1 and Sunrise Wind are expected to deliver more than $6 billion in economic benefits statewide over the 25-year life of the projects.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “As the largest power generation projects in the State in over thirty-five years, these landmark projects, when built, will be a historic milepost in New York’s transition to a clean energy economy. Achieving a zero-emissions electric grid will deliver significant economic and public health benefits as well as reliability to all New Yorkers.”

As mature projects, Empire Wind I, located 15 miles off New York’s shore, and Sunrise Wind, located more than 30 miles east of the eastern point of Long Island, have already completed most federal and state permitting milestones. To support the wind farm’s connection to New York’s electric grid, onshore construction relating to the Sunrise Wind project is well underway, having received approval of its proposed onshore cable route on Long Island in November 2022. Empire Wind 1 achieved a critical milestone last month when the New York State Public Service Commission approved the project’s plan to connect to New York’s electric grid. Work is underway to transform the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal into a state-of-the-art staging and assembly port and long-term operations and maintenance hub for project developer Equinor.

Equinor Renewables Americas President Molly Morris said, “We commend Governor Hochul and NYSERDA for their long-term leadership and commitment to offshore wind. Today’s announcement signals exciting developments ahead for Empire Wind 1. The transformation of South Brooklyn Marine Terminal is already underway, creating new union jobs and placing New York at the center of an industry that will deliver a critical source of renewable power for decades to come.”

Ørsted EVP and CEO David Hardy said, “Sunrise Wind, providing clean reliable power to the State of New York, will be a centerpiece of America’s clean energy transformation, and we’re incredibly proud to be advancing what will become the nation’s largest offshore wind project upon its completion. New York already made history as host to the country’s first utility-scale wind farm with our South Fork Wind project. Now, thanks to the leadership of Governor Hochul, NYSERDA, and the entire administration, we’re ready to build on that legacy to deliver even more jobs, economic benefits, and clean energy with Sunrise Wind.”

Eversource Energy Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer Joe Nolan said, “Today's announcement begins the next chapter for Sunrise Wind, bringing America's largest offshore wind farm one step closer to fruition. Sunrise Wind will have a transformational impact on New York's economy, with the onshore construction scope alone representing a more than $200 million investment and creating 400 new local union jobs. We are grateful to Governor Hochul and all the federal, state, and local leaders supporting this landmark project. As Sunrise Wind moves forward, it will continue to spur hundreds more jobs and millions more in local investment, cementing New York's national leadership in the clean energy economy.”

Empire Wind 1 and Sunrise Wind were previously awarded by NYSERDA in 2019 as part of NYSERDA’s first offshore wind solicitation, and re-awarded in 2023. As part of the new contracts, the projects will be held to new provisions that bring additional benefits to the State, including:

  • New economic benefit commitments above what was originally contracted, including $32 million committed to community-focused investments in New York’s disadvantaged communities and $16.5 million towards wildlife and fisheries monitoring.
  • Commitments to purchasing a minimum of $188 million of U.S. iron and steel, supporting U.S. manufacturing and the New York Buy American Act.
  • Requirements for Labor Peace Agreements for operations and maintenance services.

With today’s announcement, the projects are now on a path to near term project completion, driving local investments and enhanced economic benefits to New York State at cost-competitive rates. The average bill impact for residential customers over the life of these projects under these awards will be approximately two percent, or about $2.09 per month. The weighted average all-in development cost of the contracted offshore wind projects over the life of the contracts is $150.15 per megawatt-hour which is on-par with the latest market prices.

NYSERDA’s new contracts with Empire Wind 1 and Sunrise Wind are available on NYSERDA’s website.

New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said, “Offshore wind is crucial in our fight against climate change. Today’s announcement brings our state closer to achieving the State’s renewable and clean energy goals while ensuring the work is done by a highly skilled union workforce. We thank Governor Hochul and NYSERDA for their commitment to a clean energy economy that creates family-sustaining jobs with the benefits and protections of union contracts.”

New York State Building Trades President Gary LaBarbera said, “As New York continues to pursue the State's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goals, it is critical that we advance offshore wind projects like Empire Wind 1 and Sunrise Wind that boost our clean energy infrastructure and create thousands of good-paying union careers for hardworking New Yorkers. We applaud Governor Hochul and NYSERDA for pushing forward these initiatives off the shores of Long Island and Brooklyn that will propel us to our climate objectives, help usher in a new green economy, and uplift our underserved communities. Our tradesmen and tradeswomen look forward to playing a role in pushing these crucial projects forward and pursuing the family-sustaining careers and paths to the middle class they create.”

Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO President John Durso said, “The advancement of these projects is proof positive that we can address the climate crisis and create good union jobs in the process. We continue to make progress on both fronts and remain committed to working with New York State, the offshore wind industry, and all other stakeholders who are interested in a brighter future with good family sustaining wages.”

Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties President Matthew Aracich said, “I am tremendously proud of Governor Hochul and excited as she takes the next step to advance these industry defining projects. These two marque projects will not only serve to make our region more environmentally sound, but they will also create 800 family-sustaining Building Trades careers in construction. The opportunity provided by the offshore wind industry is another signal for the Building Trades to open our pathways to apprenticeship opportunities for years to come; this pipeline leads the local residents to an express route who become part of the middle class. The lasting impact of these projects cannot be understated, in addition to the economic benefits, they represent a step forward in environmental stewardship for generations to come.”

New York Offshore Wind Alliance Director Fred Zalcman said, “The signing of contracts supporting these advanced stage offshore wind projects is an important reaffirmation of New York's commitment to combatting climate change, fostering a clean energy economy, and providing family sustaining jobs. Sunrise Wind and Empire Wind I are pioneering projects that will bring tangible benefits to the local communities in which they operate and to the state's economy as a whole, and the Hochul Administration deserves tremendous credit in persevering to bring these critical clean energy resources to market.”

Citizens Campaign for the Environment Executive Director Adrienne Esposito said, “The completion of these two contracts ensures that New York is a shining national leader in offshore wind. With every sunrise, New York is advancing clean, renewable energy and fighting climate change. Sunrise Wind and Empire Wind are changing the course of our future and will provide local jobs, cleaner air and healthier communities. We are excited and thankful for Governor Hochul’s leadership and the team at NYSERDA for their strong commitment to keep New York moving forward on our clean energy goals.”

New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan
New York State's climate agenda calls for an orderly and just transition that creates family-sustaining jobs, continues to foster a green economy across all sectors and ensures that at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities. Guided by some of the nation’s most aggressive climate and clean energy initiatives, New York is advancing a suite of efforts – including the New York Cap-and-Invest program (NYCI) and other complementary policies – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and 85 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels. New York is also on a path to achieving a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and economy-wide carbon neutrality by mid-century. A cornerstone of this transition is New York's unprecedented clean energy investments, including more than $28 billion in 61 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the State, $6.8 billion to reduce building emissions, $3.3 billion to scale up solar, nearly $3 billion for clean transportation initiatives and over $2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. These and other investments are supporting more than 170,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector as of 2022 and over 3,000 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, New York also adopted zero-emission vehicle regulations, including requiring all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks sold in the State be zero emission by 2035. Partnerships are continuing to advance New York’s climate action with more than 400 registered and more than 130 certified Climate Smart Communities, nearly 500 Clean Energy Communities, and the State’s largest community air monitoring initiative in 10 disadvantaged communities across the State to help target air pollution and combat climate change.

Contact the Governor's Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474-8418
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