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Ørsted, Equinor and BP among bidders in New York’s 3rd offshore wind round

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US offshore wind development’s development pipeline continues to grow and proposals have now been submitted in response to New York State’s third round of wind energy solicitations.

Responders included well-known giants Ørsted, in conjunction with regional utility Eversource, and Equinor/BP.  Additional bids have come in from Rise Light & Power, Community Offshore Wind - RWE and utility National Grid, and a tie-up of project developers Invenergy and energyRe.

Energy purchases are coordinated through individual states, so far, in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions, while leasing of tracts within the US Outer Continental Shelf is done at the Federal level- by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), a part of the US Department of Energy (USDOE). The states each have goals for their future energy landscapes. In the case of New York, its Climate Act (enacted in July, 2019) mandates that its energy mix should include at least 9,000 MW of offshore wind by 2035.

Equinor and BP’s bid, submitted to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in response to New York’s request for proposals, would source wind power from a lease area dubbed “Beacon Wind 2”, located roughly 60 miles off the eastern tip of Long Island. The team already has a trio of projects awarded in previous solicitations tied to New York’s future wind power needs- the Beacon Wind 1 project (in a lease area adjacent to the proposed tracts), and two  projects  in a location 30 miles southeast of New York-  Empire Wind 1 and 2. According to Equinor/ BP, the Beacon Wind 2 project, if awarded. would be capable of producing 1360 MW of electricity.

In response to the same solicitation, Ørsted/Eversource have submitted a proposal which has multiple options for actual sighting of the windfarm. Ørsted and Eversource are currently building out South Fork Wind, New York’s first offshore wind farm, and will be operational with 130 MW in 2023. Another project, Sunrise Wind (924 MW), is set to come onstream in late 2025. Both projects are in waters east of Long Island.


Each bid comes with plans to develop assets in the highly complex and still evolving supply chains for the nascent offshore wind business. For example, bidder Rise Light & Power proposes to develop an existing 1960’s era power generation facility at Ravenswood (in Astoria, a part of New York City not far from La Guardia Airport) into a clean energy distribution hub. Presently, it is fed by heavy fuel oil (no. 6) and natural gas. Similarly, the Beacon Wind bidders (Equinor and BP) recently purchased a nearby gas turbine fueled power plant, and have a plan to also create a hub for distribution of electricity- The Astoria Gateway for Renewable Energy.

Lay-down, assembly, and service facility development, bringing benefits in the form of economic development and land-side jobs, are also tied to bids in all power purchase solicitations, in New York and other states. As an example, Equinor and BP have previously committed to revitalize the dormant South Brooklyn Marine Terminal- once an active general cargo facility. Ørsted and Eversource have agreed to develop a regional operation and maintenance hub at Port Jefferson (on Long Island Sound), which saw its glory days as a whaling port in the nineteenth century.

The offshore wind forecast does have some cloudy weather; recently environmental groups have been pushing back against development offshore in the wake of multiple whale deaths, urging a pause until these casualties along East Coast states, are better understood. It is not clear that these incidents, concentrated in New Jersey, are tied directly to offshore wind activities.