New York State announces 1.7 GW offshore wind energy deal

The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, and former Vice President Al Gore have announced the winners of New York's first comprehensive offshore wind solicitation. The project will see the construction of two offshore wind farms in Long Island waters, with a combined capacity of 1.7 GW. 

Contracts for the Empire Wind and Sunrise Wind developments were awarded to Equinor and to a joint venture between Ørsted  and US energy company Eversource as part of the largest single renewable energy procurement in US history. 

Equinor’s Empire Wind farm will be made up of between 60 and 80 turbines with a combined capacity of 816 MW. The Sunrise Wind project will have a capacity of 880 MW. Investments in both facilities will total approximately $3bn. 

The announcements coincided with Governor Cuomo’s signing of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), which requires New York state’s utility companies to produce 70% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030, calls for 100% carbon-free electricity generation by 2040, and a net zero carbon economy by 2050. It also sets a goal to develop 9 GW of offshore wind energy by 2035.

‘The environment and climate change are the most critically important policy priorities we face,’ Governor Cuomo said. ‘They literally will determine the future - or the lack thereof. Even in today's chaos of political pandering and hyperbole there are still facts, data and evidence - and climate change is an undeniable scientific fact.’ 

But cries for a new green movement are hollow political rhetoric if not combined with aggressive goals and a realistic plan on how to achieve them. With this agreement, New York will lead the way in developing the largest source of offshore wind power in the nation.’

The new legislation stands at odds with President Trump’s environmental stance. Since coming into power, the President has withdrawn the US from the Paris Agreement and rolled back environmental protections. 

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