New York’s Offshore Wind Sector Marches Forward

| April 1, 2023

By Peter Aronson

New York state, and particularly Long Island, took another step forward recently in the state’s multi-pronged effort to achieve 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040.

The Town of Brookhaven, in Suffolk County, and Sunrise Wind announced a Host Community Agreement recently, whereby Sunrise Wind will pay a total of $170 million for community projects in exchange for access to land necessary to enable its proposed offshore wind farm.

Sunrise Wind’s turbines would be located approximately 30 miles east of Montauk and would deliver enough clean energy to power 600,000 homes. The Community Agreement will allow Sunrise Wind to get access to 18 miles of land, so it can house a cable to carry the power generated by the turbines.

The New York League of Conservation Voters applauds this project as a shining example of synergy between community leaders, elected officials, labor, clean-energy business and environmental advocates – and one with strong economic benefits, as reported in Long Island Business News.  

It is time for us to move beyond setting goals and making plans and to start delivering on climate action, which means constructing projects,” said NYLCV President Julie Tighe. “And we know that offshore wind means opportunities not just to fight climate change and reduce pollution, but also for investments in our communities.” 

The Host Community Agreement with Sunrise Wind will bring millions in investments and hundreds of family sustaining union jobs to Long Island while bringing enough clean energy to power half of LIPA’s customers. 

“We are thrilled to see such strong bipartisan support for this project and we congratulate Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone on this agreement and for continuing to embrace offshore wind,” added Tighe

And those will be clean-energy jobs, the kind of jobs that serve the dual goals of providing economic security to thousands of New Yorkers, while at the same time replacing carbon emissions with clean energy across the state.

To understand the full impact of the Sunrise Community Agreement, it’s important to look at the details. Under the terms of the agreement,

  • Sunrise will pay a total of $169.9 million over 25 years;
  • $5 million will go towards construction of Tri-Hamlet Park and other projects, including for schools, in the future;
  • $10 million will go towards construction of a National Offshore Wind Training Center in Brentwood; 
  • Sunrise will create of a state-of-the art Operations and Maintenance Hub in East Setauket, which will create up to 100 new long-term jobs; 
  • $5 million will go towards a Research and Development Partnership with Stony Brook University; and 
  • Hundreds of union construction jobs will be created to build the 18-mile underground transmission infrastructure and related facilities.  

A second development regarding offshore wind was also welcome news.

Equinor, one of the largest offshore wind-energy developers in the world, and BP submitted a joint bid to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), for a large wind farm project 60 miles off the coast of Long Island. The project, known as Beacon Wind 2, would provide electricity to approximately one million New York homes.

For more details on Equinor’s bid, please see its press release. 

NYLCV understands wind energy is vital to New York State reaching its mandated energy goals, which is why it is a major priority for us in our 2023 agenda. 

Under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019, New York State has committed to developing nine gigawatts of offshore wind powered electricity by 2035, enough to power six million New York homes, the most ambitious target in the country. And NYLCV is now pushing for that target to be increased to 20 gigawatts by 2040.

Regarding the state wind-power projects now in development, NYSERDA provides an overview here and a detailed report here.

Long Island is the center of the state’s wind power efforts, with multiple projects in the works.

The South Fork Wind project, the state’s first operational commercial wind farm that could start supplying energy by the end of this year, would power 70,000 homes.    

There’s also Empire Wind 1 and Empire Wind 2, both now going through the New York state and federal application process. Collectively, these four wind power projects would provide power to more than 2.4 million New York homes by providing 4.3 gigawatts of power, almost half the state’s nine gigawatt wind-power goal by 2035.

NYLCV often talks about Greening the Grid, and we will continue to advocate for a robust offshore wind sector as the state makes progress towards replacing carbon emissions with clean energy. 


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