Equinor has announced the execution of the Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for the renewable power generated by the 810 MW Empire Wind 1 offshore wind project. The agreement follows NYSERDA’s February announcement that Equinor had been selected as a conditional winner in New York’s fourth offshore wind solicitation.

Empire Wind 1 is a defining project for Equinor and the PSA agreement is an important milestone in de-risking and ensuring a robust path forward as it works towards delivering first power. Onshore construction activity is now under way at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal. Empire Wind 1 will be the USA’s first offshore wind project to plug directly into the New York City grid with a target to deliver first power in late 2026.

At a strike price of $155.00 per MWh Empire Wind 1 is expected to deliver forward looking real base project returns within the guided range for renewable projects. Following a final investment decision, Equinor plans to use project financing, with financial close anticipated by end of 2024. It intends to bring in a partner to reduce financial exposure.

Image: Visualisation of the upgraded South Brooklyn Marine Terminal

An important feature of Empire Wind 1 is the transformation of the venerable South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT) in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. SBMT will be rebuilt and serve as the primary staging and assembly area for Empire Wind 1. The port will be positioned as a central hub for future offshore wind projects as the industry grows along the Northeast seaboard in the coming decades.

As part of this agreement, the project is set to provide a range of economic benefits that will support economic development in New York City and across the state, including increased funding for workforce and community development, with significant local investments already made in the Offshore Wind Learning Center, the Offshore Wind Innovation Hub and the Offshore Wind Ecosystem Fund.