6.29.21 – Public EIS scoping meetings to be held on June 30, July 8 and July 13 re: Equinor’s Empire Wind project

The below email was sent by CB7 to Board members on 6.29.21. A CB7 board member forwarded the email to me.

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From: Christine Paglialunga
Sent: Monday, June 28, 2021 3:41 PM…
Subject: Empire Wind – Public Scoping Meetings

From the Sunset Park Task Force:

As a follow up to our last meeting, we want to remind you that BOEM deemed the Empire Wind Construction and Operations Plan (COP) sufficient and complete, publishing a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This NOI triggers the public scoping meetings that will inform the EIS for Equinor to eventually secure federal permitting for Empire Wind. The zoom scoping meetings BOEM is holding begin this week, Wednesday June 30th, and will allow time for oral testimony that will be included in the record, these meetings could very well set the tone for the conversation and the scope of the review.

We want to ensure that the many leaders and citizens of Sunset Park, focused on the positive impacts of offshore wind and Empire Wind specifically, are able to use the platform and offer oral testimony, so that the various elements of Empire Wind can be considered in the scope of BOEM’s review.

I am hoping you can help us mobilize participation. The site also offers instructions for those who can’t make the Zoom calls to submit their testimony/comments via other means.

To learn more and sign up for the scoping sessions, please visit:

Empire Wind | Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (boem.gov)

The virtual scoping meetings will be held on:

Wednesday, June 30, 2021, 5:00 pm EST
Registration Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_3T5FEDs0TDORY8DmgEN4CQ
Dial-in phone number: 888-788-0099 (Toll Free)
Webinar ID: 830 7798 1969
Passcode: 25188250

Thursday, July 8, 2021, 5:00 pm EST
Registration Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_UrCpCm9aQRyjDIer_cFcFQ
Dial-in phone number: 888-788-0099 (Toll Free)
Webinar ID: 894 0024 0625
Passcode: 74245413

Tuesday, July 13, 2021, 1:00 pm EST
Registration Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_2h-iwTGZQICZQ78LM4FULA
Dial-in phone number: 888-788-0099 (Toll Free)
Webinar ID: 843 1625 7998
Passcode: 668055

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— Posted by JVS on 6.29.21


1.24.21 – SBMT and Equinor stories – recent news coverage

As reported by the Brooklyn Paper on 1.13.21:

The South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Sunset Park will become an enormous new wind turbine assembly plant funded in part by New York State, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday morning.

“This is our path forward in stimulating the economy post-pandemic, and leading the way on protecting the environment,” the governor said during his annual State of the State address.

The Sunset Park port, located just west of Industry City, will be used to assemble wind turbines the height of the Chrysler Building using parts that are manufactured upstate, according to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

The turbines will be shipped to three offshore wind farms off the coast of Long Island, where they will generate a total of 3.3 gigawatts of energy for the state — enough to power more than 1.8 million homes for a year.

The entire project will be operated by Norwegian energy company Equinor, in partnership with British Petroleum…

As part of the winning bid, the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal is slated to receive $200 million in infrastructure upgrades from the state, according to the solicitation. The state’s funding will be matched by $200 million in private funds, totaling $400 million in renovations for the dilapidated space, which has sat empty for years.

At 73 acres, the assembly plant will be one of the largest in the country, Equinor said. The port, which is slated to be up and running by 2025, will create 1,200 local manufacturing jobs, according to Cuomo..

‘This is good news part for a community that has been dealing with a loss of income, that’s on the brink of despair,” said Elizabeth Yeampierre, the executive director of the environmentalist group Uprose. “It’s really good news that there are going to be jobs. These victories are very important.”

As reported by Greenwire on 1.13.21: 

The state of New York has awarded 2.5 gigawatts of offshore wind projects to developers Equinor and BP, the largest yet in the state’s massive offshore wind build-out and one of the single largest U.S. renewable energy contracts yet awarded. 

Wednesday’s award, announced by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his 2021 State of the State address, hands the entirety of New York’s second large-scale solicitation to the two European oil majors that have joined forces in targeting the emerging Eastern U.S. offshore wind opportunity. 

The projects, which add up to $8.9 billion in investment, include 1,230 MW from the Beacon Wind 1 project off the Massachusetts coast and 1,260 megawatts from the Empire Wind 2 project, an expansion of the 816 MW Empire Wind 1 project Equinor is already building off the Long Island coast under the state’s first solicitation, held in 2019.

The awards, which still must be finalized in a purchase and sale agreement with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, bring Equinor’s total offshore wind plans for the state to 3.3 gigawatts. That’s more than one-third of the 9 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035 that New York is targeting, the highest yet announced in a region that’s seeing multiple states jostling for the leadership role. 

The announcement also boosts New York’s race with several East Coast states to site offshore wind manufacturing and port facilities within their borders. As part of Wednesday’s award, Norway’s Equinor and U.K.-based BP will partner with New York state to convert the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal and the Port of Albany into large-scale offshore wind manufacturing hubs. 

Upgrades to another three ports are planned under Cuomo’s new energy initiative, including increasing the use of the Hudson River Port of Coeymans for turbine foundation manufacturing, as well as expanding operations and maintenance at Port Jefferson and Port of Montauk Harbor in Long Island.

The state has pledged to invest $200 million to a total projected investment of $664 million in these projects to capture the jobs and economic development to flow from what wind industry groups say could add up to $70 billion of investment in U.S. offshore wind projects by 2030.

As reported by Gothamist on 1.17.21: 

Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to vastly expand offshore wind farms along Long Island, a move expected to create 2,600 jobs across the state. Along with the new turbines, the project will launch manufacturing and assembly hubs at ports in Albany and New York City’s Sunset Park, as part of a contract with Equinor, a Norwegian-based energy company that specializes in oil, gas, wind, and solar…

Equinor won a separate contract to build a wind farm off Long Island in 2019—called Empire 1—that is still in development. The company will now partner with BP, the British oil-and-gas giant, to add two additional sections called Empire 2 and Beacon 1. Equinor agreed in September that BP would be a 50% partner in the new projects, and the deal was expected to close early this year. Ninety turbines will be built 20 miles off Jones Beach and 60 miles off Montauk Point, which Cuomo claimed won’t be visible from shore.

The Port of Albany project is projected to create 500 construction jobs and 300 highly-skilled full-time jobs to build the 450-foot-tall turbine towers. The Sunset Park facility will serve as an assembly, operations, and maintenance site for the turbines, where 1,000 short-term and 200 long-term jobs would be created, according to Equinor. The company claims this facility at South Brooklyn Marine Terminal would be the “largest dedicated offshore wind port” in the nation at about 73 acres.

Environmental activists lauded the announcement due to its investment in a neighborhood that is nearly 70% Hispanic and Asian. UPROSE, an environmental justice group in Sunset Park, has been fighting to recreate Brooklyn’s industrial waterfront as a haven for renewable energy jobs…

As early as 1998, “we were talking about a green port,” Elizabeth Yeampierre, the executive director of UPROSE and co-chair of the Climate Justice Alliance, said in a phone interview.

“The vision was that we would use the industrial sector to build for climate adaptation, mitigation, and resilience,” she said, while acknowledging the unusual partnership of activists, two oil-and-gas multinational companies, and a state agency. But, she added: “I think that this project does more than provide us with renewable energy and jobs. It also models how New York City should be moving forward in addressing climate change.”

Yeampierre said UPROSE is working with unions on developing the workforce. A part of the governor’s announcement includes a $20 million training institute at SUNY Stony Brook and Farmingdale State College for wind and renewable energy careers…

Although the jobs created by the Equinor project will likely be higher paying than the retail and service-industry jobs Industry City promised, it is not yet clear how many will go to locals.

“We’re making sure we’re able to develop a mechanism that ensures local hiring, because at the end of the day, we’re dealing with a corporation, and want to make sure they’re going to do what they say they’re going to do,” said Yeampierre, noting the possibility of a community benefits agreement between local groups and Equinor. Although the plan is still nascent, Uprose is currently speaking with local unions, with the goal of “prioritizing local hires, and facilitating meaningful engagement to support a community that has been economically devastated by COVID.” As part of preliminary agreements, Equinor has agreed to target 30 percent participation from New York’sMWBE Campaign, and support minority-owned businesses in the area.

As reported by CompositesWorld on 1.19.21: 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Jan. 13 two new state contracts to procure 2,490 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind from Equinor Wind U.S. (Stamford, Conn., U.S.) via the Empire Wind II and Beacon Wind projects, effectively doubling the state’s offshore wind power procurement and significantly growing the offshore wind industry in the U.S.

The announcement capped the state’s second offshore wind solicitation and brings the state’s total offshore wind procurement to 4,300 MW. As part of the bid, Equinor will invest in port upgrades at South Brooklyn Marine Terminal to create a “world-class” staging and assembly facility and will make New York home to what is said will be the nation’s first offshore wind tower manufacturing facility at the port of Albany. Governor Cuomo’s office estimates that the contracts will create $8.9 billion in investment and create more than 5,200 jobs…

Under Governor Cuomo, it is reported that New York has been an offshore wind leader as the Governor committed the state to procure at least 9,000 MW of offshore wind by 2035, as part of the state mandate to source 70% of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030. New York is not alone; states have stepped up with bold commitments and contracts in recent years. Following this announcement, 11,500 MW of offshore wind development are under contract across nine states, part of a total state goal of 32,000 MW.

As reported by City & State on 1.20.21: 

In a major victory for climate activists, New York City’s largest industrial waterfront is poised to become a hub for offshore wind and renewable energy, thanks to a partnership announced last week between the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Norwegian energy company Equinor. Equinor, whose manufacturing proposal also includes an upgrade project at the Port of Albany, will partner with British oil giant BP.

NYSERDA has committed to $200 million in upgrades the South Brooklyn Marine Terminalthat will be matched by private investment from Equinor and BP – a total of $400 million to improve 73 acres of mostly unused space. The port, which is slated to be completed by 2025, will serve as a wind turbine manufacturing space, an undertaking that will create at least 1,200 local jobs, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The agreement constitutes the largest single procurement of renewable energy by any U.S. state, positioning New York as a leader in national efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The turbines, which will be sent to offshore wind farms off the Long Island coast, will generate 3.3 gigawatts of energy for New York. That’s a year’s worth of energy for some 1.8 million homes…

“One of the obstacles to developing offshore wind in the U.S. is, there haven’t been these types of manufacturing facilities available,” said Nilda Mesa, adjunct professor at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs and the former director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “And so to develop one here bodes well for the future.”

In recent years the South Brooklyn waterfront has emerged as a flashpoint in debates over development and sustainability. Some progressive neighborhood activists who have long pushed for the city to invest in this section of waterfront to reduce carbon emissions and create green jobs – rather than expand retail and luxury real estate, as has been the fate of historically similar areas such as Tribeca and DUMBO – are celebrating the plan…

Uprose and other community groups have been at the forefront of efforts to deploy the waterfront toward New York’s ambitious emission-reduction goals. With the 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, the state aims to make 70 percent of its energy renewable by 2030 – and to improve the area’s resilience to climate-related events. 

As reported by The Real Deal on 1.21.21: 

The South Brooklyn Marine Terminal is set to be transformed into a hub for renewable energy.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority last week announced a partnership with Norwegian energy company Equinor to turn the site into a wind turbine manufacturing space, a project that will be completed in 2025, City & State reported.

The Sunset Park project represents the largest procurement of renewable energy by any state government, and comes after the collapse of Industry City’s controversial rezoning

Under the plan, NYSERDA will invest $200 million in the terminal, and Equinor, partnered with BP, will invest the same amount…

“This is an example that another world really is possible,” said Elizabeth Yeampierre of advocacy group Uprose. “New York City is going to position itself as a leader on climate justice.” [City and State] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan

— Posted by JVS on 1.24.21; updated on 2.13.21

8.28.19 – “New York State Offshore Wind Open House” coming to Sunset Park

NYSERDA will host an open house in Sunset Park on Sep. 25th to discuss offshore wind projects planned for the waters off Long Island. Here are the details for the event from the NYSERDA website:

NYSERDA’s Offshore Wind Team will host a series of open house events to discuss the State’s efforts to advance offshore wind, including New York’s unprecedented awards for 1,696 MW of offshore wind energy. NYSERDA staff will present details of the two announced projects – Empire Wind (Equinor US Holdings, Inc.) and Sunrise Wind (Bay State Wind LLC, a joint venture of Ørsted A/S and Eversource Energy) – as submitted in the project proposals, including local impacts and opportunities.

Open house events will be held in Albany, Brookhaven, Long Beach, Southampton, Staten Island, Sunset Park, and The Rockaways…

Brooklyn/Sunset Park Open House
Wednesday, September 25
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Sims Municipal Recycling
472 2nd Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11232
(end of the 29th Street Pier)

— Posted by JVS on 8.28.19

8.8.19: Equinor provides further information on potential local impact of Empire Wind project

In July, Gov. Cuomo announced that New York State had awarded contracts for two new wind farm projects to be installed off the cost of Long Island. The projects are known as the Empire Wind Project and the Sunrise Wind Project. The projects will produce a combined total of 1,696 MW of electricity.

Empire Wind will be built and operated by a company known as Equinor. Here is information on this project from a press release issued by Gov. Cuomo’s office on 7.18.19:

Empire Wind 816-Megawatt Project

The 816-megawatt Empire Wind project by Equinor channels the many unique capabilities of the Empire State. Supplying renewable power from the New York Bight to New York City, where demand is highest, this project proposal is expected to yield more than 800 local jobs and a foothold gravity-based foundation fabrication facility at the Port of Coeymans in the Capital Region that will supply this and future regional offshore wind projects. The project is expected to bring significant and long-term New York State jobs and economic benefits, including using South Brooklyn as its operations and maintenance base, providing consistent high-quality jobs to the community located near the project’s proposed interconnection point at Con Edison’s Gowanus substation. Port upgrades and sourcing of key components are expected to commence as early as spring 2021. The construction of the Empire Wind project is anticipated to begin in 2022 and the project is scheduled to enter commercial operation in December of 2024.

This week, I received additional information via email from Julia Bovey, the Director of External Affairs for Equinor Wind US. I have summarized what Ms. Bovey sent in my own language below:

Project time frame: Equinor aims to start constructing the wind farm in 2022 and to start producing power by 2024. But port upgrades must be completed first. For that reason, the company hopes that the state will soon choose where it intends to invest in an assembly port (see below).

Community input: Equinor will evaluate options for where to locate its work for the Empire Wind project. Community feedback will factor into those decisions, and Equinor intends to conduct outreach to the public and to public officials. The company wants its plans to support waterfront communities, to promote local workforce development, and to contribute to local supply chains.

Work locations and types of work to be done: The company plans to build the wind turbine foundations from concrete at the Port of Coeymans south of Albany. However, other aspects of the project could potentially come to Sunset Park or Red Hook, and would fall into the below general categories:  Continue reading “8.8.19: Equinor provides further information on potential local impact of Empire Wind project”

7.22.19 – “Wind giant eyes big Brooklyn lease”

As reported by Crain’s New York Business:

The European wind giant Equinor is considering a lease of the 65-acre South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Sunset Park to handle the logistics and fabrication of an 816-megawatt offshore wind farm that Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week selected it to build.

The Brooklyn deal would likely create hundreds of jobs and spur tens of millions of dollars of investment in the antiquated waterfront facility, where massive wind turbines could be assembled for the project.

“The effort to bring hundreds of green manufacturing jobs to the Brooklyn waterfront through the reuse of South Brooklyn Marine Terminal as a staging ground for the offshore wind industry would be a major economic boost for the area,” a spokesman for the partnership that was selected to operate the marine terminal last year said in a statement. “These are exactly the type of jobs that will ensure manufacturing and maritime uses will be in New York City for decades to come.”

Four days ago Cuomo announced two winners of a roughly 1,700-megawatt offshore wind-power procurement that overnight gave the state the largest pipeline of wind energy development in the country. The awards, which also included an 880-megawatt power purchase from another European wind developer Orsted and a partner, are the first of 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind Cuomo has pledged to develop for the state by 2035…

At the marine terminal, propeller blades hundreds of feet in length could be married to massive turbines and the towers that will suspend them over the water. Future maintenance for the wind farm, which will initially consist of about 60 to 80 wind turbines, could also be conducted from the location.

After its selection last week, Equinor stated that its project would create about 800 local jobs in the state. Some will be in the Albany region, where the company said it will manufacture the massive foundations that will secure the lengthy structures to the ocean floor.

The company said it will invest more than $60 million toward port upgrades necessary for its project and spend another $4.5 million on community benefits and workforce development. Separately, the city has stated that it will provide as much as $39 million to renovate the derelict facility.

Read the full story here.

— Posted by JVS on 7.23.19, backdated to 7.22.19

7.18.19 – Major New York offshore wind power contracts linked to local jobs

(1) From a 7.18.19 press release issued by Gov. Cuomo:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, joined by former Vice President Al Gore, today executed the nation’s largest offshore wind agreement and the single largest renewable energy procurement by any state in U.S. history – nearly 1,700 megawatts -with the selection of two offshore wind projects, that will create enough energy to power over 1 million homes, create more than 1,600 jobs, and result in $3.2 billion in economic activity.  Governor Cuomo also signed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, or CLCPA, which adopts the most ambitious and comprehensive climate and clean energy legislation in the country. Today’s announcement underscores New York’s undisputed position as a global leader in climate and clean energy, and advances Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading mandate of 9,000 megawatts by 2035.  Additionally, today’s offshore wind announcement is expected to catalyze the first generation of major United States supply chain investments by the fast-growing offshore wind sector, positioning New York to be the hub of the nation’s burgeoning offshore wind industry… Continue reading “7.18.19 – Major New York offshore wind power contracts linked to local jobs”