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Equinor Unveils Proposal for Offshore Wind Plant at Port of Albany

wind tower
Image courtesy Welcon

By The Maritime Executive 11-13-2020 05:19:38

Norwegian oil major Equinor has announced new details for a proposal to build an offshore wind tower manufacturing plant at the Port of Albany, New York, in partnership with tower fabricators Marmen and Welcon. It would be the first facility of its kind in the United States.

Marmen and Welcon have already signed an MOU to market their services in the nascent U.S. offshore wind market, which is expected to grow rapidly over the next decade. Their plant would serve the construction of the Equinor/BP Empire Wind and Beacon Wind projects - so long as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) selects their bid in a 2.5 gigawatt offshore wind power solicitation announced earlier this year.

“With this latest solicitation, New York solidifies its commitment to renewable energy and its desire to make the offshore wind industry an important component of the state’s economy,” said Siri Espedal Kindem, President of Equinor Wind U.S. “This plan would create the first facility for offshore wind tower and transition piece manufacturing in the U.S. Our proposal helps secure New York and the Port of Albany as a regional leader in this exciting new industry.”

The tower manufacturing plant would create up to 350 direct jobs around the region, according to Equinor. It would be one element of a multi-port investment project to support Empire Wind, along with improvements at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal - creating new employment in Upstate and Downstate New York. The extra supply chain activity associated with manufacturing tower components would bring even more economic opportunity to the state, according to Equinor. 

“With the ongoing expansion of offshore wind power on the East Coast, the Port of Albany would become a natural destination for future projects to source components. The economic potential for the NY Capital Region is enormous," said Katie Newcombe, the Chief Economic Development Officer for the Center for Economic Growth.

Equinor's Empire Wind lease area is located about 15-30 miles southeast of Long Island, adjacent to the approaches to New York Harbor. The proposed Beacon Wind site is located about 60 miles to the east of Montauk. In September, Equinor announced a deal to sell a 50 percent stake in Empire Wind and Beacon Wind to BP for about $1.1 billion; like other European oil and gas companies, BP has announced plans to rapidly scale up its low-carbon investments, and it is targeting total renewables capex in the range of $5 billion per year.