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NY’s First Large Offshore Wind Farm Seeks 18 Month Commissioning Delay

18 month commissioning delay needed for NY's first large offshore wind farm
(file photo)

Published Oct 22, 2021 8:13 PM by The Maritime Executive

Saying that current regulations do not accommodate the schedules required to build large-scale offshore renewable projects, Empire Offshore Wind submitted a request before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to delay the commissioning of New York’s first large, offshore wind farm by 18 months. The 816 MV project which is being developed jointly by Equinor Wind US and BP Energy says that the schedule for the project is not achievable due to the regulatory process.

The first phase of the Empire Wind Project is due to be constructed approximately 14 miles south of Long Island and approximately 19.5 miles east of Long Branch, New Jersey. The EW 1 Project will consist of 68 GE Haliade-X wind turbines, each rated at 12 MW, along with an offshore collector station, two submarine transmission lines to an on-shore substation, and two cable circuits connecting the project’s onshore substation.

The original proposal was submitted at the end of 2015 and approved in the spring of 2017. Since then, the site plan was approved in 2018 and in late 2019 agreements were reached with New York State. The facilities plan was completed in June 2021 with a requirement that the project be completed and begin commercial operations within four years.

“Given the expected timelines for receiving action on key permits and governmental approvals, coupled with the inherent complexities of constructing and commissioning New York State’s first large-scale offshore wind generating facility, Empire Wind currently anticipates that the project will achieve COD (commercial operation date) on or before December 2026,” the company writes in its application to FERC.

The application asks that the date that the facility is energized and placed in service be reset to June 2025. They are also seeking to delay the deadline for commercial operations to December 14, 2026. However, they add a further provision that demonstrating reasonable progress they might further extend the target dates.

The application highlights that the commission has granted other waivers and that the company is acting in good faith while seeking a limited exemption. They are saying to the FERC that the waiver is required to remedy the problem created by the fact that the last date for commercial operation set in the agreements is inconsistent with the realities of the time required for the permitting and construction of Empire Wind’s large-scale offshore wind generating facility.

They are asking for an expedited decision by December 2021 based on the schedule of upcoming filings for the project.