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Work Begins to Build Large U.S. Wind Port on Renewed Brooklyn Waterfront

South Brooklyn Marine Terminal
Section of the Brooklyn, NY waterfront set to become an offshore wind staging and maintenance area (Equinor)

Published Jun 11, 2024 7:08 PM by The Maritime Executive

 

Officials from New York State and City along with the executives of project developer Equinor and the Brooklyn community gathered on June 10 to mark the construction of the wind port facility at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal. The 73-acre site is being revitalized into what is being billed as one of the nation’s largest dedicated offshore wind ports. 

The site will be used to support Equinor’s first U.S. offshore wind project, Empire Wind 1, an 810 MW first phase of a proposed 2 GW offshore wind farm. The vision is to create a site both to support Empire Wind 1’s construction and future offshore wind projects. It will also be the location for the long-term Operations & Maintenance Base for the Empire wind farm, which includes a control room that measures turbine data and monitors the project around the clock.

“Today’s groundbreaking at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal is a defining moment for Empire Wind 1 and for the long-term renewable energy ambitions of New York State and beyond,” said Molly Morris, President of Equinor Renewables Americas.

 

Rendering of the planned facility (Equinor)

 

The construction project will create a staging and pre-assembly site for the turbine components of Empire Wind 1 and will include an onshore substation to connect 810 MW of wind power to the Gowanus substation. Empire Wind 1 will be the first offshore wind project to connect directly to the New York City grid.

The site is part of the active port in New York and one of the historic locations along the Brooklyn waterfront. The plan for the wind terminal was first announced in January 2022, at which time they said the public-private partnership was funding commitments to $644 million in port infrastructure investments along the waterfront. SBMT is being redeveloped together with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and terminal operator Sustainable South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SSBMT). SSBMT is a joint venture of Red Hook Terminals and Industry City.

 

 

Equinor and NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) finalized a new contract for the power from the project after the wind farm was rebid in 2024 due to rising development costs. The company has also committed to a broad range of community development projects. Officially, Equinor has yet to take a final investment decision, but the company reports that it plans to use project financing, with the financial close anticipated by the end of 2024. No timeline has been announced for offshore construction to begin.

The lease for Empire Wind was acquired in 2017 and recently completed the federal approval process. Equinor acquired full rights to the project after it split its offshore portfolio with former partner BP. Empire Wind will be located 15 to 30 miles southeast of Long Island and spans 80,000 acres, with water depths of between approximately 75 and 135 feet. 

The project’s two phases, Empire Wind 1 and 2, have a potential capacity of more than 2 GW (810 + 1,260 MW), enough to power over one million New York homes.?The first phase will consist of 54 turbines with a target to deliver first power in late 2026.