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New York Selects Offshore Wind Projects at Record Scale

State’s Plan Will Help Combat Climate Change, Create Clean Energy Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. — With millions of Americans unemployed, clean energy jobs offer an opportunity to fight against climate change while helping our economy and communities recover. Through today’s announcement of the nation’s largest offshore wind project commitments by any state to date, Governor Andrew Cuomo is advancing New York’s economic recovery and the nation’s energy independence. Power contracts were awarded to Equinor, totaling 2,490 megawatts, enough to power over 1.6 million homes.

“New York has reaffirmed its position as a trailblazer for offshore wind energy and the essential role it must play as a solution to climate change and many interconnected challenges facing people and wildlife around the globe,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “With these project announcements, Governor Cuomo has raised the bar by ensuring developers commit to labor, equity and important wildlife protections. The National Wildlife Federation looks forward to working with labor, industry, partner organizations, states, and the incoming Biden Administration to build on this model for responsible offshore wind development — one that seizes the opportunity to advance good jobs, abundant wildlife, and healthy communities.”

“Today’s offshore wind announcement is another welcome step in New York’s journey to 100 percent emissions free electricity,” said Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York. “We thank Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, for their continued commitment to fighting climate change with equity and justice for frontline communities and look forward to many more announcements like this in the future.”

Today’s announcement builds on the state’s progress toward its goal of developing 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2035. The offshore wind developer Equinor was selected to build two projects for New York — the “Empire Wind 2” project off of Jones Beach (1,260 megawatts) and the “Beacon Wind 1” project 50 miles off the coast of Montauk (1,230 megawatts). In partnership with the state, the developer will invest in upgrades to two key New York ports, to prepare them to serve the burgeoning offshore wind industry — the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal and the Port of Albany. The projects will create an estimated 500 new wind turbine manufacturing jobs at the Port of Albany. The state is also investing $20 million in a new Offshore Wind Training Institute at SUNY and expects to train 2,500 workers starting summer 2021. Additionally, these contracts require Equinor to contribute $25 million for research on the effects of offshore wind development on fish and wildlife, a critical tool for informing strategies to minimize impacts as this critical climate solution moves forward.

Click here for more information on the National Wildlife Federation’s work to advance responsibly developed offshore wind power in the Atlantic.

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