The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has completed the environmental review of the Empire Wind 1 & 2 offshore wind farms, proposed to be built offshore New York by a joint venture of BP and Equinor, and plans to issue a Record of Decision (ROD) on whether to approve the project this autumn.
The federal agency has now issued the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which analyses the potential environmental impacts of the activities laid out in the projects’ Construction and Operations Plan (COP), and will publish a Notice of Availability for the final EIS in the Federal Register on the 15th of September.
The sites of the 810 MW Empire Wind 1 and the 1,260 MW Empire Wind 2 are planned to be built in the Empire Wind lease area, for which Equinor acquired the lease in 2017 and is, together with BP, developing it in two phases. The lease area is located 15-30 miles (24-48 kilometres) southeast of Long Island, in water depths of 65-131 feet (20-40 metres).
Empire Wind 1 is proposed to have up to 57 wind turbines, while Empire Wind 2 is planned to comprise up to 90 wind turbines.
The 816 MW Empire Wind Phase 1 wind farm which was selected in New York’s first-ever offshore wind solicitation in 2019 alongside Ørsted and Eversource Energy’s Sunrise Wind project.
The 1,260 MW Empire Wind 2 was selected in the state’s offshore wind power solicitation in January 2021 together with their Beacon Wind 1 project south of Nantucket.
If approved, the two projects’ combined capacity of 2 GW could power 700,000 New York households.