BOEM approves construction plan for offshore project

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In support of the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) recently announced its approval of Empire Wind’s Construction and Operations Plan (COP), which authorizes construction and operation of the wind-energy project offshore. This is the project’s final approval from BOEM, following the agency’s Record of Decision approving the project in November 2023. 

New York proposed lease area. (Courtesy: BOEM)

“We are proud to announce BOEM’s final approval of the Empire Wind offshore wind project,” said Director Elizabeth Klein. “This project represents a major milestone in our efforts to expand clean-energy production and combat climate change. The Biden-Harris administration is committed to advancing offshore wind projects like Empire Wind to create jobs, drive economic growth, and cut harmful climate pollution.”

The approved plan includes construction and operation of two offshore wind facilities, known as Empire Wind 1 and Empire Wind 2. The lease area is about 12 nautical miles south of Long Island, New York, and about 16.9 nautical miles east of Long Branch, New Jersey. Together these projects would have a total capacity of 2,076 MW of clean, renewable energy that BOEM estimates could power more than 700,000 homes each year. 

On Nov. 21, 2023, the Department of the Interior announced its approval of the Empire Wind offshore wind project, which is the sixth commercial-scale offshore wind project approved by the Biden-Harris administration. It is expected to generate significant economic benefits for New York and the surrounding region, including supporting more than 830 jobs each year during the construction phase and about 300 jobs annually during the operations phase.

Since the start of the Biden-Harris administration, the Department of the Interior has approved the nation’s first six commercial-scale offshore wind-energy projects. BOEM has held four offshore wind lease auctions, which have brought in almost $5.5 billion in high bids, including a record-breaking sale offshore New York and New Jersey and the first-ever sales offshore the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts. BOEM has also advanced the process to explore additional opportunities for offshore wind-energy development in the Gulf of Maine, Gulf of Mexico, offshore Oregon, and the Central Atlantic coast. The Department has taken steps to evolve its approach to offshore wind to drive toward union-built projects and a domestic-based supply chain.

More info www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/empire-wind