Energy company Equinor plans to advance what New York Governor Andrew Cuomo calls the largest offshore wind program in the country off the coast of Long Island.
Developers this week say construction on the Empire Wind Farm project off of Long Beach is scheduled to begin in 2023.
The company also won approval in January to build two additional projects in Long Island waters, including the Empire Wind Farm 2.
Equinor spokesperson Julia Bovey said that would help the state meet its overall renewable energy goals.
“We have a total of $47 million in workforce development. And in New York, that can be innovation. It can be direct community benefits, job training, other ways that we can help speed the energy transition,” Bovey said.
Bovey said the combined Empire Wind Farms would have the capacity to produce up to 2,000 megawatts of renewable energy.
Adrienne Esposito is the executive director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment.
“Wind power has blown into Long Island like nothing else we’ve ever seen," Esposito said. "We currently have five wind farm proposals off of our coastlines. And, you know, if you think about it, five years ago we had zero. And also in the United States of America, I think it’s worth noting we only have one offshore wind farm.”
Equinor also got state approval to build another offshore wind farm about 50 miles off of Montauk Point called Beacon Point, which is expected to produce about 1,230 megawatts of renewable energy.
The new offshore wind farm will first undergo a federal review process to secure permits over the next five to seven years. Equinor would be required to complete several surveys to review the project’s environmental and social impact before construction can begin.