New York State Announces Empire Wind, Authorizing the Project to Start Construction

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810MW Empire Offshore Wind Project Will Provide Enough Clean, Renewable Electricity for 388,000 New York Homes. Project to Create Hundreds of Construction Jobs and Spur Significant Private Investment in Economic Development

Represents Progress Toward State’s Climate Act Goal to Develop 9,000 Megawatts of Offshore Wind Energy by 2035

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the New York State Public Service Commission granted Empire Offshore Wind, LLC its final approval, authorizing the project to begin construction on the 810MW offshore wind farm. The project will create hundreds of near-term family-sustaining construction jobs and spur investment in near-term economic development statewide. The project will continue progress towards achievement of the State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) goal to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2035.

“I have made a commitment to have New York become a place for renewable energy to grow and flourish, and today are delivering on that promise,” Governor Hochul said. “Offshore wind is a critically important part of our fight against climate change, and today’s decision will help move forward a zero-emissions electric grid that will provide long-term benefits to all New Yorkers.”

The Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) issued today authorized the construction and operation of transmission facilities for the delivery of electricity into New York from the 810-megawatt (MW) offshore wind farm.

The approved transmission facilities that will be located within New York’s jurisdiction include: 1) two 230 kilovolt (kV) alternating current submarine transmission cables extending from the boundary of New York State waters (three nautical miles from shore) to the cable landfall in Brooklyn; 2) a 0.2 mile-long onshore cable route including two 230 kV alternating current transmission cables buried underground connecting to an onshore substation; 3) an onshore substation located at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal that will increase the voltage to 345 kV; and 4) two 345 kV alternating current onshore transmission cables buried underground from the onshore substation to a Point of Interconnection with Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.’s existing Gowanus 345 kV substation in Brooklyn.

Public Service Commission Chair Rory M. Christian said, “Our decision today provides the last remaining approval before construction can begin on this offshore wind project, which is a high priority for the State given that it will advance the State’s renewable and clean energy goals in compliance with the Climate Act. It is critical that construction begin in early May for the developer to keep the construction schedule on track and achieve the anticipated commercial operation date.”

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Expanding offshore wind resources continues to be a critical component of growing the State’s energy infrastructure by delivering clean, renewable energy to all New Yorkers. This milestone for Empire Wind I brings the project one step closer to first power in 2026 and advances progress towards New York’s clean energy goals while helping further New York’s green economy by fostering new family-sustaining jobs and economic development opportunities.”

New York Offshore Win Alliance Director Fred Zalcman said, “The siting and approval of transmission associated with offshore wind development is one of the most critical and complex undertakings in bringing these clean energy resources to market. We commend the Hochul Administration for navigating a thicket of environmental, technical and stakeholder issues culminating in today’s milestone approval of the Empire Wind line connecting the project to the New York grid.”

New York League of Conservation Voters President Julie Tighe said, “The final approval for Empire Wind 1 is a key milestone for the offshore wind industry. This will allow Equinor to commence the construction phase, helping to deliver on the promise of union jobs, clean energy and clean air. While this industry has faced challenges over the last few months, we are thankful to have Governor Hochul’s leadership to continue advancing the industry, and keeping climate action moving and congratulate Equinor on this major accomplishment.”

Citizens Campaign for the Environment Executive Director Adrienne Esposito said, “New York is ready for another offshore wind success story! This is another giant leap forward for offshore wind and fighting climate change. Advancing offshore wind is a significant cornerstone of our state’s efforts to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy and allows us to build a strong foundation for a sustainable future. We are excited for the progress of Empire Wind 1 and look forward to the construction of this important project. Leadership matters and we are grateful to Governor Hochul for the leadership she is demonstrating for our state.”

New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said, “We congratulate the Governor for achieving this milestone and applaud her commitment to ensuring that New York’s clean energy future is manufactured, constructed, operated, and maintained by union members.

New York State Building Trades President Gary LaBarbera said, “If New York is going to achieve the climate goals set out by the CLCPA, we must continue to invest in renewable energy infrastructure projects that not only advance us towards our clean energy milestones, but also create good-paying union careers for hard working New Yorkers. The Empire Wind project will do just that, and this final approval represents a crucial moment for the future of New York’s green economy. We applaud Governor Hochul for her continued commitment to advancing these initiatives and look forward to having our members take part in this critical project that will allow them to pursue the middle class and generate economic growth for their communities.”

New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO President Vincent Alvarez said, “We applaud Governor Hochul and the Public Service Commission for moving this critical project forward. Empire Wind is an example of renewable energy infrastructure that will prioritize union labor through the construction, operations, and maintenance jobs it produces. We need more of these projects as New York looks to meet its ambitious goals pursuant to the CLCPA, and we look forward to the Labor community being a significant part of that equation.”

President of Equinor Renewables Americas, Molly Morris said, “The approval by the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) of the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity is another important step for the development of the Empire Wind 1 project. With this authorization in place, combined with other federal, state and local authorizations, critical construction can begin in Brooklyn that will help connect the 810 MW of renewable energy produced by Empire Wind 1 to the New York City grid. Equinor appreciates the leadership of Governor Hochul and the work of the PSC as we proceed into this exciting new phase of the project.”

Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, Marguerite Wells said: “This important milestone for Empire Wind 1 is positive news for all New Yorkers. Construction of this project means thousands of family-sustaining jobs for laborers, electricians, and other building trades and will result in clean, renewable power for more than half a million New Yorkers. We applaud Governor Hochul for her leadership and being a champion for offshore wind, and we look forward to continuing to work with the state to meet our clean energy goals.”

On December 18, 2023, the PSC granted, pursuant to PSL Article VII, a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need, authorizing Empire to construct, operate, and maintain the facilities. As the Commission found, the facilities satisfy a public need and the adverse impacts to the environment have been minimized to the maximum extent practicable given the state of available technology, the nature and economics of various alternatives, and all other pertinent considerations. The anticipated commercial operation date is 2027.

New York State’s Nation-Leading Climate Plan

New York State’s climate agenda calls for an orderly and just transition that creates family-sustaining jobs, continues to foster a green economy across all sectors and ensures that at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities. Guided by some of the nation’s most aggressive climate and clean energy initiatives, New York is advancing a suite of efforts – including the New York Cap-and-Invest program (NYCI) and other complementary policies – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and 85 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels. New York is also on a path to achieving a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and economywide carbon neutrality by mid-century. A cornerstone of this transition is New York’s unprecedented clean energy investments, including more than $28 billion in 61 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the State, $6.8 billion to reduce building emissions, $3.3 billion to scale up solar, nearly $3 billion for clean transportation initiatives and over $2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. These and other investments are supporting more than 170,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector as of 2022 and over 3,000 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, New York also adopted zero-emission vehicle regulations, including requiring all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks sold in the State be zero emission by 2035. Partnerships are continuing to advance New York’s climate action with more than 400 registered and more than 130 certified Climate Smart Communities, nearly 500 Clean Energy Communities, and the State’s largest community air monitoring initiative in 10 disadvantaged communities across the State to help target air pollution and combat climate change.

John Caravella Esq., is a construction attorney and formerly practicing project architect at The Law Office of John Caravella, P.C., representing architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, and owners in all phases of contract preparation, litigation, and arbitration across New York and Florida. He also serves as an arbitrator to the American Arbitration Association Construction Industry Panel. Mr. Caravella can be reached by email: or (631) 608-1346.

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