New York State PSC grants final approval to Empire Offshore Wind

Published on May 20, 2024 by Dave Kovaleski

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The New York State Public Service Commission granted final approval to the Empire Offshore Wind project, authorizing it to begin construction.

The 810MW offshore wind farm received its Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN), which clears the way for the construction and operation of transmission facilities for the delivery of electricity into New York. It will create hundreds of construction jobs and spur investment in near-term economic development statewide.

“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,” New York Gov. Kathy 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 approved transmission facilities 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.

“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,” Public Service Commission Chair Rory Christian said,

Equinor Renewables has been tapped to build the facility.

“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,” Molly Morris, president of Equinor Renewables Americas, said.

The commission found that the facilities satisfy a public need and the adverse impacts to the environment have been minimized to the maximum extent practicable.

The anticipated commercial operation date is 2027.