BOEM signs off on construction plan for New York’s largest offshore wind project

Published on June 25, 2024 by Chris Galford

© Ørsted

The 924 MW Sunrise Wind project recently won final approval from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), setting the stage for New York’s largest offshore wind project to date.

In greenlighting the construction and operations plan (COP), BOEM cleared renewable generation developer Ørsted to begin offshore construction. As a result, the site was cleared for one nautical mile wind turbine spacing, requirements for construction methodology in federal ocean waters were set, and mitigation measures were established to protect the area’s marine habitats and species.

“Sunrise Wind is a centrepiece of New York’s clean energy vision, and with this final federal approval, we can officially put the construction phase in motion,” said David Hardy, Ørsted’s executive vice president and CEO of Region Americas. “BOEM’s approval is an important milestone not just for New York but also for America’s domestic energy sector. We’re grateful for the continued leadership of BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein and all the federal, state, and local leaders who are committed to offshore wind.”

Locally, Sunrise Wind could eventually provide enough renewable energy to power nearly 600,000 homes in New York. For the government’s part, it also represents a significant milestone in the Biden administration’s push toward 30 GW of offshore wind energy capacity deployments by 2030. That same push has already seen the first eight commercial-scale offshore wind energy project approvals for federal waters, which bring with them the possibility of a combined capacity exceeding 10 GW.

“BOEM’s approval of the Sunrise Wind project represents another step in building a thriving offshore wind energy industry,” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “The Biden-Harris administration continues to demonstrate its commitment to advancing responsible projects like Sunrise Wind as part of our strategy to foster good paying jobs for local communities, ignite economic development, and fight the harmful effects of climate change.”

The Sunrise Wind site is located south of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, and east of Block Island, Rhode Island. The next steps will include work on the onshore transmission system, with offshore construction work ramping up later this year. Its overall completion is expected sometime in 2026.

When complete, Sunrise Wind will operate under a 25-year offshore wind renewable energy certificate with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.