Equinor and BP have announced an agreement to turn the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT) complex in Brooklyn, New York into a major regional hub for offshore wind.
Under the agreement, the two will develop the terminal into a world-class offshore wind port capable of staging and assembling “the largest, most sophisticated offshore wind technology components” slated for use at the Empire Wind and Beacon Wind offshore projects, and the wider US east coast offshore industry.
The two energy majors formed a strategic US wind partnership in 2020, in which BP agreed to purchase a 50% interest in both the Empire Wind and Beacon Wind projects from Equinor for $1.1 billion.
They will now create an operations and maintenance (O&M) hub and staging area at SBMT, investing $200-250 million in infrastructure upgrades.
The port will become a cutting-edge staging facility for the aforementioned projects, as well as “a go-to destination” for future offshore wind projects in the region, Equinor said.
It follows the opening of the group’s New York offshore wind project office, adjacent to SBMT in Industry City, which will serve as the hub for Equinor and BP’s regional offshore wind activities.
At approximately 73.1 acres, SBMT will be one of the largest dedicated offshore wind port facilities in the US, and the only industrial waterfront site in the New York City area with the capacity to accommodate wind turbine staging and assembly activities at the scale required by component manufacturers.
The agreement was co-signed by terminal operator Sustainable South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SSBMT) and New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).
The developers said the project is expected to support over 1,000 jobs annually in the region.
Empire Wind is located 15-30 miles southeast of Long Island and spans 80,000 acres, with water depths of between approximately 75 and 135 feet. The lease was acquired in 2017. The projects two phases, Empire Wind 1 and 2, have a total installed capacity of 816 MW and 1,260 MW, respectively.
Beacon Wind will lie more than 60 miles east of Montauk Point and 20 miles south of Nantucket and covers 128,000 acres. The lease was acquired in 2019 and has the potential to be developed with a total capacity of more than 2 GW. This first phase, Beacon Wind 1, is currently under development; it will have an installed capacity of 1,230 MW.
“We are enormously proud to lay the groundwork today for our vision of making New York City a nation-leading hub for the offshore wind industry. This agreement builds on the City’s $57M commitment to reactivate SBMT as a key manufacturing and operations base and will help make New York a leader in climate resiliency as well as air quality through clean energy investments,” said NYCEDC chief strategy officer and executive vice president Lindsay Greene.
Felipe Arbelaez, bp’s senior vice president for zero carbon energy, added: “Today marks the first of many positive ripple effects from this project – and we want them to reverberate far and wide. As we reinvent energy, we also want to help reinvent the communities that help deliver it by investing in the skills and capabilities needed. By creating this regional hub we are able to do just that and it brings us all one step closer to delivering this incredible offshore wind development.”