Overview of the Offshore Wind Energy Industry

The offshore wind industry is poised to bring jobs, infrastructure investments, economic development and zero carbon electricity to New York and other states along the Atlantic Coast. It is anticipated that by 2030 the U.S. Offshore Wind Industry has the potential to create between 45,000 and 83,000 jobs, spur billions of dollars in port and other infrastructure projects, and generate $70 billion in revenue for businesses involved in the offshore wind supply chain.

United States

There are 7 wind turbines installed in the U.S., 5 at the Block Island Wind Farm and 2 at Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) and couple hundred more are planned for installation over the next 5 years. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), which oversees leasing of the outer continental shelf for offshore wind farms, anticipates 10-12 offshore wind farms being constructed during the next decade. Indeed, there is a huge pipeline of projects under development with a potential for 29 GWs of electric generation enough for approximately 20 million homes. (This figure is intended to give the reader an understanding of the amount of power generated. The electricity is not actually sent directly to this number of homes but rather the plant generates an amount of electricity equivalent to that used by this many homes. In the real world the power generated from any power producer is sent into the electric grid and the mixed with all the other generated electricity and sent to homes, businesses, schools, hospitals, municipalities, etc. Any time you see a reference to number of homes it is merely done to provider the reader with the perspective not a statement about the actual end users.)

New York

New York is currently committed to 3 projects (South Fork, Sunrise, and Empire) and has a target of 9,000 MWs of offshore wind by 2035 (enough to power 6.5 million homes).

South Fork  

  • ​​The South Fork Wind Farm is a 15 turbine wind farm that will generate 135 MWs, enough energy to power 70,000 homes. The Project is scheduled to be installed during 2021 and 2022, and to be commissioned and operational by the end of 2022. Due to COVID-19, this timeline may be adjusted or extended.

Sunrise Wind  

  • ​​Sunrise Wind is an 880MW project, enough to power more than half a million New York homes. It will be located 30 miles southeast of Montauk. The Sunrise Wind project is expected to support over 800 local jobs, leverage the Capital Region's port facilities to support steel component fabrication for the turbine foundations, and develop a regional operations and maintenance hub in Port Jefferson, Long Island. The Sunrise Wind project is expected to start construction in 2022 and will commence commercial operation in May of 2024.

Empire Wind  

  • ​​The 816-megawatt Empire Wind Project by Equinor will supply renewable power to New York City. This project is expected to yield more than 800 local jobs and a gravity-based foundation fabrication facility at the Port of Coeymans in the Capital Region. The project is expected to use South Brooklyn as its operations and maintenance base. The construction of the Empire Wind project is anticipated to begin in 2022 and the project is scheduled to enter commercial operation in December of 2024.

To learn more about the U.S. offshore wind energy industry, the following resources are recommended:

Good basic industry snapshots