Sign In or Create an Account.

By continuing, you agree to the Terms of Service and acknowledge our Privacy Policy

Sparks

It’s Groundhog Day for New York’s Offshore Wind Industry

Equinor and Orsted and Eversource won the new, more expensive contracts.

Wind turbines.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

New York’s offshore wind industry is back, or at least back in contract. Two offshore wind projects, Empire Wind 1 and Sunrise Wind, were awarded, respectively, to developers Equinor and the partnership of Orsted and Eversource. These two projects, which would amount to 1,700 megawatts of capacity in total (enough to power about a million homes, according to Governor Kathy Hochul’s office), had first been bid out in 2019 and then rebid when these same developers were unable to renegotiate their contracts to deal with rising material and interest rate costs.

Last year was an annus horribilis for the offshore wind industry, with projects cancelled up and down the East Coast and billions of dollars of losses for offshore wind developers. The delayed and cancelled projects have called into question the viability of the Biden administration’s ambitious goal of installing 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030.

This year, however, has seen some signs of recovery. For years, the U.S. offshore wind industry was a bunch of plans and a few dozen megawatts of capacity from wind farms off the coasts of Rhode Island and Virginia. Then came Vineyard Wind 1, off the coast of Massachusetts, which started delivering power early this year, shortly after another New York project, South Fork Wind, started up in December of last year.

But merely (re-)awarding the contracts does not ensure that steel goes into the water, let alone that electrons flow into homes. Sunrise Wind will likely be completed in 2026, according to Orsted. Before that the Danish company has to hammer out the details of a new contract, and only then finally decide whether to go through with the thing or not; that’s expected to happen sometime in the second quarter of this year, with federal permitting finished in the summer. Empire Wind 1 has a similar timeline.

According to the governor’s office, utility customers will feel these contracts to the tune of an extra $2 a month. When the projects were first bid out in 2019, the expected impact on utility bills was just $0.73.

Green

Matthew Zeitlin

Matthew is a correspondent at Heatmap. Previously he was an economics reporter at Grid, where he covered macroeconomics and energy, and a business reporter at BuzzFeed News, where he covered finance. He has written for The New York Times, the Guardian, Barron's, and New York Magazine. Read More

Read More
Sparks

Biden’s $7 Billion Solar Bonanza

The Solar For All program is the final piece of the $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

Solar panel installation.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

The great promise of solar panels — in addition to their being carbon-free — is the democratization of energy. Anyone can produce their own power, typically for less than the going utility rate. The problem is that those who stand to benefit the most from this opportunity haven’t been able to access it.

That pattern could change, however, with Solar for All, a $7 billion program under the Environmental Protection Agency to support solar in low- to moderate-income communities. On Monday, the Biden administration announced it was awarding the funds to 60 state and local governments, tribes, and national and regional nonprofits, at an average grant size of more than $80 million.

Keep reading...Show less
Green
Offshore wind.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

Things are looking down again for New York’s embattled offshore wind industry.

The state is abandoning all three of the offshore wind projects it awarded conditional contracts to last October, after failing to secure final agreements with any of the developers, Politico reported Friday.

Keep reading...Show less
Blue
Sparks

Forever Chemical Enforcement Just Got Even Stronger

In addition to regulating PFAS presence in water, the EPA will now target pollution at the source.

Drinking water and the periodic table.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

Last week, I reported on the Environmental Protection Agency’s monumental new restrictions on “forever chemicals” in Americans’ drinking water. At the time, I stressed that the issue doesn’t end with the water that flows out of our kitchen and bathroom taps — the government also has a responsibility to hold polluters accountable at the source.

On Friday, the EPA did just that, designating perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, a.k.a. PFOA and PFOS, as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, more commonly known as the Superfund law.

Keep reading...Show less
Yellow