'First US offshore wind tower factory' planned for New York

Equinor's Port of Albany extension initiative is part of the energy giant's bid submitted for New York's ongoing 2.5GW offshore wind tender

An artist's impression of the Equinor's planned tower factory in the Port of Albany (pic credit: Graph Synergie)

Equinor plans to locate what could be America’s first offshore wind tower manufacturing facility at the Port of Albany, in upstate New York if it is successful in the state's ongoing auction.

It will jointly devlop the facility with turbine tower manufacturers Marmen and Welcon.

The Norwegian energy giant said the initiative is part of its bid submitted to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (Nyserda) latest offshore wind energy solicitation for 2.5GW of offshore wind and multi-port infrastructure investment plans (PIIPs). 

Equinor's new facility would transform the port for manufacturing offshore wind towers and transition pieces, and would create about 350 direct jobs.

Its announcement comes as Equinor, Iberdrola, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Ørsted all recently submitted bids for New York's 2.5GW offshore wind tender, with results due before the end of the year.

The tower manufacturing facility at the Port of Albany would come subject to Nyserda selecting the Equinor bid and PIIP.

Siri Espedal Kindem, president of Equinor Wind US said: “With this latest solicitation, New York solidifies its commitment to renewable energy and its desire to make the offshore wind industry an important component of the state’s economy,”

“Equinor is excited about the possibility of expanding its business within New York, and this plan would create the first facility for offshore wind tower and transition piece manufacturing in the US. Our proposal helps secure New York and the Port of Albany as a regional leader in this exciting new industry.”

Equinor holds stakes in three under-development offshore wind farms in US waters.

It aims to secure leases for its Empire Wind II and 1230MW Beacon Wind 1 projects in New York's ongoing tender. It had already secured capacity for its 810MW Empire Wind 1 project in New York's first offshore wind tender.

Equinor will develop these two projects but oil giant BP is due to take a 50% stake in them.

The Norwegian company is also developing the 750MW Boardwalk Wind project off New Jersey, which borders New York.

New York wants to source 70% of its electricity from renewables by 2030 with a 9GW offshore wind fleet by 2035. So far it has contracted about 1.7GW of offshore wind capacity.