New York Takes the Spotlight for US Offshore Wind at AWEA Offshore WindPower 2017

On Tuesday October 24 at AWEA’s Offshore Wind Conference, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul highlighted three reasons that she believes New York will become the global hub for offshore wind and Statoil announced that it has named its project Empire Wind.

Hochul said New York is committed to renewable energy and climate change.

“Despite what goes on in our nation’s capital, we are committed to the Paris climate agreement,” she said.

The lieutenant governor then highlighted some of New York’s history of tackling challenges that other people thought were crazy, such as the Erie Canal, which opened in 1825.

“We are hard-wired to embrace the greatest challenges,” she said.

For offshore wind specifically, the state has committed to develop 2,400 MW by 2030 and one reason it will become a global hub is because wind energy is not a political issue in the state.

“We are not strangers to wind,” she said, pointing to the huge amounts of wind turbines currently spinning in upstate New York. It’s a “rare day” that there is bipartisan consensus around offshore wind like there is in New York, according to Hochul.

In addition to its bipartisan support for offshore wind, New York also boasts a commitment to innovation, said Hochul, pointing to the great work that NYSERDA is doing in the state. Third, Hochul said that New York is investing in the future of offshore wind by creating an offshore wind master plan.

“New York is accepting the challenge but doing the legwork for you,” said Hochul.

Empire Wind

Also on Tuesday, Statoil took a step forward in developing its New York project announcing that the project name will be Empire Wind. The 79,350-acre site, secured by Statoil in a federal auction in December 2016, could support up to 1 GW of offshore wind capacity.  

“The name Empire Wind captures the pivotal role that this important project will play in helping New York achieve its ambitious renewable energy goal,” said Statoil’s Empire Wind Project Director Christer af Geijerstam.  

“Empire Wind also speaks to the leading role that New York State is taking in advancing the deployment of offshore wind technology in North America.” 

The Empire Wind project team is currently conducting an extensive evaluation process, gathering detailed information about the seabed conditions, grid connection options and wind resources characteristic to the area. 

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Jennifer Runyon has been studying and reporting about the world's transition to clean energy since 2007. As editor of the world's largest renewable energy publication, Renewable Energy World, she observed, interviewed experts about, and reported on major clean energy milestones including Germany's explosive growth of solar PV, the formation and development of the U.S. onshore wind industry, the U.K. offshore wind boom, China's solar manufacturing dominance, the rise of energy storage, the changing landscape for utilities and grid operators and much, much, more. Today, in addition to managing content on POWERGRID International, she also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH, a globally recognized conference for the transmission and distribution industry. You can reach her at

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