Equinor and BP have jointly announced the termination of the Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Certificate (OREC) Agreement for the 1.2GW Empire Wind 2 project in collaboration with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The decision is attributed to changed economic circumstances within the industry, prompting a reevaluation of the project's viability under existing conditions.
Equinor clarified that the decision stems from industry-wide challenges related to inflation, interest rates, and disruptions in the supply chain, rendering the existing OREC agreement for Empire Wind 2 financially unfeasible.
Despite the termination, both Equinor and BP reaffirm their commitment to offshore wind as a significant component of the energy mix, underscoring their dedication to making substantial contributions to the state and local economy.
Molly Morris, President of Equinor Renewables Americas, emphasized the importance of commercial viability for large-scale projects, expressing optimism that the decision to terminate Empire Wind 2's agreement provides an opportunity to reset and develop a more robust project in anticipation of new offtake opportunities. Equinor remains actively engaged with community partners and aims to contribute union jobs and economic activity to New York.
BP's President of Offshore Wind Americas, Joshua Weinstein, echoed support for NYSERDA's commitment to offshore wind, recognizing its role in New York State's clean energy future. Despite the adjustment to Empire Wind 2, both companies remain dedicated to advancing offshore wind initiatives that deliver renewable power and economic benefits to the state and local communities.
The Empire Wind 1 and Empire Wind 2 projects recently achieved a crucial federal permitting milestone, receiving the federal Record of Decision from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). Empire Wind 1 also obtained its Article VII Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need in New York last month, indicating progress in the projects' regulatory approvals.