Equinor has started construction of the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT) in New York City, set to become the largest privately-led offshore wind port in the US.

The 73-acre project will serve as a staging and pre-assembly site for Empire Wind 1’s turbine components and include an onshore substation, linking 810MW of wind power to the Gowanus substation.

The connection will make Empire Wind 1 the first offshore wind project to feed directly into the New York City grid.

SBMT will also host the long-term operations and maintenance (O&M) base for the wind farm.

The O&M base will feature a control room for continuous monitoring of the project, ensuring efficient and reliable energy production.

Equinor has committed to developing SBMT as a low-emissions facility, incorporating solar power and electric vehicle charging stations on the site.

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The redevelopment of SBMT is a collaborative effort involving Equinor, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the terminal’s operator Sustainable South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SSBMT). SSBMT is a joint venture between Red Hook Terminals and Industry City.

Equinor and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) recently finalised an offtake agreement, ensuring a host of economic benefits for New York City and the state.

The agreement includes substantial investments in workforce and community development.

The Empire Wind project, consisting of 54 turbines, is projected to supply renewable energy to half a million New York homes.

The target is set for first power delivery by the end of 2026, a significant milestone in the state’s renewable energy timeline.

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Congressman Dan Goldman, Doreen Harris, who is president and CEO of NYSERDA, and Elizabeth Yeampierre, executive director of UPROSE.

Equinor Renewables Americas president Molly Morris stated: “Today’s groundbreaking at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal is a defining moment for Empire Wind 1 and for the long-term renewable energy ambitions of New York State and beyond.

“We are proud to restore this historic working waterfront in Brooklyn and grateful for the shared commitment to offshore wind shown by this community and by city, state and federal leaders who made this milestone possible.

“This construction will result in union jobs and local economic benefits while supporting a project that will deliver homegrown power to New Yorkers and position the state as a leader in the advancing offshore wind industry.”