The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) within the US Department of the Interior has issued a positive record of decision for Empire Wind, an offshore wind project owned by oil and gas giants Equinor and BP.

This is the sixth commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the US to be approved under the Biden-Harris administration.

It supports the country’s target of 30GW of offshore wind by 2030.

The new project will comprise two offshore wind farms: Empire Wind 1, which is 12nm south of Long Island, New York State, and Empire Wind 2, which is 17nm east of Long Beach, New Jersey.

The two wind farms will feature 147 turbines, each with 15MW of total power-generating capacity.

The total energy generated will be approximately 2.07GW and the project will be completed in 2026.

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The turbines will occupy 80,000 acres of ocean and will supply enough clean electricity for 700,000 US homes.

During the construction phase 830 jobs will be created annually, and 300 more once the project becomes operational.

Equinor renewables Americas president Molly Morris stated: “The federal record of decision is a significant milestone in advancing Equinor and bp’s Empire Wind project to help deliver on state and federal climate ambitions.

“Empire Wind is a defining project for New York and we continue our work to connect with communities and realise the project’s potential of providing reliable renewable power, creating jobs and spurring economic development.

“We thank the Biden-Harris administration for continuing to move these important projects forward and for sending a clear signal that offshore wind will play an important role in America’s energy transition.”

US Department of Interior Secretary Debra Anne Haaland stated: “Under President Biden’s leadership, the American offshore wind industry is continuing to expand rapidly – creating good-paying union jobs across the manufacturing, shipbuilding and construction sectors.

“Today’s approval of the sixth offshore wind project adds to the significant progress towards our administration’s clean energy goals. Together with the labour community, industry, tribes and partners from coast to coast, we will continue to expand clean energy development in a manner that will benefit communities, strengthen our nation’s energy security, and address climate change.”

In September 2020, Equinor agreed to sell 50% of its stake in US offshore wind projects including Empire Wind and Beacon Wind to BP for $1.1bn (Nkr11.78bn).

Equinor won the auction for Empire Wind 1 in 2019. Along with BP, it won Empire Wind 2 at auction in 2021.