Ørsted used to be one of the most coal-intensive energy companies in Europe, and was dedicated to fossil fuels. But it decided in 2009 to move away from fossil fuels. Now, it is one of the biggest clean energy companies in the world. By January 2022, Ørsted had become the world’s number one offshore wind power developer. Excluding mainland China, it developed approximately 30% of all global installed capacity in this sector. Remarkably, 90% of its energy is currently sourced from renewable sources; however, that figure will grow significantly over the next few years — to 95%, then 99%. In addition, by 2025 net zero generation is planned and emissions are set to end completely by 2040.
But, doing this wasn’t enough for the company. It is continuing to find ways to keep expanding clean energy and protecting the environment. Want some proof? Here’s two stories from the company that show its commitment to continued improvement.
New Offshore Wind Project in New York
In response to New York State’s latest offshore wind solicitations, Ørsted and Eversource recently presented a collaborative proposal. This submission provides multiple bids with different configurations to deliver clean and renewable energy for over a million New York households, bringing billions of dollars towards the state’s economy. Additionally, it will create thousands of jobs, advance environmental justice, and prioritize disadvantaged communities by integrating MWBEs into its protocols and plans.
Last year, Ørsted and Eversource commenced construction of South Fork Wind, the first offshore wind farm in New York. By 2023 it will be operational with 130 MW of clean energy; followed by the 924 MW Sunrise Wind project that is expected to deliver power to New Yorkers in late 2025. As the leading provider for offshore wind technology throughout NY State, this joint venture has formed strong relationships with numerous community members — such as labor leaders and local government officials — while consulting them on developing a bid that serves its residents best.
With Governor Hochul at the helm, New York is primed to expand its leading offshore wind infrastructure. the state has already become a pioneer in developing an offshore wind supply chain and dedicated $500 million toward constructing ports, manufacturing plants and supply chains that will sustain this burgeoning industry. Additionally, it is investing in training a workforce knowledgeable of the new technology so as to ensure continued growth for years to come.
In the summer of 2022, Governor Hochul declared New York’s third competitive offshore wind tender for a lowest commitment of 2,000 megawatts (MW). This will provide clean and affordable energy to 1.5 million additional homes in the state. The announcement is another stride towards fulfilling New York State’s Climate Act obligation to obtain 70% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and 9,000 MW of offshore wind by 2035.
In 2016, Ørsted and Eversource — the leading U.S offshore wind energy partner and New England’s largest energy provider respectively — joined forces with the objective of developing America’s offshore wind supply chain as well as a new workforce dedicated to providing renewable energy solutions. Together they have made great progress in achieving this goal by investing their collective resources into building infrastructure for sustainable power generation.
“We’re committed to developing projects that will create good-paying jobs, build up local communities, and generate clean, affordable energy to fight climate change,” said David Hardy, Group EVP and CEO Americas at Ørsted. “We’re confident this new proposal offers statewide, comprehensive offshore wind solutions and integrated clean energy innovation for New York, a state where we already have two advanced projects and have invested in supply chain development, workforce training and O&M capabilities. This solicitation further demonstrates New York’s leadership in offshore wind energy, and we look forward to the opportunity to build upon our strong track record here.”
The developers brag that they have set the gold standard with their National Offshore Wind Agreement, becoming the first in America to ensure that offshore construction would be done by an American-union workforce. This move has highlighted their dedication to providing good paying jobs, worker training and safety measures.
“As the state’s trusted partner, we are proud to answer New York’s call for more clean, renewable offshore wind energy and today submitted a proposal that would create significant jobs, deliver local economic investment, provide meaningful workforce development solutions, and advance the movement toward greater environmental justice across the Empire State,” said Joe Nolan, Chairman, President and CEO of Eversource Energy. “Today’s proposal builds on the incredible work we are already doing in New York including building the state’s first offshore wind farm and harnesses the unmatched combination of our onshore, regional transmission expertise together with Ørsted’s considerable offshore capabilities. Together, we stand ready to deliver a better, cleaner future that all New Yorkers will be proud of.”
The Ørsted-Eversource joint venture is currently investing heavily in two projects to foster New York’s clean energy workforce, build the state’s offshore wind industry and supply renewable power to close to 670,000 households. These efforts will make a major difference for New Yorkers seeking an eco-friendly future.
Texas Project Builds Huge Solar Plant While Protecting Rare Prairie Lands
Getting things started for more offshore wind in New York wasn’t a chance for the company’s people to get a break. Not much later, it had yet another announcement about an effort in Texas to not only build a huge solar plant, but also protect the land.
Ørsted recently revealed an incredible partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to safeguard almost 1,000 acres of native prairie in northeast Texas. Sadly, just one percent of the original tallgrass prairies that existed in Texas have survived today, and only five percent remains nationally. By joining forces with TNC for this landmark conservation effort, however, Ørsted is taking a bold step forward as it will be its first biodiversity initiative within the United States.
Ørsted is progressing the construction of its 471 MW Mockingbird Solar Center in Lamar County, Texas. Across approximately 4,900 acres lies Smiley-Woodfin Native Prairie Grassland — the largest surviving portion of a rare and endangered type of prairie found only around north Texas. This prairie is incredibly vital for its diverse ecosystem that boasts abundant biodiversity.
See Part 2 to learn more about the company’s Texas project and other expansions in the United States.
Featured image provided by Ørsted.
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