Biden-Harris Administration Approves Sixth Offshore Wind Project

WASHINGTON — The Biden-Harris administration today announced its approval of the Empire Wind offshore wind project — the sixth approval of a commercial-scale offshore wind energy project under President Biden’s leadership. Today’s announcement supports the Administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030.

Empire Wind US LLC proposes to develop two offshore wind facilities, known as Empire Wind 1 and Empire Wind 2. The lease area is located about 12 nautical miles (nm) south of Long Island, N.Y., and about 16.9 nm east of Long Branch, N.J. Together these projects would have up to 147 wind turbines with a total capacity of 2,076 megawatts of clean, renewable energy that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) estimates could power more than 700,000 homes each year. The projects would support over 830 jobs each year during the construction phase and about 300 jobs annually during the operations phase.

“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,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “Today’s approval of the sixth offshore wind project adds to the significant progress towards our Administration’s clean energy goals. Together with the labor 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.”

“BOEM and our partners have already achieved so much in pursuit of the Administration’s goal of reaching 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030,” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “Extensive engagement with Tribes, other government partners, ocean users, concerned citizens, and more has helped us to avoid or reduce user conflicts while facilitating the responsible development of offshore wind projects. We look forward to continuing our work with them as we move this industry forward.”

Bidenomics and the President’s Investing in America agenda are growing the American economy from the middle out and bottom up – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to driving over half a trillion dollars in new private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, to creating good-paying jobs and building a clean energy economy that will combat the climate crisis and make our communities more resilient.

Since the start of the Biden-Harris administration, the Department of the Interior has approved the nation’s first six commercial-scale offshore wind energy projects. BOEM has held four offshore wind lease auctions, which have brought in almost $5.5 billion in high bids, including a record-breaking sale offshore New York and New Jersey and the first-ever sales offshore the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts. BOEM has also advanced the process to explore additional opportunities for offshore wind energy development in the U.S., including in the Gulf of Maine and offshore Oregon and the U.S. Central Atlantic coast. The Department has also taken steps to evolve its approach to offshore wind to drive towards union-built projects and a domestic-based supply chain.

Invaluable feedback was gathered through nation-to-nation consultations with Tribes, input from federal, state and local agencies, and from public meetings and comments in analyzing the project’s potential environmental impacts and developing possible alternatives and mitigation measures.

The Record of Decision includes measures aimed at avoiding, minimizing, and mitigating the potential impacts that may result from the construction and operation of the project. Among those measures, Empire Wind, LLC has committed to establishing fishery mitigation funds to compensate commercial and for-hire recreational fishers for any losses directly arising from the project.

The Record of Decision will be published in the Federal Register in the coming days and can be found on the BOEM website.

Article courtesy of Department of Interior & BOEM.

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