Equinor ASA has completed the sale of a 50 per cent stake in two major lease areas off the US East Coast to BP. This includes the development of two offshore wind projects with a cumulative capacity of 4.4 GW. The sale and partnership were announced earlier in September 2020.
Under the new partnership, the companies will develop the 1,260 MW Empire Wind 2 and the 1,230 MW Beacon Wind 1 offshore wind projects. They will also set up large-scale offshore wind working industrial facilities in the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT) and the Port of Albany with help from the State of New York.
The Empire Wind farm will be set up within an 80,000 acre lease area off the coast of New York with a total potential of 2 GW offshore capacity. Meanwhile, the Beacon Wind farm will be developed in the lease area off the coast of Massachusetts, within an area of 128,000 acre with a total potential capacity of roughly 2.4 GW.
The deal was worth $1.1 billion, excluding customary purchase price adjustments. Equinor will take on the role of operator for the projects in these leases through the development, construction and operations phases, and the wind farms will be equally staffed in operations.
In the United States, large-scale offshore wind projects have been mostly on hold the past year but are expected to be revived under President Joe Biden, who plans to expand facilitate renewable energy uptake. Biden has announced a $2 trillion package of clean energy measures that call for building thousands of offshore wind turbines as part of efforts to reduce carbon emissions.