With New York City committed to 100% clean electricity by 2040 and carbon neutrality by 2050, it sees offshore wind as vital to the required shift to renewable energy from many sources. It also wants to make sure that it gets its share off the new jobs and economic activity that the offshore wind industry will create and last week Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) last week committed to a plan called Offshore Wind NYC that will invest more than $191 million to make New York City a leading destination for the offshore wind industry.
They said that the $191 million offshore wind investment will put New York City on a path to:
- Create over 13,000 jobs and generate $1.3 billion in average annual investment
- Ensure 40% of job and investment benefits are directed toward women, minorities, and environmental justice communities
- Reduce 34.5 million tons of CO2 – the equivalent of removing nearly 500,000 cars from roadways for 15 years
NYCEDC says that Offshore Wind NYC will leverage the city’s expertise in maritime infrastructure development, world-class talent base and workforce development system, and capacity for innovation across sectors—all while centering an equity focus as no other global destination has done before.
The plan has three core elements:
Sites and Infrastructure: Developing best-in-class infrastructure that will support the construction and operation of 12 GW of offshore wind
Businesses and Workforce: Preparing local workers and businesses to seize upon the opportunities that will be created by infrastructure investments
Research and Innovation: Promoting innovation in offshore wind to ensure that new technologies and approaches are created in New York City
The plan aims to enable NYC to support offshore wind projects up and down the East Coast and to position it to be able to export innovative technologies and processes to advance OSW projects around the world.
In Sunset Park, Brooklyn, NYCEDC and its partners have collaborated to activate the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT) into a world-class OSW port, to be operated by Equinor, a global developer of offshore wind power operating the Empire Wind Project. This ensures that a sizeable piece of the burgeoning industry will land in New York City by the mid-2020s.
As part of its operation at SBMT, the Empire Wind Project plans to establish a $5 million fund to ensure that low-income populations, people of color, and New Yorkers from environmental justice communities equitably share in the benefits of the industry.
Among those welcoming the plan was Rear Admiral Michael Alfultis, President of SUNY Maritime College.
“We are thrilled to serve New York City’s Offshore Wind industry, which will provide high-wage job opportunities for New Yorkers,” he said. “These jobs begin with essential training, and SUNY Maritime College is poised to prepare the workforce through its Offshore Wind Workforce Development Project. Nearly 5,000 New York jobs could be created by 2035 through regional offshore wind deployment, and SUNY Maritime College has the capacity to provide training and certify hundreds of workers yearly.”
To help ensure progress is made, NYCEDC will establish an Offshore Wind Industry Advisory Council led by co-chairs Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director of UPROSE, and KC Sahl, Northeast Energy Market Leader at VHB, a civil engineering firm active in the offshore wind industry. The council will be made up of additional community, business and nonprofit leaders with relevant expertise and experience.