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New York inks largest offshore wind agreement in the U.S.

Wing mills depicted as stars on the American flag
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

New York State officials yesterday announced that Norway-based Equinor and a joint venture that includes Denmark's Orsted had won the solicitation to build 2 large offshore wind projects totaling around 1.7 gigawatts.

Why it matters: It's the biggest offshore wind agreement in the U.S. to date and, per New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office, will provide enough electricity for over 1 million homes.

  • The projects — one from Equinor and another from Orsted-Eversource Energy JV — are slated for completion by 2024, per Greentech Media.

Quick take: It highlights something we wrote about in March — the marriage of aggressive policies in northeastern U.S. and deep-pocketed, experienced Europe-based players is finally jumpstarting offshore wind in the U.S.

Where it stands: Action in several states is leading some analysts to revise their projections for U.S. offshore wind.

  • BloombergNEF recently upgraded their forecast to 15.4 GW of U.S. offshore wind capacity by 2030, up from 11.4 GW in their prior analysis.
  • Max Cohen of IHS Markit says that consultancy will soon be revising its estimates too, from the current projection of 7 GW by 2030.
  • Combine the "flurry" of contracting from New York and New Jersey with the legislative mandates for offshore wind in N.Y., Connecticut and Maryland, and the estimate rises a lot, Cohen says via email.

The bottom line: "These are very positive sign posts for the industry, and though there are still risks and some of these projects/targets could be delayed, we are tentatively thinking more like 11 GW by 2030 is likely," Cohen says.

Go deeper: Prices of renewable energy sources plummeted between 2009 and 2017