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

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2020 election strategy: Hire all the lawyers

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The coronavirus has sent overall U.S. unemployment into the double digits — but it's a sort of full-employment act for election law attorneys.

The big picture: The prospect of extended court fights over COVID-19-related voting changes, an absentee ballot avalanche, foreign interference and contested presidential results has prompted a hire-all-the-lawyers binge by candidates and campaigns — not just in swing states but around the country.

Right-wing media defanged by dissolving anti-Biden storylines

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The three biggest anti-Joe Biden storylines in right-wing media over the last year have either fizzled or are getting less online traction than they used to, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: This dynamic has rendered a formidable media ecosystem less effective in boosting President Trump as we move into the heart of the 2020 campaign.

A coronavirus alarm bell is going off in the Midwest

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Note: Positive rate shown is the 7-day average from June 1 to Aug. 6, 2020; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

A cluster of states in the Midwest are seeing more of their coronavirus tests coming back positive — potentially an early indicator of a growing outbreak.

The state of play: A high positive rate means that a higher share of those getting tested are sick. That could be because there are more sick people, or because a state isn't doing enough testing.