New York State Governor Kathy Hochul along with several other legislators and government officials visited the Port of Albany on Jan. 14 to celebrate the start of the off-shore wind industry in NYS and the country.
“New York just secured 2 major offshore wind contracts — a key step forward in our work to combat climate change and to make New York the nation’s clean energy leader,” said Hochul in a tweet Friday. “This is a huge win for the Port of Albany, workers and families, and the future of our planet.”
Offshore wind towers or turbines are windmill-like structures that can harness enormous amounts of clean and renewable energy. These turbines then use underwater cables to collect the electricity gathered, which is then channeled through coastal load centers to be distributed via various electrical grids to be used in homes, businesses and more.
Among those with Governor Hochul to celebrate the contracts were NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen Harris, Representative Paul Tonko, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm as well as representatives from Equinor – the company responsible for constructing the turbines – and the Port of Albany itself.
Governor Hochul dedicated $500 million to the construction and maintenance of these turbines during her recent State of the State address. This financial assistance is predicted to harness enough energy to power 3 million homes as well as provide nearly 2,000 new jobs in the area.
Separately, the Equinor-BP project unlock unprecedented public and private funding commitments of $644 million in port infrastructure, including: $357 million in the nation’s first offshore wind tower manufacturing facility to be built at the Port of Albany. Additionally, more than $287 million in an offshore wind staging and assembly facility at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT), owned by the City of New York and managed by New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC)
“When we look at offshore wind, it’s an asset, it’s a treasure to be able to meet those robust goals of national and state clean energy,” said Rep. Tonko at the press conference. “But it is beyond that. It’s the once in a lifetime opportunity to come around to enable us to grow the economy. We need to invest through [President Biden’s initiative] ‘Build Back Better.’”
Secretary Granholm agreed with this initiative and the plan to grow the economy and ecological well being of the nation. “We want to take this example, and bring it across the country,” said Granholm. “[This] is the real deal. New Yorkers should feel entirely proud (…) of a whole new sector that is being created in the United States that is starting here.”
Reflecting on the innovation taking place in NYS, Hochul recounted when she first declared in 2017 that NYS would be the epicenter of offshore wind and all wind power.
“Back then people said ‘well that’s pretty bold, but can you actually make it happen?’” said Hochul. “I said ‘we will be the future of clean energy.’ Well ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the future.”