Towers for offshore wind farm could be built in Port of Albany

An artist's rendering shows a proposed wind tower production facility at the Port of Albany. (photo provided)

An artist's rendering shows a proposed wind tower production facility at the Port of Albany. (photo provided)

ALBANY — A Norwegian firm seeking to develop an offshore wind farm south of Long Island would build a wind tower manufacturing plant in the Port of Albany as part of the deal.

Equinor has submitted a bid to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for the wind energy project, which would be rated at up to 2.5 gigawatts of electrical generation capability.

Late last week, it announced its Port of Albany proposal, which is contingent on NYSERDA selecting Equinox’s bid.

The manufacturing facility would be developed jointly by Equinox of Norway, Weldon of Denmark and Marmen of Canada. It would create up to 350 jobs in the region.

The outsized components needed to support offshore wind turbines — which generate much more electricity than their land-based cousins and stand triple or quadruple their height — would be floated down the Hudson River and out into the construction site in the Atlantic Ocean.

NYSERDA is managing the project as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ambitious green energy/climate protection plan, which calls for development of up to 9,000 megawatts of offshore energy generation.

The United States is believed to have huge potential offshore wind capacity but the technology has found limited adoption here — the nation’s first marine wind farm, rated at only 30 megawatts, went online in 2016 off Rhode Island. 

A sticking point has been the up-front cost, and there has been some criticism of New York state’s plans, including that taxpayers and electric ratepayers would be subsidizing these wind farms.

The New York wind project would be Equinor’s first in the United States. The company produces electricity with offshore wind farms in Germany and the United Kingdom and in 2017 commissioned the world’s first floating wind farm, off Scotland. It also has extensive operations in oil and natural gas production.

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