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Photo from our offshore project at Karmøy, Norway.

Empire Wind is planned for an area of 80,000 acres, in federal waters, an average of 20 miles south of Long Island, east of the Rockaways. When complete, it could power a million New York homes.

The commercial lease for this federal offshore wind area was signed by Equinor in March 2017, following the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) successful auction in December 2016. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has committed to a Clean Energy Standard, requiring 50 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2030. Empire Wind can play a key role in helping New York achieve its goal.

Empire Wind is part of Equinor’s commitment to leadership in renewable energy development in the US and around the world. Equinor has a track record of success in the two largest offshore wind markets, the UK and Germany, and the company’s European offshore wind farms provide over 1 million households with renewable energy.

Equinor in the US

Equinor is a Norway-based global energy company with nearly 50 years of experience in energy development. Equinor is pursuing renewable energy opportunities on the west and east coasts of the US, and Empire Wind in New York represents the company’s first significant US off-shore wind investment. 



  • The Empire Wind site extends 14-30 miles southeast of Long Island, spans 79,350 acres, and covers water depths between 65 and 131.
  • Empire Wind could have the capacity to produce 1,000-1,500 megawatts of electricity, enough to power about 1 million homes.
  • Each turbine is expected to have an installed capacity of 10-15 MW.

How much

  • Empire Wind will be constructed by private investors. Investments for a 1 GW project are typically about $ 3 billion.

Environmental and social impact 

Image of wind turbine

The first step for Empire Wind is to develop and submit a Site Assessment Plan (SAP) to BOEM.

BOEM requires the SAP to describe the initial activities necessary to characterise a lease site. For example, a SAP will include wind resource measurements using meteorological buoys, foror meteorological and oceanographic (metocean) data collection, as well as any requirements for testing new technology that emerges. 

The next phase is the development of the Construction and Operations Plan (COP). The COP describes all the activities necessary for the construction, operation, and decommissioning of proposed offshore wind farm(s) on the lease.

The COP also outlines the environmental, social and technical information needed for BOEM to undertake Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA) as part of its review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

As part of the ESIA, a wide range of potentially affected parties, identified through stakeholder engagement and scoping, will be able to participate in information gathering, site investigations, site-specific environmental surveys, and impact assessments.

Stakeholder engagement

Employees at work in Norfolk UK

Both the normal regulatory process and Equinor’s corporate policy require that any significant environmental impacts of the Empire Wind project be taken into consideration throughout the development process. Equinor actively engages with stakeholders to foster a respectful and informative dialogue around issues of concern and to work through those issues collaboratively.

Equinor believes in the cooperative coexistence of offshore wind development with wildlife and other marine industries. To that end, Equinor will pursue effective and meaningful consultation with the aim of avoiding or reducing impacts. 


Fisheries are a particularly important stakeholder to this project. Equinor has developed a draft Fisheries Liaison Plan (FLP) to address unique concerns of commercial and recreational fishermen.

The FLP will evolve as the project develops and new information becomes available.

Environmental studies

Empire Wind is conducting many environmental studies to learn how to best coexist with marine life and birds in the lease area. We are committed to sharing our data with the public and answering your questions. We will continue to post studies and data here as we continue the permitting process.

Get in touch

Julia Bovey
Director of External Affairs

Supplier engagement

Equinor has a long history of effectively building international supply chains and striking the right balance between global competition, local businesses, local content, and skills.

Equinor recognises the great contributions that suppliers make to project success and the value they create for partners and customers. Please find more information on the link below:


Click below to read the answers to some of the frequently asked questions about Equinor’s Empire wind project.