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Offshore wind developer Equinor cuts ribbon to office in Sunset Park

December 7, 2021 Jaime DeJesus,
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The ribbon was cut at Industry City as offshore wind developer Equinor announced the opening of its New York offshore wind project office at the massive Sunset Park waterfront complex on Tuesday.

Equinor operates two lease areas, Empire Wind and Beacon Wind. The projects are expected to provide New York State with 3.3 gigawatts of energy.

In attendance were His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway; Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre; representatives of Equinor Wind US and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); local leaders and more.

Equinor’s office at Industry City is around 10,000 square feet and is across the street from the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal. The company’s plan, as reported in the Eagle earlier this year, will transform that facility into a hub for staging and assembling wind-power equipment. The Marine Terminal stretches from 29th to 36th Streets on the Brooklyn waterfront.

The renovation of the office space will begin early next month, with an opening anticipated within the second quarter of 2022.

Equinor Wind US President Siri Espedal Kindem discussed how happy she was to grow the company’s U.S. offshore wind initiative here, thanks to the support of New York State and the people in the community.

Elizabeth Yeampierre, executive director of UPROSE, talks with Crown Prince Haakon of Norway. Eagle photo by Jaime DeJesus

“The office is the cornerstone for our vision of developing an exciting new industry in New York, in the United States, and beyond,” she said. “Going forward, the success of this industry must not only be measured by the amount of renewable power it provides, but also by the impact it has in sparking fresh economic activity and creating enduring jobs. We are thrilled to be taking on this important work.”

Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Randy Peers was in attendance at the ceremony.

“Equinor’s investment in Brooklyn and in wind energy for New York City is unprecedented,” he told the Eagle. “It’s a win-win scenario, producing alternative energy on the road to combating climate change, while also producing good-paying, career-oriented jobs for Brooklynites. We are so excited to have Equinor as part of the Brooklyn community.”

A group gathers to listen to the announcement of Equinor’s offshore wind project office coming to Industry City. Eagle file photo by Jaime DeJesus

Elizabeth Yeampierre, executive director of UPROSE, a Sunset Park-based grassroots community-based organization working on climate change and racial justice, discussed the importance of this collaboration.

She said that to truly operationalize a just transition, unconventional partnerships must be created that genuinely work with community leadership and support frontline community-led priorities.

“Too often, we see frontline communities like Sunset Park get left out of these large billion-dollar infrastructure projects that impact our community,” Yeampierre said. ”We need clean energy but we also need accessible workforce training, education, resources and direct investments to strengthen social cohesion and build long-term community wealth.”

A look at the office before it undergoes renovations next year. Eagle photo by Jaime DeJesus

As Empire Wind and Beacon Wind offshore wind projects develop and progress over the coming years, it is estimated that the office will be staffed by 20 employees.

“Equinor’s investments and partnership are critical vehicles for advancing our climate and clean energy goals, and we look forward to continuing our shared efforts to seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to truly change the energy system and create thousands of family-sustaining jobs,” said Doreen M. Harris, president and CEO of NYSERDA.

Phil Cochrane, head of state affairs and third-party advocacy for bp Americas, spoke at the event.

“What you see here today is the commitment of Equinor, bp and our project to be a good neighbor,” he said. “We see an opportunity that will not only bring clean energy to this area, but it will help revitalize and grow a workforce, a skillset of people and together make this a great community. Our company believes we do have to tackle climate change.”

At the Brooklyn site, according to a statement from the company published in the Eagle in January, Equinor will “invest in port upgrades to help transform SBMT into a world-class offshore wind staging and assembling facility and become the operations and maintenance (O&M) base both for Equinor and other project developers going forward.”

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