Equinor, NYU Tandon, others form wind-industry R&D hub

Equinor is developing wind-turbine assembly hub here

June 10, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Equinor, together with its partner BP, announced on Thursday the launch of a New York-based Offshore Wind Innovation Hub that will facilitate partnerships with start-ups and bring new technological solutions to the rapidly growing U.S. offshore wind industry.

The initiative springs from a new three-year partnership between Equinor, the Urban Future Lab (UFL) at the Brooklyn-based NY Tandon School of Engineering, and the National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium (NOWRDC), supported by New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).

Equinor is the company that was chosen by NYCEDC to develop a wind-turbine assembly facility at the now-underused South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Turbines assembled here will be shipped to the Empire Wind and Beacon Wind sites, both off the coast of Long Island, according to the Equinor website.

The new Innovation Hub will leverage the success of NY Tandon’s Urban Future Lab in promoting and helping the launch of cleantech start-ups, fostering collaboration with the international incubator community to cultivate pilots and demonstration projects that accelerate advances in offshore wind.

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The Innovation Hub will create a physical location for offshore wind programming and serve as a center for the industry’s innovation ecosystem. It will host educational programming, workshops and curricula for the startups, as well as networking opportunities with industry participants. It will be located adjacent to Equinor and bp’s new project office in Sunset Park.

“NOWRDC is pleased to provide its support to the Innovation Hub and its future cohorts,” said Robert Catell, chair of the National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium. Catell is the former president and CEO of Brooklyn Union Gas and former chair of KeySpan Energy.

Both of the above-named utility companies have been absorbed by NationalGrid, and Catell, in turn, became chair of NationalGrid in 2007. Catell is also the co-chair of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and a former chair of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

Robert Catell, chair of the National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium and Brooklyn civic leader. Photo courtesy of CUNY TV

“Offshore wind is increasingly accepted as a viable new source of renewable energy, but the industry has evolved by harnessing the power of nature through cutting-edge technological solutions,” said Siri Espedal Kindem, president of Equinor Wind U.S.

“Equinor and bp are thrilled to launch this partnership in an effort to push the envelope even further by nurturing innovative new ideas from around the world that will help drive technological growth and efficiency even further,” she said.

Doreen M. Harris, president and CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA), said, “New York is committed to being the nation’s hub for offshore wind development, setting a template for the green economy and the clean energy grid of the future. We applaud the efforts of Equinor and bp, NYU’s Urban Future Lab, NOWRDC, and NYCEDC to grow this industry by harnessing the intellectual and entrepreneurial power of New Yorkers.”

In the coming months, the partners will develop a call for applications to identify and select industry-leading startups whose technologies address key challenges facing U.S. offshore wind.

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