New York has finalized new contracts for offtake from Equinor’s Empire Wind 1 and Sunrise Wind, co-owned by Ørsted and Eversource Energy and paving the way for more than 1.7 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy.

Both projects, expected to begin operations in 2026, were selected in February by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority as conditional winners of the state’s fourth offshore wind solicitation. Combined, the projects are expected to produce enough electricity to power more than 1 million New York homes. They are expected to move the state toward its goal of developing 9 GW of offshore wind energy by 2035.

The state announced the finalized purchase and sale agreements (PSA) on June 4.

“Empire Wind 1 is a defining project for Equinor and the PSA agreement is an important milestone in de-risking and ensuring a robust path forward as we work toward delivering first power,” Molly Morris, president of Equinor Renewables Americas, said in a news release.

The finalized agreements came after a difficult 2023 for the offshore wind sector. Rising costs, inflation and higher interest rates challenged project economics and prompted developers to seek contract renegotiations. To help the sector overcome macroeconomic and inflationary woes, New York rolled out its 10-point Action Plan—of which the finalized contracts are part of. Empire Wind 1 and Sunrise Wind were first awarded by NYSERDA in 2019 as part of its first offshore wind solicitation, and then re-awarded in 2023.

“The weighted average all-in development cost of the contracted offshore wind projects over the life of the contracts is $150.15 per megawatt-hour which is on-par with the latest market prices,” according to the New York governor’s office.

The contracts’ durations are for 25 years.

The 810-megawatt (MW) Empire 1 will become New York’s first offshore wind project directly connected to the grid when it comes online in 2026, Equinor said. The developer looks to bring in a partner to reduce final risk for the project, which has not yet reached a final investment decision (FID).

Onshore construction activity, however, is already underway at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal. The port is being positioned to serve as a central hub for future offshore wind projects, Equinor said.

The planned 924-MW Sunrise Wind project is also progressing construction onshore. Earlier this year, Ørsted and Eversource reached FID on the project.

“Today’s announcement begins the next chapter for Sunrise Wind, bringing America's largest offshore wind farm one step closer to fruition,” said Eversource CEO Joe Nolan said. “Sunrise Wind will have a transformational impact on New York's economy, with the onshore construction scope alone representing a more than $200 million investment and creating 400 new local union jobs.”