Equinor is an international energy company based in Norway focused on developing wind and solar power. Now, the company is looking to locate America’s first offshore wind tower manufacturing facility at the Port of Albany.
Equinor proposes to transform the port for fabricating offshore wind towers and associated components, creating hundreds of direct and potentially hundreds more maritime-related jobs in the region. The company says the port “is the ideal location to build these components and we are excited about the prospect of the area becoming a manufacturing hub for offshore wind."
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy says the Port of Albany extension initiative is part of a bid Equinor submitted in response to an offshore wind energy bid solicitation by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
"So this is awesome. Currently NYSERDA is reviewing bids from offshore wind developers proposing to develop large offshore wind projects in the Atlantic that could produce up to 2500 megawatts of energy for New York State."
Equinor says if NYSERDA chooses its plan, it could provide a big, immediate economic boost to the area as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, creating new employment opportunities as early as the second half of 2021. McCoy adds the company also has a shot at developing a site south of Albany.
"We have the one in downtown, in the city of Albany and one in Coeymans that could play a significant role in this development of this wind power, which is huge in this COVID-19 world and especially the economy crisis that we're having. It's gonna produce a lot of jobs, it could produce up to 350 jobs here locally if the Port of Albany is selected, which means putting people to work in good-paying jobs.”
Boats would carry completed components from either port down the Hudson River out to construction sites in the Atlantic Ocean.
In video posted on the company website, CEO Anders Opedal explains Equnior is focused on expanding green tech globally.
"It needs mass innovation over the years to come. And if it one learning that we had from the COVID-19 is really when the whole world are putting their efforts into change. We can do it. Remember we were able to change from working analog to digital within a couple of days. So when we put we put all our efforts into, we have a lot of change capabilities, actually, in the society, and if we can fit all of that behind innovation."
McCoy says other companies have expressed interest in the port and the ball is in NYSERDA's court now, as everyone awaits the agency's decision.
"So, to build this towers at the Port of Albany is exciting, if this happens, and we are out front, we've been out front on this copy and we've been pushin' it and I'm hoping this is where NYSERDA ends up coming is here."
NYSERDA has not commented on the selection process.