Two years of collected data, coupled with future near real-time data, is made available to the public through a historic agreement between New York State and the Empire and Beacon Wind projects.
Equinor and bp, in conjunction with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), have publicly released the results of two years of detailed information on wave heights, currents, wind speeds, and wind directions information collected by its buoys south of Long Beach and east of Montauk, NY. The new publicly available data, available here, is released as the result of a path-breaking agreement between Empire Wind and Beacon Wind projects being developed by Equinor and bp through their 50-50 strategic partnership, and NYSERDA.
The Beacon Wind data is now being publicly shared in near real-time, allowing groups including local fishermen, mariners, oceanographic researchers, and the United States Coast Guard to access greater visibility into marine conditions and patterns in the waters off Long Island. Surface data is provided by Met Ocean and floating Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) buoys, which complements data regarding underwater conditions gathered from buoys located on the seabed floor.
The Empire Wind and Beacon Wind projects placed buoys in each of their respective lease areas off the New York coast. The data is being made publicly available as part of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS) OceansMap, a framework developed jointly by the firm RPS and MARACOOS.
“We are excited to share this important and valuable data set. The Empire Wind and Beacon Wind project teams have relied on it to inform planning efforts like foundation design, construction schedules, and estimated transit times to and from our wind farms during operations. We believe sharing this data benefits the public by enhancing knowledge about our ocean resources, while demonstrating Equinor’s commitment to transparency in our project development activities. RPS and MARACOOS have been tremendous partners in helping to deliver the data in a way that can be easily accessed by the public,” said Scott Lundin, Director of Permitting for Equinor Wind US.
“Data availability is essential for the environmentally responsible and cost-effective development of offshore wind, and data sharing has been a cornerstone of New York’s offshore wind strategy,” NYSERDA Director of Offshore Wind Greg Lampman said. “The availability of this important data will enhance knowledge of metocean conditions in the region, helping to ensure the safe and efficient design and operation of Empire Wind and Beacon Wind, while also supporting other academic research activities in the region.”
The release of this new dataset—and sharing of the data going forward—complements Equinor’s other initiatives to prioritize transparency and knowledge sharing as it develops the Empire and Beacon Wind projects. In September 2022, the Empire Wind project announced a continuing partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to track whales in the Empire Wind lease area, and to provide that data to the public in near real time through the WCS website and at a kiosk located at the New York Aquarium in Coney Island, New York.
The Beacon Wind buoys will continue to produce data until November 2023. The Empire Wind buoys’ data is from 2018 through 2022 when the buoys were brought back to shore.
Data from the Empire and Beacon Wind projects can be accessed here.
Equinor Renewables US
Equinor is one of the largest offshore wind developers in the world. Its work in the United States includes the development of two lease areas off New York, Empire Wind and Beacon Wind. The projects plan to provide New York State with 3.3 gigawatts (GWs) of energy—enough to power nearly two million homes—including more than 2 GWs from Empire Wind and 1,230 megawatts from Beacon Wind 1. www.equinor.com/NY
bp in the US
bp’s ambition is to become a net zero company by 2050 or sooner, and to help the world get to net zero. bp has a larger economic footprint in the United States than anywhere else in the world, investing more than $140 billion since 2005 and supporting about 245,000 jobs. For more information on bp in the US, visit www.bp.com/US.
About Empire Wind
Empire Wind is being developed by Equinor and bp through their 50-50 strategic partnership in the US. Empire Wind will power more than 1 million homes and generate 2.1 GW of power. For more information, please visit www.empirewind.com
About Beacon Wind
Beacon Wind is being developed by Equinor and bp and is planned for an area of 128,000 acres in federal waters between Cape Cod and Long Island. The lease area was acquired in 2019 and is being developed in two phases. Beacon Wind 1 is on track to deliver 1.2 GW of renewable energy directly to New York City in the late 2020s – enough to power 1 million homes. Beacon Wind 2 has the capacity to generate another 1.2 GW of clean energy for consumers in the US Northeast. www.beaconwind.com
Founded in 1970 and built on a legacy of environmental and social engagement, RPS, a Tetra Tech Company (RPS) is a diversified global professional services firm of circa 5,000 consultants, designers, planners, engineers, and technical specialists. RPS’ extensive offshore wind experience includes 20 years at the forefront of the industry, working across the UK, wider Europe, America, Australia and Asia. We have worked on both floating offshore wind and fixed foundation offshore wind projects, and we have deep experience in the provision of technical consultancy and operational support for the energy sector.
Past and present projects include sector firsts such as the world’s largest offshore wind farms, Hornsea One, Two and Three. We are currently delivering the Round 4 EIA and HRA for the bp and EnBW consortium in the UK and supporting the offshore approvals for Australia’s first offshore wind development, Star of the South. We are also providing marine subject matter expertise to support Vineyard Wind, the United States’ first utility-scale offshore wind energy project, and have been selected as ESIA consultant for Equinor’s Firefly floating offshore wind project in South Korea.
MARACOOS, or the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System, is a 501(c)3 association of universities, government agencies, and private sector entities that powers understanding and prediction of ocean, coastal, and estuarine systems in the Mid-Atlantic to save lives, protect livelihoods, and boost the economy. As part of U.S. IOOS, and a federally-certified regional association, MARACOOS collects, integrates, manages, and distributes data according to best practices, as identified by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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