Equinor Sets Up Union Partnership for New York’s First Offshore Wind Hub

March 28, 2024

© Andriy Sharpilo / Adobe Stock
© Andriy Sharpilo / Adobe Stock

Empire Wind and the Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York and Vicinity (BCTC) have signed a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) for the construction of the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT).

The revitalized SBMT will play a key role in Equinor’s development of the Empire Wind offshore wind project as a staging and assembly site and as a home for the project’s operations and maintenance base.

This first-of-its-kind PLA for Equinor is a commitment to building SBMT responsibly with the help of New York’s highly skilled union construction workforce.

The agreement will establish working standards, safety practices, and equity in the construction of the terminal, creating over 1,000 union construction jobs and apprenticeships in local New York communities, as well as thousands of indirect jobs in manufacturing, shipping and logistics. 

The PLA also promotes engagement with Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses (MWBE) and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and includes a local hire requirement that gives priority to union members who are Section 3 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents, veterans, and those who live in Sunset Park. 



“This project labor agreement ensures that SBMT’s construction will provide union jobs with family-sustaining wages, industry-leading safety standards, and robust and equitable training programs to help communities from across New York City enter this new industry.

“As the hub for Empire Wind, SBMT will play a transformational role in the development of the offshore wind industry and deliver more than renewable energy generated off New York’s shores. It will spur a durable new industry for the Empire State,” said Molly Morris, president of Equinor Renewables Americas.

The agreement also ensures labor harmony during the construction of SBMT, establishes uniform wages and benefits, and ensures a steady supply of New York labor throughout the project. 

Construction at SBMT is expected to begin next week, starting with the demolition of existing outbuildings, excavation of the site, and bulkhead preparation work. Contracts covered by the agreement include Skanska, GE-BOND and Nexans. 

Being developed by Equinor, Empire Wind is located 15-30 miles southeast of Long Island and spans 80,000 acres, with water depths of between approximately 75 and 135 feet.

The lease was acquired in 2017. The project’s two phases, Empire Wind 1 and 2, have a potential capacity of more than 2 GW (810 + 1,260 MW), enough to power over 1 million New York homes.

Empire Wind 1 was selected as a provisional winner in New York’s fourth offshore wind solicitation (NY4) in February 2024.

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