Equinor and its partner bp announced the opening of an Offshore Wind Innovation Hub in New York, which will promote partnerships with start-ups bringing new technology solutions to the rapidly increasing offshore wind industry in the United States. The effort is the result of a three-year collaboration between Equinor, the NY Tandon School of Engineering's Urban Future Lab (UFL), and the National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium (NOWRDC), which is funded by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).
The new Innovation Hub will leverage the success of the 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.
The Innovation Hub will create a physical location for offshore wind programming and serve as a center for the industry’s innovation ecosystem. The Hub 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.
Equinor is leading the initiative on behalf of its 50-50 strategic partnership with bp. Together, the companies are developing the Beacon Wind and Empire Wind projects, which will supply 3.3 gigawatts (GWs) of renewable energy to New York—enough to power nearly two million homes.
“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. Establishing this innovation hub is just one way we are accelerating the development of the offshore wind industry in New York and beyond.”
“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.
“NYCEDC is committed to accelerating equitable innovation in New York City’s growing offshore wind industry,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation COO Melissa Burch. “We look forward to supporting the Innovation Hub’s partners in building a program that ensures a diverse startup ecosystem with a curriculum that focuses on generating shared equity for all New Yorkers.”
Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO, 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.”
“The benefits of this program to the citizens of NYS are twofold. Not only will the Equinor/bp projects bring us clean, renewable energy, but the Innovation Hub will be an important step in building a new wind industry based in NY. The nascent technologies that are necessary for successful deployment will find a receptive home and business development services at the Hub,” said Pat Sapinsley, Managing Director, Cleantech Initiatives, NYU Urban Future Lab.
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 US offshore wind. Once chosen, these startups will receive tailored support and unique programming that draws on UFL’s network of mentors, NOWRDC industry community, and key policy figures in the technology areas identified for the cohort – laying the groundwork for potential partnerships between Equinor and the participating startups.