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Milestone for Offshore Wind with Order for First US-Built Substation

first US-built offshore wind farm substation
Rendering of the substation (South Fork Wind)

Published Aug 27, 2021 7:32 PM by The Maritime Executive

In another milestone for the development of large-scale offshore wind farms in the United States, the first contract has been placed for an American-built offshore wind substation. The contract for the building of the critical component went to the largest offshore fabricator in the U.S. as part of an effort to leverage experience in the oil and gas sector to support the creation of the new offshore wind industry. 

Orsted and Eversource, which are jointly developing the South Fork Wind project to be located off New York’s Long Island selected Kiewit Offshore Services to design and build the substation. The 1,500- ton, 60-foot-tall substation will be built at Kiewit’s facility in Ingleside, Texas, near Corpus Christi, creating more than 350 jobs.

“We’re helping to build a new U.S. manufacturing industry that will create thousands of good-paying jobs not just in the Northeast but in communities across the United States,” said David Hardy, Chief Executive Officer of Orsted Offshore North America. This initiative is part of our commitment to deliver for our long-term partners, combining international experience with local expertise in communities across the country.”

Offshore wind substations are critical components of utility-scale offshore wind farms. Substations collect the power produced by wind turbines and connect the energy to the grid. The offshore substation will consist of a topside resting on a monopile foundation. 

Kiewit expects to begin construction on the substation in November and complete the work by spring 2023. The completed structure will transit the Gulf of Mexico and sail along the East Coast for installation at the South Fork Wind site in the summer of 2023.

"Achieving our nation's clean energy goals will be largely dependent on U.S.-based companies like Kiewit, and we are excited to partner with them to deliver the first U.S.-made offshore wind substation," Joe Nolan, Chief Executive Officer and President of Eversource Energy. "Our partnership with Kiewit marks another significant milestone for the U.S. offshore wind industry and signals the growth of the next great maritime industry throughout the country."

South Fork Wind continues to advance through the federal permitting process, with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management issuing the project’s final Environmental Impact Statement on August 16. The partners expect South Fork Wind to be fully permitted in early 2022, with construction activities ramping up soon after the final permits are issued. They expect the project to begin producing energy by the end of 2023.