Substations for First US Offshore Wind Farms Ready for Installation

US offshore wind substations
Substation for South Fork Wind became the first to be built in the U.S. and has now departed Texas (Orsted)

Published May 25, 2023 6:54 PM by The Maritime Executive

The first substations of the U.S.’s commercial offshore wind farms have been completed and are being moved from Texas and Denmark to the locations for their installations. These projects signal several key milestones in the U.S. offshore wind sector including the completion of the first American-built substation. They are also a significant step for the offshore projects in New York and Massachusetts both of which are scheduled to be the first to be completed in the United States and generate power this year.

The first American-built offshore wind substation departed a Texas fabrication facility on May 24. The substation is transiting across the Gulf of Mexico and then up the East Coast for installation at the South Fork Wind project site off New York in a few weeks. Designed and built by Kiewit Offshore Services, the 1,500-ton, 60-foot-tall substation left Kiewit’s Ingleside facility near Corpus Christi, Texas.

“The completion of South Fork Wind’s offshore wind substation is yet another first for this groundbreaking project and moves us one step closer to the project’s first ‘steel in the water’,” said David Hardy, Group EVP and CEO Americas at Ørsted. 

South Fork Wind, which is a project from joint development partners Ørsted and Eversource, is now in its offshore construction phase, first with work to install the project’s 68-nautical mile submarine cable from its landfall below Wainscott Beach, in East Hampton, New York to the wind farm site roughly 35 miles east of Montauk. Cable laying is underway and installation of monopile foundations will begin in the coming weeks. Vessels from several Gulf ports are supporting the construction of South Fork Wind.

According to the companies, South Fork Wind is on track to be the first completed utility-scale offshore wind farm in federal waters, with the project expected to be operational by the end of 2023. The project consists of 12 turbines to provide 132 MW.


Substation for Vineyard 1 departed from Denmark today (Semco Maritime)


Today, May 25, in Denmark, they also marked the departure of the substation for the Vineyard Wind 1 project to be located approximately 35 miles offshore in Massachusetts. Sail-away for the 3,200-ton substation is reported to be on time according to the original schedule and is a major milestone for the project team from Bladt Industries, Semco Maritime, and ISC Consulting Engineers. The project is being developed in a 50-50 partnership between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables.

Vineyard Wind 1 is carried out as an EPC contract, with ISC as a subcontractor, covering the design, procurement, and construction of the 3,200 tons offshore substation and a 2,000 tons jacket foundation with four piles, which form the permanent anchorage to the seabed. Bladt handled the steel manufacturing of the substation. Design and engineering were carried out by Semco Maritime and ISC, and installation of the electrical system was also carried out by Semco Maritime.

After arrival at the installation site, Vineyard Wind will install the substation. Semco Maritime and Bladt Industries will oversee the offshore commissioning during the summer.

Vineyard Wind 1 will consist of an array of 62 wind turbines, which will generate 800 MW of electricity annually. It is also scheduled to deliver the first power to the grid in 2023.