U.S. Wind Farm Construction Hits Milestones Nearing Turbine Installation

US wind farm
Wind turbine blades started arriving in Connecticut for South Fork Wind (Orsted)

Published Aug 17, 2023 3:48 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.S.'s first two large-scale offshore wind projects continue to move forward hitting key milestones in their installation. South Fork Wind, which will provide power to New York’s Long Island, and Vineyard Wind, which will provide power to Massachusetts, both recently started their offshore construction and are nearing the critical juncture of installing the turbines. Both projects are seeking to claim the title of the first large wind farm in the U.S., each on track to complete installation and begin power generation before the end of 2023.

South Fork Wind, which is being developed in a joint venture between Ørsted and Eversource, highlighted that it completed its monopole installations last week and now released pictures of the blades for the turbines arriving at the staging port. At the end of July, they completed the lift for the first offshore power station being placed on its monopole.

The installation is being carried out by Boskalis 2, a heavy lift vessel, which was responsible for the installation of the 13 monopoles. The Boskalis vessel arrived at the beginning of June and started the offshore work later in the month. The site is about 30 miles east of Montauk Point on Long Island and 19 miles south of Block Island, Rhode Island. The project went through a long approval process from being proposed in 2015 and its first approval by the Long Island Power Authority in 2017.


Last week, South Fork completed the installation of its monopoles (Orsted)


Ørsted posted a picture of the United Heavy Lift vessel UHL Fierce arriving in New London, Connecticut where they are staging for the offshore wind farm. Connecticut redeveloped a 40-acre terminal to support the wind farms with staging and assembly operations. The vessel, which had left Denmark at the beginning of August, was carrying the first blades for the 12 turbines to be installed at South Fork. Ørsted highlighted that each of the blades is over 300 feet long.  When completed, the wind farm will have a dozen Siemens Gamesa 11 MW turbines which are due to start installation later this summer with work continuing into the fall.

Last week, DEME Group’s vessel Sea Installer docked in Salem, Massachusetts. The heavy lift jack-up vessel is embarking local union labor and preparing to begin the turbine installation for Vineyard Wind, the project which is being developed in a joint venture between Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and AVANGRID. Located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Vineyard Wind is an 800 MW project. It is a larger wind farm, which will consist of 62 General Electric Haliade-X turbines, each capable of generating 13 MW of electricity.


Executives and local officials gathered as DEME's install vessel arrived in Massachusetts (Vineyard Wind)


Too large to pass through the hurricane barrier in New Bedford, the vessel docked at the future site of the Salem Wind Services Terminal, which Crowley plans to begin constructing in fall 2023 at the site of a decommissioned coal-fired energy plant. The terminal, a public-private partnership with Crowley, the town of Salem, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, will serve as a hub for construction, maintenance, and other services to develop and sustain offshore wind installations. 

The next phase for the offshore installation at both sites is expected to start later this month. Both sites expect to reach commissioning by the end of 2023.