Work Begins on New York’s South Fork Offshore Wind Farm

work begins on New York's first offshore wind farm South Fork
Work is starting on New York's first commercial-scale offshore wind farm (Orsted)

Published Feb 11, 2022 5:51 PM by The Maritime Executive

A ceremony on Long Island today marked the start of construction on South Fork Wind, New York's first offshore wind project. The event attended by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, and other officials, came as jointly developers Ørsted and Eversource Energy confirmed that they have taken final investment decision on the project which is due for completion at the end of 2023 and will have a capacity of 130 MW offshore wind power generation.

Located 35 miles east of Montauk Point, off Long Island, New York, South Fork Wind will be one of the first commercial-scale offshore wind projects to commence operation in North America. Selected under a 2015 Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) request for proposals the project received its final approvals in November 2021 and January 2022. It will consist of 12 Siemens-Gamesa 11 MW turbines and its transmission system will deliver energy to the electric grid in the Town of East Hampton, New York. Over a 25-year period, South Fork Wind is expected to eliminate up to six million tons of carbon emissions, or the equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road annually.

“With the joint final investment decision now in place, we have formally codified our commitment to New York’s first-ever offshore wind farm,” said Joe Nolan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Eversource Energy. “In less than two years, South Fork Wind will provide enough clean energy to power more than 70,000 homes – helping New York reach its nation-leading clean energy goals.”

New York State has set a goal of installing 9 GW of offshore wind power by 2035, while the Biden Administration is targeting 30 GW of offshore wind capacity nationwide by 2030. In addition to South Fork Wind, Ørsted and Eversource have two other already-awarded projects in the Northeast with a total capacity of approximately 1.8 GW.     

Onshore construction activities for South Fork Wind’s underground duct bank system and interconnection facility will be the first elements to get underway. The project has already awarded the contract for the construction of the offshore substation, a 1,500-ton, 60-foot-tall substation that is already in process in Texas. Offshore installation of the project’s monopile foundations and wind turbines is expected to begin in summer 2023.

New York State has five offshore wind projects in active development, the largest portfolio in the nation. This current portfolio totals more than 4.3 GW and will power more than 2.4 million New York homes. Achieving the State's 9 GW by 2035 goal will generate enough offshore wind energy to power approximately 30 percent of New York State's electricity needs.

To support the expansion of offshore wind power generation in the region, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in January issued the Final Sale Notice for the New York Bight, and New York State has committed to a $500 million investment in offshore wind ports, manufacturing, and supply chain infrastructure to accompany New York's next offshore wind solicitation.