South Fork Wind, New York’s first offshore wind farm, has announced it received its Record of Decision (ROD) from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), successfully reaching a critical milestone in the federal environmental review.
South Fork Wind remains on track to be fully permitted by early 2022, and with the project’s joint venture partners Ørsted and Eversource ramping up construction activities soon after on the 132-megawatt offshore wind farm serving Long Island. The project will kickstart New York’s offshore wind industry and power approximately 70,000 New York homes with clean, offshore wind energy when it begins operations at the end of 2023.
“New York State is facing the challenges of climate change head-on, and we thank the Biden-Harris Administration for their steadfast support,” said Governor Kathy Hochul. “With today’s permitting milestone, South Fork Wind is set to be New York’s historic first offshore wind farm providing clean energy where it is needed most. Our nation-leading climate and offshore wind goals demand bold action and moving South Fork Wind forward brings us closer to a cleaner and greener future.”
“With the achievement of this critical federal permitting milestone, construction of this historic wind farm is expected to begin in the weeks and months ahead,” said David Hardy, Chief Executive Officer of Ørsted Offshore North America. “We thank Secretary Haaland, Director Lefton and the team at BOEM, Governor Hochul, NYSERDA CEO Doreen Harris, the NY State Legislature and the Long Island Power Authority as well as East Hampton’s elected leaders for their clean energy vision. South Fork Wind will not only boost the economy with family-sustaining jobs, but it will also help combat climate change and reduce air pollution as a clean energy resource for many Long Island residents.”
South Fork Wind Project Info and Timeline
Ørsted and Eversource will soon enter the construction phase of South Fork Wind, with onshore activities beginning first. The South Fork Wind team is now gearing up for site preparation work and the start of construction, beginning as early as January 2022, on the project’s underground transmission line.
Fabrication of the project’s offshore substation is already in process. Ørsted and Eversource recently announced the selection of Kiewit Offshore Services, Ltd. (Kiewit), the largest offshore fabricator in the U.S., to design and build the substation for the project. The 1,500-ton, 60-foot-tall substation will be built at Kiewit’s facility in Ingleside, Texas, near Corpus Christi. More than 350 workers across three states will support this South Fork Wind structure.
In addition, hundreds of union workers in the Northeast will support the South Fork Wind project and additional projects in the region.
Offshore installation of the project’s monopile foundations and 11-megawatt Siemens-Gamesa wind turbines is expected to begin in summer 2023.
BOEM’s issuance of the Record of Decision concludes the thorough, BOEM-led environmental review of the project. It will be followed in January by the final approval of South Fork Wind’s Construction and Operations Plan (COP). The COP outlines the project’s uniform one nautical mile turbine layout, the construction methodology for all work occurring in federal ocean waters, fishing industry compensation plan, and mitigation measures to protect species, such as North Atlantic Right Whales.
South Fork Wind will be located about 35 miles east of Montauk Point. Its transmission system will deliver clean energy directly to the electric grid in the Town of East Hampton. Power needs on the South Fork are growing faster than anywhere else on Long Island. In 2015, LIPA and PSEG Long Island issued a request for proposals to address this specific need and selected South Fork Wind because it was part of a portfolio that offers the most cost-effective solution to meet this demand, while at the same time increasing grid resiliency on the east end of Long Island.