Governor Kathy Hochul broke ground on New York’s first offshore wind farm off the coast of Long Island on Friday.
When completed in late 2023, South Fork Wind, a joint venture between Orsted and Eversource, is projected to launch the state’s offshore wind power.
“The harsh impacts and costly realities of climate change are all too familiar on Long Island, but today as we break ground on New York’s first offshore wind project, we are delivering on the promise of a cleaner, greener path forward that will benefit generations to come,” Hochul said. “South Fork Wind will eliminate up to six million tons of carbon emissions over the next 25 years, benefiting not only the Empire State, but our nation as a whole.”
By 2035, New York intends to construct 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind.
“This project will also produce hundreds of well-paying jobs, contributing to regional economic recovery as we recover from COVID-19,” Hochul stated. “This is a watershed moment for New York, and I look forward to continuing to collaborate with Secretary Haaland as we guide our country toward a greener, brighter future for everybody.”
South Fork Wind will be one of the first commercial-scale offshore wind projects in North America, however the project is not without controversy.
Several government and corporate institutions involved in the project, as well as other wind farm projects in the Northeast, have been sued by the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association and others.
The project will be around 35 miles east of Montauk Point and was chosen as part of a 2015 Long Island Power Authority request for proposals to address expanding power needs on Long Island’s east end. Its 12 Siemens-Gamesa 11 MW turbines will create 130 megawatts of electricity, enough to power over 70,000 homes, and its transmission system will supply clean energy directly to the Town of East Hampton’s electric grid.
South Fork Wind is intended to reduce carbon emissions by up to six million tonnes over a 25-year period, the equivalent of removing 60,000 cars from the road.
Haugland Energy Group LLC, based in East Hampton, was chosen to install the duct bank system for the project’s underground onshore transmission line and to lead the construction of the onshore interconnection facility. More than 100 union jobs for Long Island skilled trades employees will be created as a result of the agreement, including heavy equipment operators, electricians, lineworkers, and local delivery drivers who will help bring goods to the project site.
The offshore substation for the project is already being built. New York State has the nation’s largest offshore wind project portfolio, with five projects in various stages of construction.