South Fork Wind Achieves the State’s First Offshore Wind “Steel in the Water” with Installation of Foundation for U.S.-Built Offshore Substation.
Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that South Fork Wind, New York’s first offshore wind farm, has achieved its “steel in the water” milestone with the installation of the project’s first monopile foundation. In the coming days, South Fork Wind will install the project’s U.S.-built offshore substation. The project remains on-track to become America’s first utility-scale offshore wind farm to be completed in federal waters when it begins operations by the end of this year and supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goal to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035.
“New York is leading offshore wind development and building a green economy that will support hundreds of good-paying jobs and benefit generations to come,” Governor Hochul said. “This progress on building the first utility-scale offshore wind project in the country cements New York as a national hub for the offshore wind industry.”
Once completed, the wind farm will generate enough renewable energy to power roughly 70,000 homes helping New York meet its ambitious Climate Act goals, while eliminating up to six million tons of carbon emissions, or the equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road annually over a 25-year period. Hundreds of U.S. workers and three Northeast ports will support South Fork Wind’s construction through late fall helping to stand up a new domestic supply chain that’s creating hundreds of local union jobs across the Northeast.
First approved by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) in 2017, South Fork Wind was selected under a 2015 request for proposals to address growing energy needs on the east end of Long Island.
Long Island Power Authority CEO Tom Falcone said, “Today marks a significant step in New York’s clean energy journey and for LIPA’s commitment to ensure a sustainable and resilient future for our customers. Years in the making, this project milestone signifies that our efforts are transforming from vision into reality. We are proud to be a part of this landmark project and will continue to lead and innovate in our pursuit of a sustainable future for Long Island and in the Rockaways.”
NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Putting steel in the water for New York’s first offshore wind farm project is a major milestone in the development of this new, once in a generation industry in the United States, and represents the significant progress New York is making under Governor Hochul’s leadership to transition our electricity system to clean, reliable renewable energy. The South Fork Wind project models how community engagement, strong private-public partnerships, and labor can ensure projects move forward in a way that results in significant economic benefits to our state while helping pave the way for a healthier, more resilient future.”
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “New York is advancing offshore wind under Governor Hochul’s leadership to help meet our state’s energy needs and help transition the state to a cleaner, greener future as part of our nation-leading climate agenda. The South Fork Wind project is a historic and transformative project that will help meet our aggressive greenhouse gas emission reduction requirements while ramping up renewable energy sources and combatting climate change.”
Chair of the Public Service Commission Rory M. Christian said, “I applaud Governor Hochul’s steadfast commitment to developing the clean energy supplies that New York State needs. This wind farm will play a key role in supplying much needed clean-energy on Long Island and helping New York achieve its nation-leading renewable energy goals.”
Group EVP and CEO Americas at Ørsted David Hardy said, “South Fork Wind is now one giant step closer to meeting our mission to deliver renewable offshore wind energy to Long Island’s East End. As we reach a milestone nearly a decade in the making, we’re reflective of all those who have long championed this project in the East Hampton community, and beyond. The bold leadership of the Biden-Harris and Hochul administrations is putting New York and the nation on a path to a cleaner future. Thanks to American ingenuity, South Fork Wind is jumpstarting a new U.S. jobs engine and tackling climate change head-on.”
Eversource Energy’s President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Joe Nolan said, “Today marks a major milestone for South Fork Wind, and for the U.S. offshore wind industry as a whole, as we enter the project’s final phases. South Fork Wind is on-track to become the nation’s first completed utility-scale offshore wind farm in federal waters and will soon deliver enough clean, renewable energy to power nearly 70,000 homes. We are thankful to the Biden-Harris and Hochul administrations as well as the countless state and local supporters, without whom this critical project would not have been possible.”
With today’s milestone, South Fork Wind officially enters its wind turbine installation phase, the final construction period on the 12-turbine, 130-megawatt project. South Fork Wind launched in February 2022, beginning with the onshore export cable system. The project is one of five offshore wind projects New York State has in active development, the largest portfolio in the nation. This current portfolio totals more than 4,300 megawatts and will power more than 2.4 million New York homes, and it is expected to bring a combined economic impact of $12.1 billion to the state. The projects are also expected to create more than 6,800 jobs in project development, component manufacturing, installation, and operations and maintenance. Achieving the State’s 9,000 megawatts by 2035 goal will generate enough offshore wind energy to power approximately 30 percent of New York State’s electricity needs, equivalent to nearly 6 million New York State homes, and spur approximately 10,000 jobs.
New York local union members, including ironworkers, pile drivers, divers, operating engineers, electricians, laborers, and other members of the region’s building trades are supporting the work offshore. Ørsted and Eversource in 2022 signed the National Offshore Wind Agreement with North America’s Building Trades Unions, the labor organization representing more than three million skilled craft professionals. The partnership includes 15 International Union Presidents and their local affiliates and sets the bar for working conditions and equity, injects hundreds of millions of dollars in middle-class wages into the American economy, creates apprenticeship and career opportunities for communities most impacted by environmental injustice, and ensures projects will be built with the safest and best-trained workers in America. A first-of-its-kind in the United States, the National Offshore Wind Agreement (NOWA) covers all of Ørsted’s contractors and subcontractors that will perform offshore wind farm construction.
During South Fork Wind’s construction period this summer and fall at the project site roughly 35 miles east of Montauk, N.Y., construction and transport barges, tugboats, crew vessels, and protected special observer monitoring vessels will be active at the offshore construction site. Vessel and crane operators, boat captains and crew, engineers, welders, scientists, protected species observers and dozens of others are involved in this operation. Click here to learn more about how offshore wind farms are constructed.
An offshore installation vessel, Boskalis’s Bokalift 2, is transporting and installing the foundations. South Fork Wind includes the first U.S.-built offshore wind substation. More than 350 U.S. workers across three states supported construction of this South Fork Wind substation, a topside structure that will collect the power produced by wind turbines and connecting it to the grid. New York union workers supported its installation offshore.
Advanced foundation components, built by union workers, will be transported to the site for installation. Finally, the wind farm’s Siemens-Gamesa 11-megawatt wind turbine generators will be installed.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, “It is clear that offshore wind is an integral part of our nation’s clean energy future, and I am proud that Suffolk County is firmly at the forefront of this industry. The installation of this first turbine foundation and offshore wind substation is a major milestone in helping to build a cleaner future for New York. I would like to thank Governor Hochul for continuing to pave the way for a greener world for future generations.”
Supervisor of Town of East Hampton Peter Van Scoyoc said, “This year the Town of East Hampton is celebrating its 375th anniversary. We are proud of our past history and proud of the part we’re playing in making history by being the host community for New York’s first offshore wind farm. This latest construction milestone brings this important project another step closer to providing up to 70,000 homes with clean, renewable energy and helping us to further reduce the causes of climate change.”
Director of the New York Offshore Wind Alliance Fred Zalcman said, “The installation of the first offshore wind components to serve New York State is the culmination of years of effort from civic leaders, state and federal officials, laborers, and private industry. The South Fork Wind Farm stands as a proof of concept to the significant environmental, economic and social benefits of this resource, and future generations will look back on this monumental event and thank those responsible for the South Fork Wind Farm for their perseverance, creativity, and vision in bringing this seminal project to fruition.”
President of the New York League of Conservation Voters Julie Tighe said, “It is thrilling to witness plans turning into action as the South Fork Wind Project lays its first steel in the water, marking an exciting milestone on New York’s path to greening the grid. The New York League of Conservation Voters commends Governor Hochul for her unwavering commitment to fighting climate change and for taking bold action to ensure New York is a leader in offshore wind energy production. We congratulate South Fork Wind on this important progress and for hastening the arrival of New York’s clean energy future.”
Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment Adrienne Esposito said, “Today, we celebrate a decisive victory in New York’s battle for a clean energy future. After nearly two decades of working to make offshore wind a reality, this is cause for celebration. This is the moment we begin to break our addiction to fossil fuels and transition to renewables. This offshore wind farm is the first of many that will allow us to reach carbon-neutral electricity by 2040 and a carbon-neutral economy by 2050. It’s been a long fight, but one we will continue so that we can have cleaner air, fight climate change and support healthier communities. New York’s offshore wind future truly starts now!”
President of the Long Island Federation of Labor John R. Durso said, “Initiating construction of the South Fork offshore wind project is a historic achievement for New York State and Long Island. Our union movement knows all too well the demands placed on working people in the wake of natural disasters, which are occurring with increased frequency due to the climate crisis we are all forced to endure. After years of planning and advocacy, this region is building New York’s first offshore wind farm addressing the crisis head on. The development of unionized, green jobs in the process will strengthen our communities and offer long-lasting careers to a new generation of workers.”
President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties Matthew Aracich said, “I’m tremendously excited and proud to see the first steel structure being constructed offshore. This is truly a momentous achievement that will help reduce emissions for Long Island. These turbines represent the first large scale wind farm we’re building offshore, and they represent a huge leap forward in workforce development. Additionally, I would like to thank the hardworking skilled tradeswomen and tradesmen who are building these turbines each and every day.”