The first turbine is installed on South Fork Wind (Credit: Orsted)
Milestone Achievement in New York’s Clean Energy Odyssey
New York State reached a historic juncture in its clean energy transition with the inauguration of the inaugural turbine at its premier offshore wind farm, South Fork Wind, this Monday. Representing a 130-megawatt (MW) venture situated 35 miles off Montauk, it stands as the inaugural utility-scale wind farm within the federal waters of the United States upon completion. The facility, a collaborative effort by Danish energy leader Ørsted and Boston-based Eversource, will deliver renewable energy sufficient to power 70,000 Long Island homes, simultaneously curbing carbon emissions by up to 6 million tons over 25 years — a feat akin to annually removing 60,000 cars from the roads.
Powerful Collaboration and Sustainable Energy Production
Fueled by 12 SG 11-200 DD Siemens Gamesa wind turbines, the installation process is orchestrated by Van Oord’s offshore vessel, the Aeolus. Foundation deployment commenced in June, and July witnessed the completion of the first U.S.-constructed offshore substation. Facilitated by a transmission line installed in March, the wind farm will channel clean energy directly into the East Hampton electric grid. This clean energy will be procured by the Long Island Power Authority through a 20-year agreement. The project not only advances environmental objectives but also bolsters local economies, generating numerous jobs and fortifying three Northeastern ports, thereby fostering the emergence of a domestic supply chain for offshore wind.
Projected Completion and New York’s Aspirations
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) anticipates the installation of all 12 turbines by late 2023 or early 2024. South Fork Wind is an integral component of New York’s ambitious initiative to cultivate 9 GW of offshore wind energy by 2035, aligning with the state’s broader target of achieving 100% clean electricity by 2040. The state boasts an additional four ongoing offshore wind projects — Beacon Wind, Empire Wind 1, Empire Wind 2, and Sunrise Wind — collectively possessing a capacity exceeding 4 GW.
Navigating Challenges and Charting Future Paths
Despite these commendable strides, New York’s offshore wind aspirations encountered challenges, notably Governor Kathy Hochul’s recent veto of a bill designed to streamline transmission planning for offshore wind projects. The veto, opposed by select environmental groups and residents citing concerns over the use of Long Beach parkland for Empire Wind 2’s transmission, underscores the complex landscape in advancing sustainable energy agendas.
Choudhury, Rizwan 2023, New York installs first offshore wind-turbine to power 70,000 homes, Interesting Engineering, viewed 29th November 2023, https://interestingengineering.com/energy/new-york-first-offshore-wind-turbine
Wolf, Sean 2023, First turbine installed at South Fork Wind, New York’s first offshore wind farm, Renewable Energy World, viewed 29th November 2023, https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/wind-power/offshore/first-turbine-installed-at-south-fork-wind-new-yorks-first-offshore-wind-farm/#gref