South Fork wind farm goes online

The first of South Fork Wind’s Siemens Gimesa wind turbines was hoisted into place last November.
The first of South Fork Wind’s Siemens Gimesa wind turbines was hoisted into place last November.
The first of South Fork Wind’s Siemens Gimesa wind turbines was hoisted into place last November.

Ørsted has installed and powered up all 12 turbines at its South Fork Wind project, off Long Island, N.Y. with the first utility-scale U.S. offshore electricity-producing wind farm now delivering power to Long Island and the Rockaways. 

At full capacity, the 130-megawatt wind farm will generate enough renewable energy to power approximately 70,000 homes. 

The farm is located roughly 35 miles off the coast of Montauk and will eliminate up to six million tons of carbon emissions over the life of the project, the equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road for the next twenty years, according to the Boston-headquartered energy company.

First approved by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) Board of Trustees in 2017, South Fork Wind began construction in February 2022, starting with the onshore export cable system that links the project to the Long Island electric grid. 

The wind farm reached its “steel in the water” milestone in June 2023 with the installation of the project’s first monopile foundation, and its final turbine was installed in February.

Successful completion of the South Fork Wind project “supports progress toward New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act requirements to achieve 70 percent renewable energy by 2030 and install nine gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035,” according to a statement from the office of New York Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The start-up of South Fork Wind follows the recent announcement of two offshore wind project awards – Empire Wind I and Sunrise Wind – that are expected to generate more than 1,730 mW of electric power and $2 billion in near-term economic development investments.

South Fork Wind’s turbines were staged and assembled by workers at the State Pier in New London, Conn. The project’s advanced foundation components were completed by workers at Ørsted and energy provider Eversource’s fabrication hub at Rhode Island’s ProvPort. 

The South Fork Wind project includes the first U.S.-built offshore wind substation, which was constructed by workers in three states. 

Long Island-based contractor Haugland Energy Group LLC installed the underground duct bank system for the project’s onshore transmission line and led construction of the project’s onshore interconnection facility, while LS Cable installed and jointed the onshore cables with support from Long Island’s Elecnor Hawkeye. 

Roman Stone, also on Long Island, manufactured concrete mattresses to protect the undersea cables and Ljungstrom, based in western New York, provided specialized structural steelwork in partnership with Riggs Distler & Co. 

“From the first steel in the water to the final turbine, our hard-working offshore wind construction team has put South Fork Wind on the path to making American energy history,” said David Hardy, Ørsted Group executive vice president and CEO, Americas. 

“We’re incredibly proud of our dedicated project, permit and construction teams and all those who have made this milestone possible.” 

Ørsted’s offshore wind energy projects have approximately three gigawatts in development. 

The firm also operates the country’s first offshore wind farm, located off the coast of Block Island, and has a total U.S. land-based capacity of five GW across various ‘green’ technologies.