United States approves South Folk as second major offshore wind farm



Posted on Nov 25, 2021 5:31 PM by

The maritime executive

The second major US offshore wind project has received approval for construction and operation from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) of the US Department of the Interior. South Folk Wind, which will be located off the east end of Long Island and south of Rhode Island, passed the critical federal environmental review stage on November 24, just one week after construction began on the first large offshore wind farm in the United States.

“We have no time to waste to grow crops and invest in a clean energy economy that can sustain us for generations,” Home Secretary Deb Haaland said. “Just over a year ago, no large-scale offshore wind projects were approved in US federal waters. Today there are two, with several more on the horizon, ”as part of the government’s plan for 30 GW of offshore power by 2030.

Decision brief documents grants to South Fork Wind, by BOEM and the National Marine Fisheries Service within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, approves plan to install 12 or fewer turbines located about 19 miles to the southeast of Block Island, Rhode Island, and 35 miles east of Montauk Point, New York. The ROD adopts a series of measures to help avoid, minimize and mitigate the potential impacts that could result from the construction and operation of the proposed project.

South Fork Wind remains on track to be fully licensed by early 2022 according to joint venture partners Ørsted and Eversource. Prior to construction, South Fork Wind must submit an Installation Design Report and Manufacturing and Installation Report to BOEM. These engineering and technical reports provide specific details of how the facility will be fabricated and installed in accordance with South Fork’s approved plan for construction and operation.

“With the completion of this critical federal licensing milestone, construction of this historic wind farm is expected to begin in the weeks and months to come,” said David Hardy, Managing Director of Ørsted Offshore North America.

The South Fork Wind team is now preparing for site preparation work and the start of construction, as early as January 2022, on the project’s underground transmission line. The fabrication of the project’s offshore substation is already underway. The offshore installation of the project’s monopile foundations and the 11-megawatt Siemens-Gamesa wind turbines is expected to begin in the summer of 2023.

The 132 MW offshore wind farm will serve Long Island when it enters service at the end of 2023. Its transmission system will supply power to the city of East Hampton power grid, providing electricity to approximately 70 000 households.