June 22, 2023

Governor Kathy Hochul 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,” said Governor Hochul. “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.   

A support vessel is seen next to a massive wind turbine at the Walney Extension offshore wind farm operated by the Orsted energy company off Britain’s west coast on Sept. 5.

“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.” said  Long Island Power Authority CEO Tom Falcone.

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.

“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.” NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris .

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.  

 “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,” said  Eversource Energy’s President, Chief Executive Officer and Chair 

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.   

“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,” said Supervisor of Town of East Hampton Peter Van Scoyoc 

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. 

 “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,” said President of the Long Island Federation of Labor John R. Durso

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. 
Once in operation, South Fork Wind will be supported by America’s first offshore wind Service Operations Vessel, as well as U.S.-built crew transfer vessels.