EPA Approves Permit For Wind Farm Off Martha’s Vineyard

NEW YORK – South Fork Wind, New York’s first offshore wind farm, has received approval of the project’s Construction and Operations Plan (COP) from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), which is the final decision needed from the agency to move the project toward the start of construction.

The COP approval outlines the project’s one nautical mile turbine spacing, the requirements on the construction methodology for all work occurring in federal ocean waters, and mitigation measures to protect marine habitats and species. BOEM’s final approval of the COP follows the agency’s November 2021 issuance of its Record of Decision, which concluded the thorough BOEM-led environmental review of the project. Ørsted and Eversource reached these provisions and protections working closely with a range of external organizations and experts, a commitment the companies carry to all stakeholder relationships to help ensure coexistence.

The project will kickstart New York’s offshore wind industry and power approximately 70,000 New York homes with clean, offshore wind energy when it begins operations at the end of 2023.

“This milestone underscores the tremendous opportunity we have to create a new industry from the ground up to drive our green energy economy, deliver clean power to millions of homes and create good jobs across the state,” said Governor Kathy Hochul. “As we tackle climate change head on and transition to a clean economy, these are the projects that will power our future.”

“We’re excited to reach this critical point and receive BOEM’s final approval of our Construction and Operations Plan,” said David Hardy, Chief Executive Officer of Ørsted Offshore North America. “As New York’s first offshore wind farm, South Fork Wind is already contributing to a new statewide and U.S. manufacturing era and maritime industry, including good-paying union jobs through our labor partnerships and vision for the industry. I want to thank Secretary Haaland, Governor Hochul, BOEM Director Lefton, NYSERDA CEO Harris, the NY State Legislature, the Long Island Power Authority, East Hampton’s elected leaders and other partners who are championing offshore wind energy.”

“Today, after years of careful planning, we are on the cusp of making history as South Fork Wind, New York’s first-ever offshore wind farm, will soon become a reality,” said Joe Nolan, Chief Executive Officer and President of Eversource Energy. “With onshore construction expected in the coming days, New Yorkers are closer than ever to realizing the benefits of clean energy as we continue to deliver on our promise of creating jobs, providing economic investment, and fighting climate change.”

“Offshore wind presents a tremendous opportunity to lower energy costs and reduce pollution all while promoting regional job creation and economic growth,” said U.S. Representative Paul D. Tonko. “I am thrilled that today’s historic announcement paves the way for South Fork Wind to be New York’s first offshore wind farm, ensuring that New York will lead the way in this emerging industry. My congratulations to Ørsted, Eversource and all involved in this worthy effort, and my thanks to their commitment to greening our ports and securing our nation’s strong clean energy future.”

“Today’s approval from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for construction of South Fork Wind begins a new era of clean energy for New York,” said U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice. “I am thankful for the Biden administration’s leadership on offshore wind development, which will benefit Long Island tremendously. Every Long Islander will soon breathe cleaner air, and working families will benefit from this growing industry and the good-paying, union jobs it will deliver.”

“Long Island has been a leader in all things clean energy, and with today’s historic approval, we are on the cusp of construction for New York’s first wind farm,” said Suffolk County Executive Bellone. “Suffolk County stands ready to serve as the epicenter of the emerging offshore wind industry by leveraging our world-class research institutions to serve as a hub of workforce development for the jobs of the future. This project is a major victory for our economy, for labor, and for our environment as we remain committed to addressing the impacts of climate change on our region.”

“Moving South Fork Wind ahead is another sign that New York State continues to deliver real results as we meet the challenge of climate change,” said Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “We congratulate the Long Island Power Authority, Ørsted, and Eversource on this milestone and applaud the federal government for recognizing offshore wind is an essential economic engine at a time when we need it most, providing family-sustaining jobs and reliable clean energy on the green grid of the future.”

“The wind energy generated by South Fork Wind will help fuel our economy by bringing clean, renewable energy to power New York homes,” said New York State Senator Todd Kaminsky, chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee. “This milestone achievement brings us closer to realizing the goals laid out in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. New York can and will be a leader in the new, green economy.”

“If we are to enjoy a future without ever accelerating climate problems such as coastal hurricanes then renewable offshore wind power must be prominent in our future,” said New York State Assemblyman Steve Englebright, chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee. “I am pleased to see that South Fork Wind, a vitally important pioneering energy project for New York, is advancing.”

“South Fork Wind is New York’s first offshore wind farm and only the second project to receive federal permits in the nation,” said Thomas Falcone, Chief Executive Officer of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). “South Fork Wind brings a major new, clean energy source to the New York electric grid that will boost the local economy and be a significant contributor to the State’s goal of a zero-carbon electric grid by 2040. That the project is beginning construction validates the early leadership of the LIPA Board of Trustees in moving forward with South Fork Wind five years ago at a time when there were no other power purchase agreements for offshore wind in the country. Now there is a large new industry developing right off our coast.”

“Federal approval of the Construction and Operations Plan for the South Fork Wind project means that work on New York’s first offshore wind farm can now begin,” said John R. Durso, President of the Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. “This is a victory for Long Island and all New Yorkers. This is not only a crucial step forward in the fight against climate change, but it means jobs and new clean energy resources on Long Island where it is needed most. After many years of hard work in planning and development by Ørsted and Eversource, with support from labor and community allies, we are realizing the success we have all been waiting for.”

“Today’s approval of the Construction and Operations Plan for Ørsted and Eversource firmly anchors organized labor to an entirely new offshore wind industry,” said Matthew Aracich, President, Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, AFL-CIO. “The members of the Building Trades are eager to embark on this new career path and play an integral part in bringing this monumental project to completion. A cleaner future for the next generation is finally within reach, and that means we are clearly experiencing energy’s evolution. As we partner to write this next chapter of history, Long Island’s workforce will see that the bigger the opportunity, the better the story becomes. Many thanks to Governor Hochul, BOEM, NYSERDA, Ørsted/Eversource and our environmental partners for their efforts.”

“To achieve New York’s bold climate agenda, we can’t only set goals but we must take action to bring them to reality,” said Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “Today’s final government sign off for South Fork Wind is a major milestone in the fight against climate change and the dawn of a new industry for our state. We congratulate Ørsted and Eversource for receiving approval to construct New York’s first offshore wind project, which will deliver clean energy, cut pollution, benefit the community and create green jobs.”

“Long Island is again leading the nation in developing clean energy and spurring innovation as it moves forward with the state’s first offshore wind farm,” said Matt Cohen, President & CEO of the Long Island Association. “I commend the critical partnership of Ørsted and Eversource, which is not only combating climate change and growing our economy but has also led to their commitment to hiring local Long Island businesses in the supply chain of this trailblazing project.”

“This approval propels us forward in the historic transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy technology. We can fight climate change, and offshore wind offers a viable and meaningful tool in this extraordinary effort. The public strongly supports this critical transition, and the federal government and New York are delivering! This approval is the final step in the permitting process and it’s the first step to a cleaner, safer future for our planet,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “We deeply appreciate all the work BOEM and New York has been doing leading us to this moment.”

“With this historic announcement, we have the green light to start construction on New York’s first offshore wind project,” said Mariah Dignan, Regional Director, Long Island, Climate Jobs NY & Climate Jobs NY Education Fund. “Thanks to years of thorough planning and engagement by Ørsted/Eversource with labor, environmental groups, and local community members, we will create hundreds of good union jobs while bringing new zero-emission energy to Long Islanders. We look forward to continuing to work with Ørsted/Eversource, the State, and other key stakeholders to make sure the project moves forward expeditiously and the jobs created by this project are good, family-sustaining union jobs.”

“This truly demonstrates the reality of offshore wind coming to Long Island and the East Coast,” said Robert B. Catell, Chairman of the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center at Stony Brook University and the National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium. “Ørsted and Eversource have made a real commitment to Long Island through funding research initiatives at the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center at Stony Brook that also includes their membership in the National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium, investing in new technology to reduce the cost of offshore wind long-term.”

“It’s inspiring to see the vision motivating the South Fork Wind Farm transformed into reality,” said Fred Zalcman, Director of the New York Offshore Wind Alliance. “With the final permit approval now secured, New York’s pathbreaking offshore wind generation facility is poised to be the first of many to generate carbon-free electricity to power our homes and businesses, while creating new manufacturing opportunities and family-sustaining jobs.”

“With the U.S. Department of Interior’s approval for the start of construction, South Fork Wind (SFW) can lead East Hampton and New York State into the era of renewable offshore wind energy,” said Jerry Mulligan, Steering Committee Coordinator, Win With Wind. “SFW is supported by the East Hampton Town Board, Trustees and a significant majority of its citizens. SFW is New York State’s first offshore wind farm and will provide power to about 70,000 homes on the South Fork of Long Island. Win With Wind looks forward to all the environmental benefits including better air quality as SFW replaces dirty fossil fuel peaker plants. Win With Wind congratulates SFW on achieving this important milestone.”

South Fork Wind Project Info and Timeline

Ørsted and Eversource are now entering the construction phase for South Fork Wind, which will be built under industry-leading project labor agreements and specific partnerships with local union organizations, ensuring local union labor’s participation in all phases of construction on the project. Site preparation and onshore activities for the project’s underground duct bank system and interconnection facility will be the first to begin, and will source construction labor from local union hiring halls.

Fabrication of the project’s offshore substation is already in process. Ørsted and Eversource recently announced the selection of Kiewit Offshore Services, Ltd. (Kiewit), the largest offshore fabricator in the U.S., to design and build the substation for the project. The 1,500-ton, 60-foot-tall substation will be built at Kiewit’s facility in Ingleside, Texas, near Corpus Christi. More than 350 workers across three states will support this South Fork Wind structure, which will be the first made in the USA offshore wind energy substation.

Long Island-based contractor Haugland Energy Group LLC (an affiliate of Haugland Group LLC) was recently selected to install the duct bank system for the project’s underground onshore transmission line and lead the construction of the onshore interconnection facility located in East Hampton, New York. This new agreement will create more than 100 union jobs for Long Island skilled trades workers, including heavy equipment operators, electricians, lineworkers, and local delivery drivers who will support transportation of materials to the project site.

Offshore installation of the project’s monopile foundations and 11-megawatt Siemens-Gamesa wind turbines is expected to begin in summer 2023.

South Fork Wind will be located about 35 miles east of Montauk Point. Its transmission system will deliver clean energy directly to the electric grid in the Town of East Hampton. Power needs on the South Fork are growing faster than anywhere else on Long Island. In 2015, LIPA and PSEG Long Island issued a request for proposals to address this specific need and selected South Fork Wind because it was part of a portfolio that offers the most cost-effective solution to meet this demand and meet LIPA’s clean energy goals.

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