The first turbine has been installed at the South Fork Wind Farm offshore New York, developer Ørsted announced on Monday.
The first of South Fork Wind’s 12 Siemens Gamesa wind turbine generators was hoisted into place by the offshore construction team at the project site 35 miles off Montauk, N.Y.
Van Oord’s offshore installation vessel, the Aeolus, is installing the turbines. Turbine installation involves using a crane to place the steel turbine tower onto the foundation. The nacelle and rotor are then installed on top of the tower. Lastly, the blades are lifted and installed one by one by bolting them to the rotor.
First approved by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) Board of Trustees in 2017, South Fork Wind began construction in February 2022, beginning with the onshore export cable system that links the project to the local energy grid, which was completed early this year. The wind farm reached its “steel in the water” milestone in June 2023 with the installation of the project’s first monopile foundation.
Hundreds of U.S. workers and three Northeast ports have supported South Fork Wind’s construction, helping to stand up the foundations of a new domestic supply chain that’s creating local union jobs across the Northeast.
All 12 turbines are expected to be installed by the end of 2023 or early 2024. The 130-megawatt offshore wind farm will be the first completed utility-scale wind farm in the United States in federal waters, providing power for Long Island’s electrical grid.
Ørsted Group EVP and CEO, Americas David Hardy said, “South Fork Wind’s first turbine is a testament to American ingenuity and innovation. As we mark this incredible milestone, we’re grateful for the hard work of our dedicated team and all our suppliers and contractors, as well as for the support of the Biden-Harris administration, the Hochul administration, LIPA, and the East Hampton community for championing this trailblazing project.”
Eversource Energy President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Joe Nolan said, “Today, South Fork Wind is making history. With the first turbine up, New York will soon start receiving clean, renewable energy powered by offshore wind. South Fork Wind is setting the stage for the many benefits that offshore wind will provide and puts the town of East Hampton at the forefront of the region’s efforts to create a more modernized and reliable grid, which will help us fight against the devastating impacts of climate change.”
“New York is paving the way towards a clean energy future, and the installation of our first offshore wind turbine marks a momentous step forward,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “We are not only generating clean energy, but also pioneering a healthy and safe environment for future generations of New Yorkers. We are shaping a brighter, greener tomorrow, committed to a future where innovation and sustainability go hand in hand."
Once in operation, South Fork Wind will be supported by U.S.-built crew transfer vessels (CTV) and eventually by America’s first offshore wind service operations vessel (SOV), Edison Chouest Offshore’s ECO Edison.