Construction has begun on the second major offshore wind project in the United States.
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland was in East Hampton, New York last week to commemorate the groundbreaking of the South Fork wind energy project, which is being jointly developed by Ørsted and Eversource. Located offshore Rhode Island and New York, the South Fork project will have a capacity of 130 megawatts of wind energy, enough to power over 70,000 homes and businesses, via 12 Siemens-Gamesa 11 MW turbines.
It’s now the second commercial-scale, offshore wind energy project approved for federal waters in the United States, following the Vineyard Wind project.
“America’s clean energy transition is not a dream for a distant future – it is happening right here and now,” said Secretary Haaland. “Offshore wind will power our communities, advance our environmental justice goals, and stimulate our economy by creating thousands of good-paying union jobs across the nation. This is one of many actions we are taking in pursuit of the President’s goal to improve both the lives of American families and the health of our planet.”
The South Fork project, which was approved by Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) back in November, will directly support approximately 165 jobs over the two-year construction period and approximately 10 long-term jobs during the operations and maintenance period. The project will also support hundreds of jobs in the supply chain and service industries, producing economic benefits from the clean energy transition for onshore communities.
“Projects like this are a critical part of our effort to spur domestic economic growth while protecting the environment,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton. “Today’s announcement, coupled with critical investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will help us create good-paying union jobs and a habitable planet for generations to come.”
Th project also marks New York’s first offshore wind project as the state seeks a leading role in the United States’ offshore wind industry. New York has set a goal of developing 9 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035.
“The harsh impacts and costly realities of climate change are all too familiar on Long Island, but today as we break ground on New York’s first offshore wind project we are delivering on the promise of a cleaner, greener path forward that will benefit generations to come,” said New York Governor Hochul. “South Fork Wind will eliminate up to six million tons of carbon emissions over the next twenty-five years benefiting not only the Empire State, but our nation as a whole. This project will also create hundreds of good-paying jobs, helping spur economic growth across the region as we continue to recover from COVID-19. This is a historic day for New York, and I look forward to continue working with Secretary Haaland as we lead our nation toward a greener, brighter future for all.”
Governor Hochul recently announced a “nation-leading” $500 million investment in offshore wind ports, manufacturing, and supply chain infrastructure.
As part of Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, BOEM expects to complete the review of at least 16 plans to construct and operate commercial, offshore wind energy facilities by 2025, which would represent more than 22 GW of clean energy for the nation.
The Administration is preparing for lease sales in the New York Bight and offshore the Carolinas and California this year, and is actively working with states, Tribes, ocean users, and key stakeholders to explore wind potential in the Gulf of Maine and in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as offshore Oregon and Hawaii.
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