Photo shows the installation of the first offshore wind turbine at South Fork Wind

The first offshore wind turbine is installed at the South Fork Wind project offshore New York. Photo courtesy New York State

Milestone: New York’s First Offshore Wind Turbine Installed

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 3470
November 20, 2023

New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced today the successful installation of the first offshore wind turbine for the South Fork Wind project.

The installation marks a critical milestone in what will be the first completed utility-scale wind farm in the United States.

Once fully operational, the 130-megawatt (MW) offshore wind farm will generate enough renewable energy to power approximately 70,000 homes on Long Island, eliminating up to six million tons of carbon emissions over a 25-year period—equivalent to taking 60,000 cars off the road annually.

The South Fork Wind project, developed by South Fork Wind (a joint venture project between Ørsted and Eversource), will feature 12 Siemens Gamesa wind turbine generators with capacities of 11 MWs each.

Photo shows the installation of the first offshore wind turbine at South Fork Wind
Photo courtesy New York State

The turbines are being installed by Van Oord’s offshore installation vessel, the Aeolus, approximately 35 miles off Montauk, N.Y. The installation process involves placing the steel turbine tower onto the foundation using a crane, followed by the installation of the nacelle and rotor on top of the tower. Finally, the blades are lifted and installed one by one by bolting them to the rotor.

Photo shows the installation of the first offshore wind turbine at South Fork Wind
Photo courtesy New York State

The construction of South Fork Wind has involved hundreds of U.S. workers and the support of three Northeast ports, helping to establish a new domestic supply chain. Once operational, South Fork Wind will be supported by U.S.-built crew transfer vessels and, eventually, by America’s first offshore wind Service Operations Vessel.

The installation of all 12 turbines is expected to be completed by the end of 2023 or early 2024.

Construction of the South Fork Wind project began in February 2022, starting with the onshore export cable system, which connects the project to the local energy grid. The wind farm achieved the “steel in the water” milestone in June 2023 with the installation of its first monopile foundation.

The turbine installation milestone comes as Orsted has pulled the plug on two of its offshore wind projects off New York/New Jersey, called Ocean Wind 1 and 2, due to several factors including high inflation, rising interest rates and supply chain constraints, particularly a vessel delay that impacted project timing.

New York has set a goal of achieving 9 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035.

“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 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.”

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