On Friday, New York State broke ground on one of the biggest wind farms of its kind in the nation. Or, should we say, broke water?
Roughly 35 miles east of Montauk Point, Long Island, South Fork Wind is billed as one of North America’s first-ever commercial-scale offshore wind farms– and will generate roughly triple the US’s current offshore wind capacity.
Trust In The Wind
The $2 billion facility is a joint effort of New England’s largest energy provider, Eversource, and Danish power company Ørsted, which leads the world in offshore wind farm development. Together, they’re constructing a plant with 12 massive turbines from manufacturer Siemens-Gamesa, each equipped with blades longer than the Statue of Liberty is tall.
The wind farm is planned to be operational by the end of 2023 and, once completed, will metaphorically blow current offshore wind farm competition out of the water. It also may mark the kickoff of an offshore wind boom in New York and the nation writ large:
- Currently, the US only has two operational offshore wind facilities, off Virginia and Rhode Island, with a combined energy generation capacity of just 42 megawatts (MW); South Fork Wind projects to generate 130 MW’s, enough to power the 70,000 homes of nearby East Hampton.
- It’s the first of five offshore plants in active development in New York, as part of a $500 million initiative to add 4,300 MW of wind energy to the state’s daily power profile– good for about half the amount of power consumed daily by New York City.
Bigger Is Better: South Fork Wind won’t last long as the king of New York’s wind farm world. Eversource and Ørsted have even bigger plans set to break ground next year: Sunrise Wind, a 924-MW offshore facility set to break ground next year. In New York, the corporate duo has clearly found… big fans.