As word broke in early October that Rhode Island-based offshore wind developer Deepwater Wind was acquired by the Danish offshore wind firm Ørsted, the company is preparing for public comment on its Construction and Operations Plan, submitted to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for its proposed South Fork Wind Farm off the coast of Montauk.
Three public hearings are scheduled on the plan in early November. The first will be held at the Amagansett American Legion Hall at 15 Montauk Highway in Amagansett on Monday, Nov. 5. Deepwater Wind representatives will be in attendance for an open house from 5 to 8 p.m., with a public presentation and question and answer session at 6 p.m.
The other two hearings are scheduled in New Bedford, Massachusetts on Wednesday, Nov. 7 and in Narragansett, Rhode Island on Thursday, Nov. 8.
If approved, the COP would allow construction and operation of up to 15 turbines that connect via a transmission cable to the grid in East Hampton. The project is in federal waters approximately 19 miles southeast of Block Island and 35 miles east of Montauk Point.
The public hearings constitute the public scoping portion of BOEM’s Oct. 19 notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement for the project, which includes a 30-day public comment period that began Oct. 19 and concludes Nov. 19.
Deepwater Wind’s Construction and Operations Plan is available for public inspection at boem.gov/South-Fork.
In addition to taking testimony at the public hearings, BOEM is accepting emailed comments at www.regulations.gov. In the field “Enter Keyword or ID,” enter the following: BOEM-2018-0010.
BOEM is also accepting written comments at Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Office of Renewable Energy Programs, 45600 Woodland Road (VAM-OREP), Sterling, Virginia 20166.
On Oct. 7, Ørsted announced it had entered into an agreement with the D.E. Shaw Group, which owned Deepwater Wind, to acquire a 100 percent equity interest in the Rhode Island offshore wind developer, at a purchase price of $510 million.
Ørsted is the largest energy company in Denmark and is one of the pioneers of offshore wind development in Europe.
The name of the new organization is Ørsted US Offshore Wind, which will be represented by a local management team headed by Ørsted US Offshore Wind CEO Thomas Brostrøm; Co-CEO Jeff Grybowski and President and CFO David Hang, both from the Deepwater Wind team, and COO Claus Bøjle Møller from the Ørsted team.
“Deepwater Wind has done a fantastic job as a first-mover in US offshore wind, and I look forward to joining and integrating the two US organizations,” said Thomas Brostrøm, CEO of Ørsted US Offshore Wind and President of Ørsted North America, in the Oct. 7 announcement. “We have exciting times ahead of us delivering large-scale clean energy projects to households and businesses along the Eastern Seaboard. Ørsted will maintain a strong presence in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and will, of course honor the local commitments associated with Deepwater Wind’s projects along the East Coast.“
Deepwater Wind has one functioning five-turbine demonstration project off the coast of Block Island, and is also working on projects in Massachusetts, Delaware and Maryland.
Ørsted has already acquired the development rights for 2 gigawatts of wind power off the coast of Massachusettes and 3.5 gigawatts off the coast of New Jersey, and is working with Dominion Energy on a wind turbine project off the coast of Virginia.