Pictured Above: A liftboat off Beach Lane in Wainscott in early March as the cable-laying work on the South Fork Wind Farm got underway.
As the South Fork Wind Farm work shifts from onshore cable laying to offshore work this spring, offshore wind developers pitched eight new projects in late January for the New York State Energy Research & Development Agency’s latest round of solicitations for offshore wind.
South Fork Wind’s 12 turbines are slated to provide power to up to 70,000 East End homes. It will be the first offshore wind farm to supply power to New York State if it goes into service at the end of 2023, as expected.
In late February, a liftboat and a cable-laying vessel, the Living Stone, carrying the transmission cable for the wind farm arrived about 1/3 of a mile off the coast of Wainscott, where they are slated this week to begin pulling ashore the cable through a conduit already installed about 80 feet under Wainscott Beach.
They will then begin laying cable out to the wind farm site, buried four to six feet under the seabed where possible, and under concrete “mattresses” in areas where they can’t be buried deep enough due to existing cable crossings.
The foundations for the 11 megawatt Siemens Gamesa turbines are expected to be installed this May, after which the wind turbines will be installed in August.
As this work continues, there are now five offshore wind farms under development in the waters off of Long Island — the South Fork Wind Farm and another Ørsted and Eversource project called Sunrise Wind; Beacon Wind in waters east of Montauk and Empire Wind 1 & 2, off of Long Beach, all three of which of which are ventures led by Equinor and bp.
These five developments comprise 4,300 megawatts of potential wind power, just 132 megawatts of which will be generated by the South Fork Wind Farm.
Sunrise Wind is slated to be a little more than 30 miles east of Montauk, very near the South Fork Wind Farm site, and will provide 924 megawatts of electricity in its first phase, which is slated to be completed in 2025. That project will tie in to LIPA’s Holbrook Substation.
Beacon Wind, a partnership between Equinor and bp, is slated to provide 1,230 megawatts of electricity to New York from a site about 60 miles east of Montauk. Developers are hoping it will begin commercial operation in 2028.
The companies developing both the Beacon and Sunrise wind farms submitted expansion plans as part of the third round of NYSERDA solicitations late this winter, in which the state is looking for an additional 2,000 megawatts of offshore wind power.
This NYSERDA solicitation is also the beginning of a $500 million investment in offshore wind ports, manufacturing and supply chain infrastructure announced by Governor Kathy Hochul in her 2022 State of the State Address.
Infrastructure to support this industry is already being developed at Sunrise Wind’s Port Jefferson/East Setauket Operations & Maintenance facility, at training facilities at SUNY Stony Brook & Farmingdale, and at the National Offshore Wind Training Center at Suffolk County Community College’s Brentwood Campus. Ørsted and Eversource have invested $10 million in the Brentwood training center.
Equinor and bp have invested heavily in manufacturing of cable components for offshore wind projects in New York’s Capital Region, and the companies are working to help manufacturers of wind turbine components, such as blades and nacelles, to set up shop in New York State.
Ørsted’s and Eversource said their lastest proposal would provide “power for at least one million New York homes,” and their submission “includes multiple bids with different configurations that will generate billions of dollars in economic activity in the state economy, create thousands of new jobs, advance environmental justice, prioritize disadvantaged communities and minority- and women-owned business enterprises, and integrate clean energy solutions to further support the achievement of New York’s climate goals.”
Equinor says the Beacon Wind 2 proposal is “capable of producing 1,360 megawatts of offshore wind energy,” with “the potential to power approximately one million New York homes, generate more than $11 billion in new economic activity in the state over the project lifecycle, and create thousands of jobs.”
Equinor also recently purchased the site of the Astoria Gas Turbines in Queens, giving the company the potential to bring offshore wind from Beacon Wind 1 and Beacon Wind 2 directly to New York City.
Contracts for the latest round of NYSERDA solicitations are expected to be awarded early this summer.