Pictured Above: East Hampton Councilman David Lys, Southampton Councilman Tommy John Schiavoni, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, East Hampton Town Supervisor Kathee Burke-Gonzalez, East Hampton Councilwoman Cate Rogers and Southampton Councilman Michael Iasilli at the March 14 event. | photo courtesy New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s office.

Governor Kathy Hochul, alongside the United States Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and other elected officials, announced the completion of the landmark South Fork Wind project at a Southampton event on Thursday, March 14, as all 12 offshore wind turbines at the wind farm are operational and delivering power to Long Island.

This project is now America’s first utility-scale offshore wind farm.

Ms. Hochul and Ms. Haaland had come to the South Fork for a ceremonial groundbreaking for the wind farm at LTV Studios in Wainscott in February of 2022, at which elected officials posed on a soundstage with shovelfuls of dirt.

“When I broke ground on the South Fork project, I made a promise to build a cleaner, greener future for all New Yorkers,” said Governor Hochul in a statement following her latest visit to an event at Stony Brook Southampton. “I’m keeping to that promise and South Fork Wind is now delivering clean energy to tens of thousands of homes and businesses on Long Island. With more projects in the pipeline, this is just the beginning of New York’s offshore wind future and I look forward to continued partnership with the Biden Administration and local leaders to build a clean and resilient energy grid.”

Offshore wind is a key component of New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which requires the state to achieve 70 percent renewable energy by 2030 and install nine gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035. 

Listen to the Governor’s Remarks:

South Fork Wind, a joint project of Ørsted Offshore North America and New England energy transmission company Eversource, is the first of many in the pipeline expected to provide power to New York and the East Coast, including Sunrise Wind, an Ørsted/Eversource project adjacent to the South Fork Wind site that will come ashore at Smith Point County Park and provide power to Long Island through a Holbrook substation, and Empire Wind, off the coast of Long Beach.

At 130 megawatts, South Fork Wind is expected to produce enough electricity to power an average of 70,000 homes, and to serve as a ‘proof of concept’ for larger wind farm projects — Sunrise Wind is slated to be 924 megawatts and Empire Wind would be 810 megawatts.

The South Fork Project Portfolio power purchase agreement with the Long Island Power Authority for the wind farm, signed in 2017, is slated to cost 16 cents per kilowatt/hour for the first 90 megawatts of power produced, and 8.6 cents per kilowatt hour for an additional 40 megawatts added to the project due to advances in turbine technology, with those prices escalating 2 percent per year for 20 years.

LIPA estimates the South Fork Project Portfolio will cost an average residential customer on Long
Island between $1.39 and $1.57 per month.

The completed South Fork Wind farm. |. Ørsted photo

“We are building an American offshore wind industry that activates factories, ports, and shipyards across the country, catalyzes Made in America supply chains, and prioritizes our workers and communities,” said Ali Zaidi, National Climate Advisor to President Joe Biden, in the Governor’s press release. “With the South Fork Wind project now complete and more underway – all approved and supported by the Biden-Harris Administration – we celebrate the massive progress that’s been achieved thanks to strong partnerships with leaders like Governor Hochul.

“We are immensely proud to witness the completion of the South Fork Wind Farm project, ten years after the East Hampton Town Board demonstrated the courage and vision to become the first municipality in New York State to set the goal of meeting 100 percent of our community’s energy consumption needs with renewable energy sources by 2030,” said East Hampton Town Supervisor Kathee Burke-Gonzalez. “We are thrilled to have played a direct role in the success of the project when the Town Board voted 4-1, granting the easement to bring the power of wind ashore, paving the way for a cleaner, more sustainable future for generations to come.”

“For more than 50 years, Montauk has been at the forefront of environmental protection, and we are so proud to have South Fork Wind associated with our tiny-but-mighty hamlet,” added Concerned Citizens of Montauk Executive Director Kay Tyler, praising trailblazers “in this monumental effort to re-set the standard by proving that these goals are critical, attainable and now a reality.”

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Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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