First offshore wind turbine installed off Long Island

The very first offshore wind turbine has been installed 35 miles off Montauk Point.

The turbine is part of the 130-megawatt offshore wind project known as South Fork Wind, which is expected to generate enough renewable energy to power some 70,000 Long Island homes.

There will be 11 more wind turbines installed at the project, which should be completed by the end of the year or early next year, according to a statement from Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office.

Once in operation, South Fork Wind, developed by Ørsted Group and Eversource Energy, will eliminate up to 6 million tons of carbon emissions, or the equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road annually over a 25-year period.

“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,” Hochul said in the statement. “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.”

Long Island Power Authority CEO Thomas Falcone said the milestone marks a significant step in the state’s clean energy journey. 

“The installation of New York’s first offshore wind turbine represents concrete action transforming the Climate Act’s target of 9 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035 into reality and LIPA is proud to be supporting this project on behalf of our 1.2 million customers on Long Island and in the Rockaways,” Falcone said in the statement.

First approved by the LIPA Board of Trustees in 2017, South Fork Wind began construction in Feb. 2022, beginning with the onshore export cable system that links the project to the local energy grid, which was completed early this year. 

“The installation today of New York’s first offshore wind turbine marks a critically important first step in the state’s journey to a carbon-free grid,” New York Offshore Wind Alliance Director Fred Zalcman said in the statement. “The South Fork Wind Farm stands as a proof of concept of the tangible benefits of offshore wind development to our local economy, our environment and our electric grid.”

The state recently gave conditional awards to three offshore wind and 22 land-based renewable energy projects totaling 6.4 gigawatts of clean energy, enough to power 2.6 million New York homes and deliver about 12 percent of New York State’s electricity needs once completed. The newly announced projects are expected to create about 8,300 jobs and spur $20 billion in economic development investments statewide, including developer-committed investments to support disadvantaged communities, according to the governor’s office.

“Every journey starts with the first step. In New York, the journey to a renewable future starts with our first offshore wind turbine,” Citizens Campaign for the Environment Executive Director Adrienne Esposito said in the statement. “We can now see New York’s transition to clean energy and its investment to large-scale offshore wind. This first turbine in the water is a symbol of a new, cleaner, renewable era. An era that embraces healthy communities, local jobs, and cleaner air.”

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