Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the completed installation of the first offshore wind turbine for South Fork Wind, a historic milestone for New York’s offshore wind development and what will be the first completed utility-scale wind farm in the United States in federal waters. Once completed, the 130-megawatt offshore wind farm will address a growing reliability challenge for Long Island’s electrical grid, while also generating enough renewable energy to power approximately 70,000 Long Island homes, eliminating up to six million tons of carbon emissions, or the equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road annually over a 25-year period. Today’s announcement supports progress towards the State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goal to install nine gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035.
“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,” Governor Hochul said. “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.”
The first of South Fork Wind’s 12 Siemens Gamesa wind turbine generators was hoisted into place by the offshore construction team at the project site 35 miles off Montauk, N.Y. Hundreds of U.S. workers and three Northeast ports have supported South Fork Wind’s construction, helping to stand up the foundations of a new domestic supply chain that’s creating local union jobs across the Northeast. All 12 turbines are expected to be installed by the end of 2023 or early 2024.
Long Island Power Authority Chief Executive Officer Thomas Falcone said, “Today marks a significant step in New York’s clean energy journey and implementing Governor Hochul’s vision of a sustainable and resilient future for New Yorkers. 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.”
NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Days like today provide striking context for the work we do to advance the offshore wind industry in New York. We congratulate our partners at Ørsted, Eversource, and LIPA as this first turbine at South Fork Wind represents a momentous milestone in our efforts to bring the benefits of clean, renewable offshore wind energy to New York.”
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Today marks a significant milestone in New York State’s years-long efforts to advance clean, renewable offshore wind energy. Thanks to the support of Governor Hochul and the earnest efforts of DEC’s partners at LIPA and NYSERDA, tens of thousands of New Yorkers will benefit from South Fork Wind. This project will help New York State achieve its ambitious goals to reduce climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions while creating jobs and bolstering local economies, strengthening the reliability of Long Island’s energy grid, and helping ensure New Yorkers have access to cleaner sources of power.”
Chair of the New York State Public Service Commission Rory M. Christian said “With today’s installation we achieve a key milestone in Governor Hochul’s efforts to propel New York State toward a clean-energy economy. Today’s announcement is a testament to the professionalism and commitment among all parties involved and is proof-positive that long-established plans are beginning to bear fruit.”
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said, “The installation of the first offshore wind turbine to power New York is a milestone moment in our state’s and the nation’s transition to clean, green energy. Once complete by early next year, South Fork Wind will provide enough power for 70,000 Long Island households and families. This is the first of many clean energy projects that will transform New York’s power grid and economy, and the Inflation Reduction Act that I shepherded through Congress is paving the way for many of them, kick-starting the era of affordable, renewable energy.”
Ørsted Group EVP and CEO Americas David Hardy said, “South Fork Wind’s first turbine is a testament to American ingenuity and innovation. As we mark this incredible milestone, we’re grateful for the hard work of our dedicated team and all our suppliers and contractors, as well as for the support of the Biden-Harris administration, the Hochul administration, LIPA, and the East Hampton community for championing this trailblazing project.”
Eversource Energy President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Joe Nolan said, “Today, South Fork Wind is making history. With the first turbine up, New York will soon start receiving clean, renewable energy powered by offshore wind. South Fork Wind is setting the stage for the many benefits that offshore wind will provide and puts the town of East Hampton at the forefront of the region’s efforts to create a more modernized and reliable grid, which will help us fight against the devastating impacts of climate change.”
First approved by the LIPA Board of Trustees in 2017, South Fork Wind began construction in February 2022, beginning with the onshore export cable system that links the project to the local energy grid, which was completed early this year. The wind farm reached its “steel in the water” milestone in June 2023 with the installation of the project’s first monopile foundation.
Van Oord’s offshore installation vessel, the Aeolus, is installing the turbines. Turbine installation involves using a crane to place the steel turbine tower onto the foundation. The nacelle and rotor are then installed on top of the tower. Lastly, the blades are lifted and installed one by one by bolting them to the rotor. Click here to learn more about how offshore wind farms are constructed.
County Executive Steve Bellone said, “The installation of South Fork Wind’s first wind turbine is a significant step towards a cleaner and more sustainable future. Alongside the wind developers, New York State and local stakeholders, we are demonstrating our collective resolve to combat climate change and protect our natural resources for generations to come.”
East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said, “I am pleased to see that South Fork Wind has now reached another important milestone toward providing thousands of homes on the South Fork with clean, renewable, wind-generated energy. We are proud of the part East Hampton has played in bringing this project forward.”
New York Offshore Wind Alliance Director Fred Zalcman said, “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. 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. We congratulate the project developers, Orsted and Eversource, and the Hochul Administration on reaching this important milestone.”
New York League of Conservation Voters President Julie Tighe said, “We are witnessing plans turning into action as South Fork Wind installs the first wind turbine off the coast of New York, marking an exciting milestone on our path to greening the grid! The New York League of Conservation Voters commends Governor Hochul for her commitment to renewable energy and fighting climate change and for taking bold action to ensure New York is a leader in offshore wind energy production, and we congratulate Orsted and Eversource on this important step toward New York’s clean energy future.”
Citizens Campaign for the Environment Executive Director Adrienne Esposito said, “Every journey starts with the first step. In NY, the journey to a renewable future starts with our first offshore wind turbine! 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. Kudus to Orsted and Governor Hochul for their leadership and commitment to offshore wind.”
Win With Wind Founder Judith Hope said, “Win With Wind has worked hard for this moment and we are thrilled and excited to see New York’s first offshore wind become a reality in our community which has led the way on so many environmental challenges.”
Association for a Better Long Island Executive Director Kyle Strober said, “The completion of the Southfork Wind Farm’s first turbine is a groundbreaking moment for Long Island, trailblazing toward our renewable energy future. It is made possible through the collaboration of the state, Orsted, Eversource, and local community and business leaders. Congratulations to Governor Hochul, the LIPA Board, and all involved parties. The Association for a Better Long Island is proud to support this initiative, recognizing its significant impact on our journey towards a more sustainable and resilient energy future.”
Renewable Long Island Executive Director Gordian Raacke said, “Congratulations to South Fork Wind and the Orsted/Eversource team on the upcoming installation of New York State’s first offshore wind project. This will help East Hampton and the South Fork meet their renewable energy goals and the state’s climate targets. We are proud to support this project and see the hard work of so many become a success.”
Long Island Federation of Labor President John R. Durso said, “Construction of the South Fork offshore wind project is a historic achievement for New York State and Long Island. Our union movement knows all too well the demands placed on working people in the wake of natural disasters, which are occurring with increased frequency due to the climate crisis we are all forced to endure. After years of planning and advocacy, we must mark the milestones of today and continue to build momentum for the projects still to come. This region is building New York’s first offshore wind farm addressing the crisis head on. Development of unionized, green jobs in the process will strengthen our communities and offer long-lasting careers to a new generation of workers.”
Long Island Association President & CEO Matt Cohen said, “Long Island has made history – with the first turbine in the water for South Fork Wind, we have solidified our position as a national leader in offshore wind. I commend Governor Hochul for this milestone and the LIA stands ready to support the continued development of this emerging industry in New York so we can reap the economic and environmental benefits of clean energy.”
New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said, “We congratulate Governor Hochul and her Administration on the installation of the first South Fork offshore wind turbine. We applaud their commitment to ensuring New York’s clean energy future is built, operated, maintained, repaired, and manufactured by workers who earn good wages, and enjoy the benefits and protections guaranteed by union contracts.”
New York State Building Trades President Gary LaBarbera said, “Offshore wind projects, like South Fork Wind, are crucial not only in New York’s standard-setting pursuit of a commonsense clean energy transition, but the creation of thousands of family sustaining careers for hard working New Yorkers. This is why we welcome this historic milestone and applaud Governor Hochul and NYSERDA for their steadfast commitment to this project that will act as a spark plug for our green economy and the revival of our middle class.”
Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties President Matthew Aracich said, “The Empire State is about to establish a new alternative to conventional methods used to power Long Island with Offshore Wind. Instead of burning fossil fuels Orsted and Eversource will harness the power of wind, delivering 132 megawatts of clean green energy powering 70,000 homes. Governor Hochul understands that Wind and Solar are some of nature’s greatest gifts to mankind and supports the Building and Construction Trades Councils in the training of today’s workforce for the careers of tomorrow.”
Today’s announcement builds on the momentum established by the Governor’s announcement earlier this month, which publicized the largest state investment in renewable energy in United States history. The conditional awards included 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 approximately 12 percent of New York’s electricity needs once completed. When coupled with two marquee offshore wind blade and nacelle manufacturing facilities, this portfolio of newly announced projects is expected to create approximately 8,300 family-sustaining jobs and spur $20 billion in economic development investments statewide, including developer-committed investments to support disadvantaged communities.
New York State’s Nation-Leading Climate Plan
New York State’s nation-leading climate agenda calls for an orderly and just transition that creates family-sustaining jobs, continues to foster a green economy across all sectors and ensures that at least 35%, with a goal of 40%, of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities. Guided by some of the nation’s most aggressive climate and clean energy initiatives, New York is on a path to achieving a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70% renewable energy generation by 2030, and economywide carbon neutrality by mid-century. A cornerstone of this transition is New York’s unprecedented clean energy investments, including more than $55 billion in 145 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce building emissions, $3.3 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. These and other investments are supporting more than 165,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2021 and over 3,000% growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, New York also adopted zero-emission vehicle regulations, including requiring all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks sold in the State be zero emission by 2035. Partnerships are continuing to advance New York’s climate action with nearly 400 registered and more than 100 certified Climate Smart Communities, nearly 500 Clean Energy Communities, and the State’s largest community air monitoring initiative in 10 disadvantaged communities across the state to help target air pollution and combat climate change.