South Fork wind project powers up 12 turbines, completing ‘defining project’ for construction industry

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New York Construction Report staff writer

New York is home to America’s first utility-scale offshore wind farm as the South Fork Wind project powered up 12 offshore wind turbines this week.

Hundreds of U.S. workers and three Northeast ports 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 and beyond.

“I’m very proud that Long Island is leading the way towards our green energy future. The South Fork Wind project is the culmination of efforts by Governor Hochul, NYSERDA, Ørsted, and Eversource,” said Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties President Matthew Aracich. “This industry defining project, which was nation’s first industrial scale offshore wind project on the Eastern Seaboard, will continue to provide residual benefits for years to come. Long Island’s youth should expect to see new opportunities in the very near future through apprentice training programs.

“The building trades pipeline, leveraging the best career training possible, will continue to provide opportunities for family sustaining wages.”

First approved by the Long Island Power Authority (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 Long Island electric grid. The wind farm reached its “steel in the water” milestone in June 2023 with the installation of the project’s first monopile foundation, and its final turbine was installed in February.

Long Island-based contractor Haugland Energy Group LLC, an affiliate of Haugland Group, installed the underground duct bank system for South Fork Wind’s onshore transmission line and led the construction of the project’s onshore interconnection facility. LS Cable installed and jointed the onshore cables with support from Long Island’s Elecnor Hawkeye.

The onshore cable scope of work alone created more than 100 union jobs for Long Island skilled trades workers. Roman Stone, also on Long Island, manufactured concrete mattresses to protect the undersea cables, and Ljungstrom, located in western New York, in partnership with Riggs Distler & Company, Inc., provided specialized structural steelwork.

At full capacity, the approximately 130-megawatt wind farm will generate enough renewable energy to power approximately 70,000 homes. The renewable energy is generated roughly 35 miles off the coast of Montauk, and will eliminate up to six million tons of carbon emissions over the life of the project, the equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road for the next twenty years.

South Fork Wind’s turbines were staged and assembled by local union workers at State Pier in New London, Connecticut. The project’s advanced foundation components were completed by local union workers at Ørsted and Eversource’s fabrication hub at ProvPort, in Rhode Island. Its crew vessels and crew change helicopter is based out of Quonset Point, Rhode Island. South Fork Wind includes the first U.S.-built offshore wind substation, built by more than 350 U.S. workers across three states, with New York union workers supporting its installation offshore.

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