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HomeNewsUS Launches First Large Offshore Wind Farm

US Launches First Large Offshore Wind Farm

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Wind farm
Source: @EvergreenAction/X

America’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm is officially open. This moment has been long-awaited and paves the way for future large wind farms. Danish wind energy developer Ørsted and utility Eversource collaborated on the project.

The wind farm, South Fork Wind, consists of 12 turbines and is located 35 miles (56 kilometers) east of Montauk Point, New York. New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced the milestone on Long Island.

The turbines are now delivering clean power to the local electric grid. Hochul symbolically flipped a massive light switch to “turn on the future.” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland also attended the event.

Achieving commercial scale marks a turning point for the industry. However, what comes next is crucial. Experts emphasize the need for a major buildout of clean electricity.

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This expansion is necessary to address climate change effectively. Offshore wind plays a central role in national and state plans for transitioning to carbon-free electricity.

The Biden administration has approved six commercial-scale offshore wind energy projects. It has also auctioned lease areas for offshore wind off the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts. Last month, New York selected two more projects to power over 1 million homes.

“This is just the beginning,” said Hochul. She emphasized that completing South Fork demonstrates New York’s commitment to aggressive climate change solutions.

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The goal is to protect future generations from a potentially dangerous world. South Fork can generate 132 megawatts of offshore wind energy. This is enough to power more than 70,000 homes.

Hochul expressed the desire for New York to lead by example and highlighted the importance of showing other states how to pursue similar projects. She sees this moment as significant in the nation’s history.

South Fork will generate over four times the power of a previous pilot project off the coast of Rhode Island. Unlike the subsidized test project, South Fork was developed after a competitive bidding process. 

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Ørsted and Eversource were chosen to supply power to Long Island. The Long Island Power Authority approved the project in 2017. The turbines at South Fork use blades manufactured by Siemens Gamesa. These blades can reach speeds of over 200 miles per hour (350 kilometers per hour).

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Ørsted CEO Mads Nipper hailed the opening as a major milestone. It demonstrates that large offshore wind farms are feasible in the U.S. and other countries lacking such infrastructure. With South Fork completed, Ørsted and Eversource focus on their next project.

Revolution Wind will be Rhode Island and Connecticut’s’ first commercial-scale offshore wind farm. It is expected to power over 350,000 homes. Construction is already underway for the cable connection site in Rhode Island.

Last month, New York announced plans to negotiate a contract with Ørsted and Eversource for another wind farm, Sunrise Wind. Sunrise Wind is projected to power 600,000 homes.

Equinor’s Empire Wind 1 project was also selected to power over 500,000 New York homes. Both projects are scheduled to begin providing power in 2026.

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