NEW YORK - December 6, 2023 - Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the successful delivery of clean power to Long Island from the first operational wind turbine at South Fork Wind, marking a historic milestone of the first utility-scale offshore wind farm in federal waters to begin “powering up” in the United States. The project has completed the installation of two turbines, with one operational, approximately 35 miles off Montauk with all 12 turbines expected to be installed by early 2024. 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's nation-leading efforts to generate reliable, renewable clean energy have reached a major milestone," Governor Hochul said. "South Fork Wind will power thousands of homes, create good-paying union jobs and demonstrate to all that offshore wind is a viable resource New York can harness for generations to come."
This milestone, which comes just two weeks after the installation of New York’s first offshore wind turbine, was celebrated in East Hampton alongside joint-venture partners Ørsted and Eversource, state, county and local officials, advocates and community members. When complete, South Fork Wind will generate approximately 130 megawatts of renewable energy, enough to power approximately 70,000 Long Island homes. The renewable energy from South Fork Wind will eliminate up to six million tons of carbon emissions each year, the equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road.
Long Island Power Authority CEO, Thomas Falcone, said, “Today marks a significant step towards implementing Governor Hochul’s vision of a sustainable and resilient energy future for New York. Nearly eight years in the making, this first offshore wind turbine producing energy transforms that vision into a reality. LIPA is proud to support this landmark project on behalf of our 1.2 million customers on Long Island and in the Rockaways."
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “This moment represents years of hard work, vision, and the courage to lead in our energy transition. Long Island residents are now experiencing first-hand the benefits of their homes and businesses being powered with clean, renewable electricity from South Fork Wind, and we congratulate the teams at Orsted, Eversource, LIPA, the local leaders and the workers who built this incredible project on celebrating first power today.”
Chair of the New York State Public Service Commission Rory M. Christian said, “Today’s delivery of clean, renewable electricity to Long Island is a major milestone in progress toward creating a clean-energy economy in New York State. It’s proof-positive that we will be able to reach our long-term goals to create a cleaner energy grid and a testament to Governor Hochul’s efforts to date.”
Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, “South Fork Wind is a major step forward in achieving the Governor’s clean energy goals. The nation is watching New York as we once again take the lead in offshore wind and continue to trailblaze toward a more sustainable future for New York’s communities. Thousands of Long Island households can now say they’re significantly reducing their carbon footprint. This project is a testament to the perseverance and coordination across all levels of government and industry. The Department of State played a key role in reducing the project’s siting impacts, creating a responsible path forward for this important development.”
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Thanks to the support of Governor Hochul and the efforts of DEC’s partners at LIPA and NYSERDA, New York State is taking critical steps to reduce climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions while creating jobs and bolstering local economies. The successful delivery of wind-powered energy to Long Island’s South Fork is a notable milestone in moving New Yorkers toward a green future powered by cleaner sources of energy.”
Ørsted Group EVP and CEO Americas David Hardy said, “East Hampton has now made history as the first community in New York to receive clean energy from an offshore wind farm. South Fork Wind is not just a trailblazing project for the state, it’s also one of the foundations of America’s offshore wind energy industry and a testament to our team’s commitment, expertise and hard work. Thanks to the leadership of the Biden and Hochul administrations, and our state and local partners and supporters, South Fork Wind is powering up and setting the stage for a growing American industry.”
Eversource Energy Chairman, President and CEO Joe Nolan said, “South Fork Wind is a project by New Yorkers, for New Yorkers. Clean, renewable offshore wind energy is now flowing to the local grid in East Hampton thanks especially to the hard work of local union workers and contractors who helped us build South Fork Wind’s transmission system and onshore substation. This has been a year of firsts for New York’s offshore wind industry, and there’s a lot more to come in the weeks ahead for this groundbreaking project and the growth of the U.S. offshore wind sector.”
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 LIPA 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.
South Fork Wind includes the first U.S.-built offshore wind substation. More than 350 U.S. workers across three states supported construction of this offshore substation, a topside structure that collects the power produced by wind turbines and connects it to the grid. New York union workers supported its installation offshore.
Long Island-based contractor Haugland Energy Group LLC (an affiliate of Haugland Group LLC), 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.
State Senator Anthony Palumbo said, “Today is an important step in meeting New York State's renewable energy goals and providing Long Islanders with lower cost, reliable clean power. Renewable power is a critical component of our energy future, and the State must work to ensure that New Yorkers continue to benefit from all aspects of this transition - from job opportunities to affordable energy, to a cleaner environment.”
Assemblymember Fred W. Thiele Jr. said “There can be no doubt anymore that climate change is real. Every day, we are seeing the adverse impacts on eastern Long Island and across the globe. New York State has been a leader in policy innovation attacking climate change. The enactment of the New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which I co-sponsored, established aggressive goals to substantially reduce carbon emissions by 2050 by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy, like wind power. This project marks a significant first step toward reaching our climate goals.”
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, “Suffolk County is proud to be a national leader in clean and renewable energy. Through the collaboration and leadership of Governor Hochul, our regional officials and community stakeholders, we remain at the forefront of the offshore wind industry, helping to ensure the long-term sustainability and economic growth of our region.”
East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said, “The onset of production of clean, renewable wind power from the South Fork Wind turbines, and its delivery to our local electric grid system in East Hampton, is an exciting milestone that advances East Hampton Town’s comprehensive renewable energy goals as well as those of New York State. East Hampton Town is pleased to have worked with Orsted and Eversource to accomplish this goal.”
New York League of Conservation Voters President Julie Tighe said, “Today marks a major step for New York’s transition away from fossil fuels and toward a clean energy future. After years of planning and countless hours of labor and construction – many of those union hours – clean electricity from offshore wind has finally come ashore. With Governor Hochul’s bold environmental leadership, and with smart and innovative companies like Orsted and Eversource that are committed to developing – and capable of delivering – large-scale renewable energy projects, we know this is just the beginning.”
New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said, “We applaud Governor Hochul for achieving this milestone. It is a testament to her commitment to ensuring New York meets its clean energy goals. We look forward to working with the Governor to ensure that our renewable 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, “Today marks a significant milestone in New York’s pursuit of its renewable energy goals and the establishment of a clean energy future that bolsters middle class careers, ignites economic growth and provides a greener environment for future generations to thrive in. The first delivery of clean energy to Long Island via South Fork is only the beginning of what offshore wind can bring to the table, and we are proud that our tradesmen and tradeswomen played a role in skillfully and efficiently assembling the first operational turbines in this critical project. They look forward to continuing their work get all 12 turbines generating wind power in the coming months, all while pursuing a union career that allows them to provide for their families and drive economic stimulus to their communities.”
Long Island Federation of Labor President John R. Durso said, “This project is being constructed with union labor. We expect it to be operated with union labor. This announcement, and the eventual completion of South Fork Wind, is proof positive we can address the climate crisis and create good union jobs in the process. We look forward to working with New York State, the offshore wind industry, and all other stakeholders who are interested in a brighter future with good family sustaining wages.”
Long Island Association President & CEO Matt Cohen said, “Long Island has made history and is officially the offshore wind capital of the country, and I congratulate Governor Hochul, the Ørsted and Eversource team, and the Long Island Power Authority on their successful public-private partnership and for not only delivering clean energy to the grid, but also for creating thousands of jobs and shepherding opportunities for small businesses.”
Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties President Matthew Aracich said, “I commend Governor Hochul for her persistent drive to bring offshore wind to market. Governor Hochul’s determination and vision continue to elevate New York State’s collaboration with skilled labor, creating the first utility-scale offshore wind farm in federal waters along the eastern seaboard. This climate-altering project represents a new economic opportunity providing choices for the next generation of local workers, who are seeking good-paying, stable careers which will provide the ability to remain employed on Long Island. As a result of this market demand, the offshore wind industry has partnered with labor to provide a pathway leading directly to the Building and Construction Trades through apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship programs like Opportunities Long Island. Unlike the shrinking workforce of many other communities around the country, our local Building Trades Council has grown significantly and in no small part due to the labor demand from Orsted/Eversource within the offshore wind industry.”
New York Offshore Wind Alliance Director Fred Zalcman said, “It is remarkable to witness the graceful turn of the turbines at the South Fork Wind Farm as it achieves first power, supplying the New York grid with the first of what promises to be a boundless supply of offshore wind energy. But this seemingly effortless conversion of the ocean breezes into carbon free electricity would not have been possible but for the vision of the Hochul Administration and countless leaders at all levels of government, the tremendous community support for this project as a means of transitioning to a clean energy future on the East End, and the perseverance of the project developers, Orsted and Eversource, in overcoming any and all obstacles, from pandemics to global supply chain challenges, that stood in the way. South Fork today joins the ranks of New York's signature infrastructure projects, and as with those projects, we stand to reap the benefits for generations to come.”
Win With Wind Founder Judith Hope said, “Our team of East Hampton citizens is thrilled to have been a part of this historic effort. We believe that active local support is essential to the future success of offshore wind in New York State.”
Citizens Campaign for the Environment Executive Director Adrienne Esposito said, “This is truly thrilling and historic. As the turbines turn, we also turn a page in the history of energy production. Wind turbines are beacons of hope for a cleaner, safer energy supply which benefits every New Yorker. CCE has supported offshore wind for 18 years and now to see it finally implemented is a dream turned into reality. A giant thank you to Governor Hochul and the NYSERDA team who have championed this landmark transition for a better future.”
Association for a Better Long Island Executive Director Kyle Strober said, “The powering up of the Southfork Wind Farm is not only an historic moment for Long Island but also our nation. This trailblazing project moves us closer to a renewable energy future and 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, “Renewable Energy Long Island has been working alongside LIPA, Ørsted, East Hampton, and many other stakeholders for years to see the completion of the South Fork Wind project. This is exactly what New York State needs to meet the aggressive targets and timelines established in the state's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. It's great to know that homes are now using clean, renewable energy, immediately reducing our carbon emissions.”
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 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, 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 percent 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, nearly $3 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 percent 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.