The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) has granted a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need to the South Fork offshore wind farm’s export cable, which will make landfall at Beach Lane in Wainscott and then run to the Cove Hollow Road substation in East Hampton, where the project will be connected to the onshore grid.
This marks another step forward for the offshore wind farm this year, following the issuance of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in January.
A review of South Fork plans for the export cable had been ongoing for more than two years, during which period experts across multiple state agencies were performing extensive analysis and gathered input from the East Hampton community.
“South Fork Wind continues to move full-speed ahead, now reaching a major milestone with the approval of a key state permit needed to build this historic, first New York offshore wind farm”, said South Fork Wind, a 50/50 joint venture between Ørsted and Eversource Energy. “The New York Public Service Commission’s approval affirms that South Fork Wind can be built with minimal impact to the environment and the community, while at the same time helping the Town of East Hampton and New York State reach their clean-energy goals”.
In September 2020, the project owners reached an agreement with East Hampton Town and the East Hampton Town Trustees to pay the town a total of USD 28.9 million over 25 years in exchange for the granting of easements required for installation of the approx. four-mile length of the onshore portion of a 138-kilovolt electricity transmission line.
Ørsted and Eversource expect the offshore wind farm to be fully permitted by January 2022. Construction activities would then start soon after that, with the wind farm planned to be put into operation by the end of 2023.
The South Fork project will comprise up to 15 wind turbines installed around 30 kilometres (19 miles) southeast of Block Island, Rhode Island, and some 56 kilometres (35 miles) east of Montauk Point, New York. The output of the wind turbines to be used will be between 6 MW and 12 MW.
The lease for the site was awarded to Deepwater Wind, the developer of the first U.S. offshore wind farm off Block Island. Deepwater Wind was acquired by Ørsted in 2018.