First American-Built Offshore Substation Sails Away
Ørsted and Eversource have marked the sail away of the first American-built offshore wind substation, which departed a Texas fabrication facility and is en route to the US East Coast.
The substation is transiting across the Gulf of Mexico and then up the East Coast for installation at the South Fork Wind project site in a few weeks, the owners and developers of the wind farm said.
Kiewit Offshore Services, the largest offshore fabricator in the US, designed and built the substation, which will be deployed at Ørsted and Eversource’s 132 MW offshore wind farm serving Long Island, New York, and set to begin operations by the end of this year.
Kiewit built the 1,500-ton, 60-foot-tall substation at its Ingleside facility near Corpus Christi.
The Kiewit team’s work is just one of several ways that Texas – and the Gulf of Mexico region – is playing a central role in the buildout of a new domestic offshore energy supply chain, the developers said. America’s first wind turbine installation vessel, Charybdis, is under construction, in Brownsville. Ørsted and Eversource will be the first offshore wind developers to charter the Charybdis.
More than 350 workers across three states supported construction of this South Fork Wind substation, a topside structure that will sit on a monopile foundation within the wind farm, collecting the power produced by wind turbines and connecting it to the grid. The substation was designed and engineered in Kansas, fabricated in Texas, and will be installed in New York.
”We’re putting American ingenuity to work as we build out a domestic offshore wind energy supply chain with investments and job opportunities spanning the Northeast, down to Texas and across the Gulf Coast region,” said David Hardy, Group EVP and CEO Americas at Ørsted.
”The completion of South Fork Wind’s offshore wind substation is yet another first for this groundbreaking project and moves us one step closer to the project’s first ‘steel in the water.”
South Fork Wind is now in its offshore construction phase, first with work to install the project’s 68-nautical mile submarine cable from its landfall below Wainscott Beach, in East Hampton, to the wind farm site roughly 35 miles east of Montauk, N.Y.
Cable laying is underway and installation of monopile foundations will begin in the coming weeks. Vessels from several Gulf ports are supporting the construction of South Fork Wind.
”South Fork Wind continues to demonstrate the enormous power of offshore wind to create a new, American-based supply chain as we work to grow the clean energy industry here in the United States – spreading economic opportunity to workers and local communities across the nation,” said Mike Ausere, Vice President of Business Development at Eversource Energy.
”Today, we are proud to mark yet another significant milestone that will bring the promise of a low-carbon future ever-closer to fruition.”
South Fork Wind is on track to be the first completed utility-scale offshore wind farm in federal waters, with the project expected to be operational by the end of 2023. The project will be New York’s first offshore wind farm and will power approximately 70,000 New York homes each year with clean, offshore wind energy.
Ørsted and Eversource also said they are investing hundreds of millions of dollars into shipbuilding across the Gulf Coast, and workers from several of the region’s companies are putting their experience from other ocean-based industries to work in this new energy sector.
That includes Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO), which recently marked the 50 per cent completion milestone for the U.S.-flagged ECO EDISON, the first Jones Act-qualified wind farm service operations vessel, which will support Ørsted and Eversource’s Northeast projects.
More than 400 workers are building the vessel at ECO shipyards in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida, with components of the vessel sourced from across 34 states.
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