“Steel in the water” at South Fork Wind

Written by Nick Blenkey
South Fork Wind installation vessel

Boskalis’s Bokalift 2 installation vessel is transporting and installing the South Fork Wind foundations, under an agreement signed in June 2022. [Image: Ørsted]

South Fork Wind, New York’s first offshore wind farm, yesterday achieved its “steel in the water” milestone with the installation of the project’s first monopile foundation. The development comes within less than a month of the Vineyard Wind project, off Massachusetts, achieving a similar milestone. Both projects are claiming “firsts,” with the 800 MW Vineyard Wind claiming bragging rights as “the first commercial-scale” offshore wind farm in the U.S. and the 130 MW South Fork Wind project being called “the first utility-scale” offshore wind project in the country by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who said the steel in the water milestone, “cements New York as a national hub for the offshore wind industry.”

In the coming days, South Fork Wind, a joint venture between Ørsted and Eversource, will install the project’s 1,500-ton, 60-foot-tall, offshore substation, designed and built by Kiewit Offshore Services, Ltd., at its Ingleside facility near Corpus Christi, Texas.

With yesterday’s milestone, South Fork has officially entered its wind turbine installation phase, the final construction period on the 12-turbine, 130-megawatt wind farm. The project launched in February 2022, beginning with the onshore export cable system. The project is one of five offshore wind projects New York State has in active development, the largest portfolio in the U.S.

Once completed, the wind farm will generate enough renewable energy to power roughly 70,000 homes helping New York meet its ambitious Climate Act goals, while eliminating up to six million tons of carbon emissions, or the equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road annually over a 25-year period. Hundreds of U.S. workers and three Northeast ports will support South Fork Wind’s construction through late fall helping to stand up a new domestic supply chain that’s creating hundreds of local union jobs across the Northeast.

Boskalis’s Bokalift 2 installation vessel is transporting and installing the foundations, under an agreement signed in June 2022.

Ørsted says that, during South Fork Wind’s construction period this summer and fall, construction and transport barges, tugboats, crew vessels, and protected special observer monitoring vessels will be active at the project site roughly 35 miles east of Montauk, N.Y.

Once in operation, South Fork Wind will be supported by America’s first offshore wind Service Operations Vessel, as well as U.S.-built crew transfer vessels.

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