Long Island’s Atlantic shore has an abundant supply of offshore wind year-round. Modern offshore wind turbine technology, used in Europe for decades, allows us to turn our offshore breezes into a major source of affordable and renewable power for New York State, Long Island, and the Town of East Hampton. Benefits of offshore wind include:
- Clean, locally produced power where demand is highest
- Thousands of construction, manufacturing, and operations jobs
- Avoiding greenhouse gas emissions
In 2019, the Climate Act was signed into law, requiring NY State to achieve a 100% carbon free electricity system by 2040 and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85% below 1990 levels by 2050. Additionally, the law mandates that at least 70% of New York’s electricity is derived from renewable energy sources by 2030 and calls for the development of 9,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind energy by 2035, enough to power up to 6 million homes.
In 2020, the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) compiled an offshore wind masterplan, a comprehensive report of more than 20 studies for the first 2,400 MW of offshore wind energy. The state is working diligently to ensure that offshore wind is developed in the most responsible and cost-effective way possible as New York plans to become a hub for the emerging offshore wind energy industry in the U.S.
New York’s first offshore wind farm, South Fork Wind, is a 12 turbine, 130 MW system located 35 miles east of Montauk Point in eastern Long Island. The state-of-the-art wind farm is being developed in partnership by Ørsted and Eversource and will generate enough clean electricity to power about 70,000 homes. The wind farm is expected to be operational by the end of 2023, with power being delivered through an underground transmission line connected to the local grid in the Town of East Hampton. The project was a result of a 2015 Request for Proposals (RFP) by PSEG/LIPA to meet growing energy demand on Long Island’s South Fork, which exceeds the capability of existing transmission lines serving the area. South Fork Wind was selected as the most cost-effective package amongst competing proposals and is now one of five offshore wind projects in active development in NY. Together, these projects account for the largest offshore wind pipeline nationwide, totaling more than 4,300 MW and representing nearly half of the capacity required to meet New York’s offshore wind goal by 2035.