US launched commercial scale offshore wind generation with the completion and full powering up of Orsted-Eversource’s 132MW South Fork Wind to New York.

All twelve Siemens Gamesa 11MW turbines have been installed at the wind farm located some 35 miles (56 km) east of Montauk Point, Long Island, New York and today successfully delivered first power to the local grid.

“When I broke ground on the South Fork project, I made a promise to build a cleaner, greener future for all New Yorkers,” governor Kathy Hochul said at an event to mark the occasion.

“I’m keeping to that promise and South Fork Wind is now delivering clean energy to tens of thousands of homes and businesses on Long Island. With more projects in the pipeline, this is just the beginning of New York’s offshore wind future.”

South Fork is among the earliest US projects with a development timeline stretching back over a decade to its lease acquired by pioneer Deepwater Wind in 2013.

While local utility Eversource is a 50% owner with Orsted in the project, sale of its stake to Global Infrastructure Partners was recently announced.

“Every day, the Interior Department is answering President [Joe] Biden’s call and moving rapidly to create a robust and sustainable clean energy economy that creates jobs, boosts local economies and helps address environmental justice,” Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said.

“Today is further proof that America’s clean energy transition is not a dream for a distant future – it’s happening right here and now.”

New York is among the most ambitious of US states with a legal mandate for 9GW of operational capacity by 2035 amid the larger Biden administration target of 30GW by 2030.

Unlike the remaining 1.7GW of the state’s capacity contracted to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (Nyserda), South Fork was awarded in 2017 by Long Island Power Authority (Lipa) `at a levelised nominal price of $163/MWh.

“A robust collection of US supply chain companies and unions supported development of this project, and the entire US industry should take huge pride in this milestone,” said Liz Burdock, CEO of industry group Oceantic Network.

Anne Reynolds, vice president for offshore wind at renewables advocacy group American Clean Power Association, said: “Bringing clean, emissions-free offshore wind energy to Long Island has been a long time coming.

“Construction supported hundreds of U.S. workers along the supply chain that will bolster the economy in New York and beyond,” she added.

The project's turbines were staged and assembled by local union workers at State Pier in New London, Connecticut, while its advanced foundation components were completed at the developer's fabrication hub at ProvPort, in Rhode Island.

More than 450 union workers were involved in the various scopes of its installation.

The project has marked a number of US-first, including installation of the first American-made high voltage alternating current (HVAC) export cable manufactured by Nexans at its Charleston, South Carolina facility.

It also installed the first US-manufactured offshore substation, a 1,500-tonne behemoth produced by Kiewit at its Galveston, Texas plant.

While completion of the project is hailed by industry and government, it has ignited opposition due to its location on the environmentally critical Coxes Ledge, a vital habitat for marine wildlife.

Its landing point in the well-heeled hamlet of Wainscott, in Easthampton, Long Island, has likewise sparked pushback from area residents concerned about groundwater pollution related to the route of its underground, onshore transmission line.

Orsted confirmed to Recharge that the project will undergo a series of tests towards its official commissioning later this year.