LIPA Approves South Fork Wind Farm Off Montauk

A similar offshore wind farm in England
A similar offshore wind farm in England, Photo: Nuttawut Uttamaharad/123RF

The Long Island Power Authority today voted unanimously to approve a power-purchase agreement for Deepwater Wind’s 90 megawatt (MW = 1 million watts) South Fork Wind Farm, in federal waters roughly 30 miles off Montauk.

The South Fork Wind Farm will be the second offshore wind farm in America, and, with 15 turbines, the county’s largest. Deepwater Wind’s five-turbine, 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm, which began harnessing energy last month, is America’s first offshore wind farm. It now provides Block Island with electricity. Before the wind farm, Block Island relied on diesel generators for its power.

“This is a big day for clean energy in New York and our nation,” Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski said in a statement about the South Fork Wind Farm approval Wednesday. “Governor Cuomo has set a bold vision for a clean energy future, and this project is a significant step toward making that a reality,” he continued, adding, “There is a huge clean energy resource blowing off of our coastline just over the horizon, and it is time to tap into this unlimited resource to power our communities.”

Deepwater Wind says its South Fork Wind Farm will generate enough clean energy to power more than 50,000 homes in our region. The farm site is located over the horizon, meaning not visible from the beach, in Deepwater ONE—a 256-square-mile offshore wind energy area about halfway between Montauk and Martha’s Vineyard with the space to create as much as 1,000 MW of clean electricity.

Construction on the South Fork Wind Farm is slated to begin as early as 2019.

Deepwater Wind is planning offshore wind projects to serve multiple East Coast markets located 15 or more miles offshore, including Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

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