Offshore construction will soon continue on the South Fork offshore wind project in New York with the installation of the project’s 68-nautical mile (about 126 kilometres) submarine cable to kick off in early 2023.
The work installing South Fork Wind’s submarine cable involves six stages: seabed preparation, sea-to-shore interconnection preparation, nearshore cable laying, nearshore cable burial, offshore cable laying, and offshore cable burial.
Weather or sea conditions and other factors may impact the expected schedule.
DEME’s dual-fuel cable laying vessel Living Stone picked up the New York union crew at ProvPort, in Rhode Island in early February and from there, sailed to the Nexans cable facility in Charleston, South Carolina to pick up the submarine export cable for installation.
The seabed preparations are planned for February to mid-to-late March which includes relocating boulders from the path of the cable, surveying to identify debris or ghost gear along the cable route, and clearance of debris, where necessary.
The sea-to-shore interconnection work is planned from late February to early March. The area off Wainscott Beach in East Hampton will be prepared to receive the cable, and the cable will be pulled ashore through a previously installed conduit buried 80 feet (approximately 24 metres) beneath the beach.
A team consisting of the cable-lay barge, lift boat, support vessels, and specialised divers will mobilise off Wainscott Beach as early as 19 February.
The cable laying work will start in early February and is planned to end in April.
After the export cable is pulled ashore starting in mid-to-late February, South Fork Wind, a 50-50 joint venture between Ørsted and Eversource, will begin laying the first, 28-nautical mile (about 52 kilometres) section of cable along the offshore route, known as the nearshore cable.
Cable laying could take approximately a week, the developer said.
After that, the cable section is buried and South Fork Wind will survey it to ensure a target depth of four to six feet is reached. The cable burying process could take approximately three weeks to complete.
The remaining 28-nautical mile long cable section, known as the offshore cable, will be laid to the wind farm area at the end of March, with the same process and timelines.
Greek cable manufacturer Hellenic Cables, owned by Belgian Cenergy Holdings, will supply the inter-array cables to the South Fork offshore wind project.
South Fork Wind, for which Ørsted and Eversource reached the final investment decision (FID) at the beginning of last year, will be New York’s first offshore wind farm and the second commercial-scale project of this kind to be built in the US, following Vineyard Wind.
The wind farm will comprise twelve 11 MW Siemens Gamesa turbines installed at the project site some 30 kilometres (19 miles) southeast of Block Island, Rhode Island, and some 56 kilometres (35 miles) east of Montauk Point, New York.