Offshore wind developers Ørsted and Eversource marked the sailaway of the first U.S.-built offshore wind substation, which departed a Texas fabrication facility Wednesday.
The substation is transiting across the Gulf of Mexico and then up the East Coast for installation at the South Fork Wind project site in a few weeks.
Kiewit Offshore Services, Ltd. (Kiewit), the largest offshore fabricator in the U.S., designed and built the substation, which will be deployed at Ørsted and Eversource’s South Fork Wind project serving Long Island, New York, and set to begin operations by the end of this year.
Kiewit built the 1,500-ton, 60-foot-tall substation at its Ingleside facility near Corpus Christi.
“The substation will play a key role in enabling domestic energy production, strengthening America’s energy independence and adding to the nation’s energy mix,” Ørsted said.
“The Kiewit team’s work is just one of several ways that Texas – and the Gulf of Mexico region – is playing a central role in the buildout of a new domestic offshore energy supply chain. America’s first wind turbine installation vessel, Charybdis, is under construction, in Brownsville. Ørsted and Eversource will be the first offshore wind developers to charter the Charybdis,” Ørsted said.
According to Ørsted, more than 350 workers across three states supported construction of this South Fork Wind substation, a topside structure that will sit on a monopile foundation within the wind farm, collecting the power produced by wind turbines and connecting it to the grid. The substation was designed and engineered in Kansas, fabricated in Texas, and will be installed in New York.
South Fork Wind is now in its offshore construction phase, first with work to install the project’s 68-nautical mile submarine cable from its landfall below Wainscott Beach, in East Hampton, to the wind farm site roughly 35 miles east of Montauk, N.Y. Cable laying is underway and installation of monopile foundations will begin in the coming weeks. Vessels from several Gulf ports are supporting the construction of South Fork Wind.
According to Ørsted, South Fork Wind is on track to be the first completed utility-scale offshore wind farm in federal waters, with the project expected to be operational by the end of 2023. The project will be New York’s first offshore wind farm and will power approximately 70,000 New York households.