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November 25, 2021

BOEM approves construction of South Fork offshore wind farm

The 130MW wind farm will feature up to 12 wind turbines.

By Umesh Ellichipuram

The US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has approved the construction of the South Fork offshore wind power project offshore from Rhode Island.

The 130MW South Fork Wind project will be built almost 19 miles southeast of Block Island, Rhode Island, and 35 miles east of Montauk Point, New York.

It is being developed jointly by Danish power company Ørsted and US-based energy firm Eversource Energy.

The project is expected to create 340 jobs and will have the capacity to power 70,000 homes once completed.

It is the second commercial-scale, offshore wind energy project approved by the Department of the Interior to be built in US Federal Waters.

In addition, it will support the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of installing 30GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.

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Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said: “We have no time to waste in cultivating and investing in a clean energy economy that can sustain us for generations.

“Just one year ago, there were no large-scale offshore wind projects approved in the federal waters of the US. Today there are two, with several more on the horizon.

“This is one of many actions we are taking in pursuit of the President’s goal to open the doors of economic opportunity to more Americans.”

Under the terms of the Record of Decision (ROD), South Fork Wind will be permitted to install up to 12 turbines.

The ROD adopts several measures to help avoid, reduce and mitigate impacts that the project’s construction and operation are expected to cause.

BOEM signed the document jointly with the National Marine Fisheries Service, a component of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Before beginning construction works, Ørsted and Eversource Energy will have to submit reports on South Fork Wind’s design, fabrication and installation.

In August, BOEM completed an environmental review of the wind project.

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