South Fork Wind finishes construction

Construction for the South Fork Wind project was recently completed. —Courtesy of South Fork Wind

South Fork Wind, an offshore wind project approximately 20 miles southwest of Martha’s Vineyard, completed construction on Friday, becoming America’s first fully built utility-scale offshore wind farm. 

The developers say that the 12th and final turbine was installed in February, and they are in the final commissioning stage. 

The farm is expected to generate 130 megawatts of power at full capacity, power enough for roughly 70,000 homes on Long Island, N.Y., and eliminate 6 million tons of carbon emissions over the 20-year lifespan of the project. 

The Biden administration, in a release issued earlier this month by Ørsted — the company that owns half the offshore wind project with Eversource — touted the completion of the project as a big step forward in producing clean energy. 

“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,” U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a press release. “We’re thrilled to celebrate the completion of the South Fork project, which will deliver 130 megawatts of wind energy to Long Island. 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.”

South Fork Wind first began delivering power to New York last December, beating out Vineyard Wind’s goal to be the first project to deliver power in the U.S. 

Ørsted’s release also touted the hundreds of jobs the project created during construction, including union labor, and for its role in “helping to stand up the foundations of a new domestic supply chain.”

“From the first steel in the water to the final turbine, our hard-working offshore wind construction team has put South Fork Wind on the path to making American energy history,” David Hardy, Ørsted executive vice president and CEO of the Americas region, said in the release. 

The completion of the plan comes on the coattails of New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s recent announcement of conditionally approving Empire Wind I and Sunrise Wind, two other offshore wind projects, as well as $2 billion investment in “near-term enhanced economic development statewide,” including support for communities disadvantaged by the offshore wind developers. The approval is contingent upon the developers’ successful execution of their contracts with the state, according to the New York governor’s office. 

Sunrise Wind is another project owned by Ørsted and Eversource that is planned for waters around 16 miles from Martha’s Vineyard, which will deliver power to New York. According to the project website, the project will provide around 924 megawatts of power.


  1. Hmmmm — It seems there is some big money going
    into what some here think is an uneconomical fiasco
    that will result is massive financial failures.
    Go figure, them’s fi-nancial guys shure am stupit.

    And could anyone please explain to me how these
    companies keep giving money to “disadvantaged”
    communities if they are so freakin economically
    unsound ?
    Just mentioning the million dollars to the Wampanoag
    tribe, the handout to hard working fisherpeople and a new
    park for Tisbury.
    Could at least one wind-o-phobe please “follow the money”
    for us ?

    • It sure sounds like you are making fun of people from a different part of the country that you perhaps consider less educated than yourself.

      • He is making fun of people from a different part of the Island.
        The one’s with their hands in the wind…
        The poorly educated have a higher level of inclination.
        Don made no mention of education levels, but I did. .

    • Hmmm first off talk. About these $$ give aways to the mentioned groups are just that. Talk aka PR releases. The real $$ is in the huge tax credits biz plan all investors earn that’s the biz model

      • John– Thank you for posting this informative
        article. We of course can debate the causes of
        inflation and try to place blame on one person or
        another, but I think we can agree that it
        is not conducive to businesses of all manner
        of activities in a capitalist economy.
        I think we can also agree that the biggest hammer in the
        federal reserve tool box to deal with inflation is the
        interest rate. So paradoxically, we get higher
        interest rates to deal with high inflation rates.
        That REALLY throws things out of whack.
        As far as renegotiating contracts, we clearly
        saw the impact of inflation when the contractors
        for the Tisbury school went before the voters and asked
        for a 40% increase to the price of their contract.
        That of course does not mean that schools are “bad”
        or that the contractor was insolvent.
        So yes, the wind industry is in a bind.
        That happens occasionally–
        Between 2008 and 2010 the U.S and Canadian
        governments gave some of the most profitable
        auto companies in the word a combined $85 billion.
        Are we better off for that decision ? That’s debatable of
        course, but we could still be stuck in a decades long
        depression had they not done it.
        That’s what governments are for.

        • No Keller. Governments should not be picking winners and losers. Governments should stay out of private enterprise except for regulations. Government should not be subsidizing or bailing out anyone. When government comes to you and says ”I am here to help” you should run like hell the other way. Governments ruin everything.

          • Andrew, I’m very happy (and consider myself extremely lucky) to be in the United States with the government that we have. I can’t imagine the horror of living in a country where there is a weak government and gangs run the country. I also can’t imagine the inverse, of living in a country where the government is so dictatorial that elections are held at gunpoint.

      • John, thanks for guiding us to that article. There were several other articles nearby that were also interesting. Would like to point out that Trump is the one who slapped tariffs on steel. That made steel prices skyrocket. Which led to increased car prices. It also increased construction costs for anything made with steel, such as windmills.

  2. Don, the companies are required to shell out the money. The companies would also love to renegotiate contracts as they are losing hundreds of millions of dollars. The money for these projects comes from you and I, the taxpayers who fund this project. No insurance company is covering the turbines, wait until they break or become damaged in a storm. I insure large electrical facilities worldwide, we have global meetings on the turbines and their enormous costs. GE had a turbine blow a few months ago and it was a 37 million dollar failure, not covered by the policy. I work with the wind companies often and know how much of a loss they are running at. This is the real world with real information, not googled. I know you’ll try to tell me to do more research, but I work professionally with these companies and I get my information firsthand. The wind farms will be tax havens for these companies for decades, they will write off the losses and depreciations. The wind farm off the Vineyard is and never will be financially viable. I feel bad for the residents who bought South Shore homes many years ago for the unobstructed views and tranquility. What a sham, what a shame.

    • David, I’m not sure I understand everything you are saying. You said that the companies are required to shell out the money. Then you say that taxpayers are funding the project. If the companies are paying, then it isn’t the taxpayer, it is the ratepayer from the electric company. Anna (on a different day/column) commented that she was going to be able to go off-grid and save a ton of money. So Anna won’t be paying, right?
      How will the wind farms be tax havens? (I really don’t know, that’s why I’m asking. Can you give more than losses and depreciations? The film The Producers comes to mind when you say losses.)
      Will all of that being said, we still have to do something about the planet warming. Renewable energy is one of the ways that we can accomplish this. If you have other ideas for cooling our planet, please share what you think would be better than or in addition to wind turbines. (If you’ve been reading my posts, you know that I personally believe that we need to have each home and business become energy independent and exit the grid. That means that your house would be covered in solar panels and you’d have a windmill or two spinning in your own backyard.)
      I do share your (what’s the right word: grief, disappointment) that views are changing. But just because we are sad about change, doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t happen. The United States needs Martha’s Vineyard’s winds. We can’t pretend that we are hermits and aren’t all impacted by each other.

    • Do you have any real world numbers for Vineyard Wind?
      As you are are well aware energy extraction is a risky bit of business.
      Look at the number of oil wells that never produced enough oil to cover the drilling and extraction cost. Look at the cost of the Somerset Coal Plant Rehab that was torn down less than decade later. How much tax money did that consume. How much tax money did Plymouth Nuclear consume? the final bill is twenty years out.
      I find that people who are averse to “alternate energy” are also averse to numbers.
      Do you have the current financials on Vineyard Wind? How many tax dollars they have consumed?
      Please provide your real world numbers.

      “The wind farm off the Vineyard is and never will be financially viable.” What data set did you use to come to your determinization? References?

      Did you feel bad for the residents of Somerset when they put up two 500 foot cooling towers within a mile of water front homes? Lots of flashing red lights and coal stink. Just to be torn down 10 years later, How many tax dollars? What a sham, what a shame.

      I prefer to source my power locally, not continue to trash the Gulf of Mexico and the like with nasty oil drilling rigs. I expect it to cost more.
      I remember when America was great, the unobstructed views and tranquility of the Gulf of Mexico. Gone to Hydrocarbon extraction.

    • The Island got the first electron.
      The whole country did (except for Texas).
      We have a national electrical grid (except for Texas).
      Texas has lots of wind power, they do not like to talk about it.
      Or frozen natural gas lines while ted is soaking up the rays in Cancun.

      • Albert — Actually Barnstable “gets” the electrons.
        And the power is shared pretty much within the New
        England grid. It is only during extreme events that
        power is shared between grids. It can of course,
        all except for the Texas grid, who’s designers thought
        they would have to always give power to the “upper 47”
        and did not bother to build the infrastructure into the
        project to get power when the oil and gas lines
        froze. Much better to just go to Mexico
        when things get cold.

  3. Our oceans are warming at an alarming rate. Warmer oceans store more energy leading to more violent storms with even higher windspeed. See where this is going?
    ” In terms of the geographical split, 6 out of 10 of the world’s wind turbine manufacturers are based in Europe, while the remaining are based in Asia-Pacific.” [Global]
    Storms in the North Sea do not have the tropical heat engine cranking up their windspeed. I don’t have the data, but it would stand to reason that these turbines have not been tested or built to survive the Cat 5+ storms the East coast can expect in the future. Is the Offshore Windpower industry prepared for this? I think not. It cost more engineering dollars and finances are stretched. Who bears the cleanup/demolition/repair/rebuild costs if such a disaster should strike out coast?

    • Peter– the simple answer is that if all the windmills
      blew over we could drain the oil out of them
      and leave them there. And then go fishing
      around them.
      Or it might be economically feasible to bring the
      towers ashore and recycle them.
      I would think that there are few sources of
      power generation that could stand up to
      a cat 5– we have seen that in the Gulf of
      Perhaps, just perhaps, we can reduce the frequency
      and strength of cat 5 hurricanes by reducing the
      amount of carbon in the atmosphere.
      What would happen if a cat 5 hurricane with a
      500 mile wind field and 250 mph winds took out the
      entire power grid and
      caused the holding tanks at Pilgrim to
      overheat and melt ? Or if Seabrook and Milestone
      melted down because of lack of cooling capacity.
      Is the nuclear industry
      prepared for that ?

      • They aren’t going to blow over. They have controls in them to adjust when they are under adverse conditions.

        • Mary– you and I know they are not
          going to blow over– But not everyone knows they
          are driven down 150 ft into the seabed and are
          25 ft in diameter and are 6 inches thick.
          But people have concerns, and I try to address them.
          By the way, if they cut them off flush with the seabed
          and sold the poles for scrap metal, their current value
          is about 85 million dollars of recyclable steel.
          I wonder how much of Pilgrim will be recycled ?
          And talk about taxpayer money being spent to
          deal with decommissioning. I would
          posit that more taxpayer money is being spent
          just TRYING to keep that fecal show from killing
          people and keeping Boston habitable, than all the
          subsidies for all the windfarm projects in New England.
          I am also sure that the whales and the lobsters won’t mind if
          they dump a million or so gallons
          of radioactive water into the Cape cod bay.
          Hey, you know, maybe the lobsters will glow in the dark,
          and the lobster fisher people can pull traps around the clock.

    • Which professionals do you trust? How about the engineers who designed your air bags? The guy who installed your tires? The pharmacist who packaged your last prescription? The chef who cooked your last restaurant meal? The inspector who inspected the bridges you drive on? The electrical lineman who turns your power back on after an outage? The doctor who saw you last? Are you the only smart or honest person? And all those other people not? Can WE trust you when you go to work?

      • Martha, Windmills are a very, very good idea. I’m sad that I can’t convince you how important they are. Or how this particular area of the United States is extremely well suited for gathering energy from the winds. In fact, you could have a small wind turbine on your property along with several solar panels and in about 3 years it will have paid for itself and then you could enjoy free electricity for the rest of your life. Seriously. It appears that you don’t respect Don Keller, however, I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that he has enough knowledge that he could help you design a system. Anna also looked into it and might be willing to share her thoughts with you. 🙏

  4. Peter, do honestly believe that the engineers designing the windmills never considered that scenario? Give me a break!

  5. Wind and Solar to combat Global Warming if indeed it is all its been cooked up to be is like peeing in the ocean and noticing a change.

    • Andrew, just wondering what credentials you have for making the statement that wind and solar won’t combat Global Warming? (Global Climate Change is probably a more accurate term.)
      Wilks and Dunn have been very successful at convincing you that oil is the way to go. They are using their billions to sway people. Except Dunn is selling off his oil shares because he can see the writing on the wall.

  6. andy– a car driving down the road and producing
    carbon emissions and noticing a change in the carbon
    concentration in the atmosphere is like peeing in the ocean.
    But you know when there are enough cars for enough time,
    it is noticeable. Do you think there are millions of scientist,
    meteorologist and “google” involved in a massive conspiracy
    to control us by lying about the carbon
    content in the atmosphere ?
    Or do you think there is even any carbon in the atmosphere?
    Do you think humans have the ability to measure it, if it actually
    And do you think the carbon concentration has no effect on the
    temperature of earth ?
    That’s a whole different million people conspiracy theory.
    So I guess the bottom line about your peeing in the ocean
    analogy is that we need to build a few more Billion windmills
    before we notice a change.
    I’m ok with that.

  7. Could we have some engineers and scientists jump into the conversation? Surely there are some real professionals reading this who could shed some light and give us more facts!

      • Carl, how about real people who want to join our conversation? Not someone else’s web page.
        No matter how much evidence you are presented, I can’t imagine a scenario where you would change your mind.
        One of the questions that I regularly ask myself is: What if I’m wrong?
        I’ve been wrong before and likely I will be wrong again.

        • Mary, same could be said about you, respectfully. Reading your comments you don’t appear to have much of an open mind. All I’m trying to say is we need CO2 to live and all this talk about eliminating carbon seems counterintuitive. Can we agree on that? My opinion is an all of the above approach to energy production and the cleaner the better but not at all costs. I’m willing to use some resources for my selfish comfort like, ac, aircraft, cell phone, medical devices, and cars to name a few. And in all sincerity thank you for your response to my comments.

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