Work starts on wind farm off New England's southern coast

wind turbine
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Construction has started on a wind project with turbines off the coasts of New York and Rhode Island that is expected to produce enough power for about 70,000 homes, officials announced Friday.

The South Fork Wind project, which received a key approval last month from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, will consist of 12 turbines and connect to the electric grid on Long Island. It is the second commercial-scale, offshore wind energy project to gain approval in the United States and is expected to begin operating in late 2023.

The Danish energy company Orsted is developing the project with the utility Eversource.

Construction is starting onshore with work related to the installation of the underground transmission cable that will connect the turbines to the grid. Offshore work is expected to begin next year.

"South Fork Wind will eliminate up to six million tons of carbon emissions over the next twenty-five years benefiting not only the Empire State, but our nation as a whole," New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a release after a groundbreaking ceremony with Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and other officials.

The 130-megawatt project will be in federal waters about 19 miles (30 kilometers) southeast of Block Island and 35 miles (56 kilometers) east of Montauk Point on the eastern tip of Long Island.

New York has a goal of developing 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035 under its long-term plan to dramatically reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions.

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