America’s First Major Offshore Wind Farm Is Now Online

Source: Heatmap


Out in the Atlantic Ocean, 35 miles off the eastern tip of Long Island, sits a single, mammoth wind turbine. On Wednesday, its oscillating blades started sending power into the New York grid.

The South Fork Wind Farm is officially the first utility-scale offshore wind project operating in the United States.

The turbine was installed just two weeks ago with union labor, and it’s the first of 12 that are expected to be completed by early 2024. Each one will have three blades measuring 318 feet from base to tip, or about twice the length of an olympic-sized swimming pool. When completed, the project will have the capacity to meet the electricity needs of some 70,000 homes on Long Island. New York officials estimate the project will eliminate up to 6 million tons of carbon emissions per year, similar to taking 60,000 cars off the road.

South Fork is one of two offshore wind farms currently under construction in the northeast. The other, Vineyard Wind, will sell power to Massachusetts and will be five times larger, with 62 turbines able to power more than 400,000 homes. Shortly after South Fork powered up on Wednesday, Avangrid, the project developer behind Vineyard Wind, announced that it had installed five turbines which would begin delivering power “in the coming weeks.”

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