Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland was in East Hampton, New York, today to commemorate the groundbreaking of the South Fork wind energy project, the second commercial-scale, offshore wind energy project approved for federal waters in the United States. The South Fork project will be located offshore Rhode Island and New York and have a capacity of 130 megawatts of wind energy — enough to power over 70,000 homes and businesses.
The South Fork project represents another significant milestone in the United States’ progress toward a clean energy future, helping contribute to both the Biden-Harris administration’s and New York state’s renewable energy goals.
“America’s clean energy transition is not a dream for a distant future – it is happening right here and now,” said Secretary Haaland. “Offshore wind will power our communities, advance our environmental justice goals, and stimulate our economy by creating thousands of good-paying union jobs across the nation. This is one of many actions we are taking in pursuit of the President’s goal to improve both the lives of American families and the health of our planet.”
Utility-scale, offshore wind energy projects are a hallmark of the infrastructure investments underway under the Biden-Harris administration.
The South Fork project, which was approved by Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in November 2021, will directly support approximately 165 jobs over the two-year construction period and approximately 10 long-term jobs during the operations and maintenance period. The project will also support hundreds of jobs in the supply chain and service industries, producing economic benefits from the clean energy transition for onshore communities.
These benefits will also supplement investments from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will make historic investments toward keeping our planet livable for future generations by funding projects that advance sustainable economies, clean energy, and climate resilience.
“Projects like this are a critical part of our effort to spur domestic economic growth while protecting the environment,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton. “Today’s announcement, coupled with critical investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will help us create good-paying union jobs and a habitable planet for generations to come.”
In its first four months, the Biden-Harris administration catalyzed the offshore wind energy industry by announcing the first-ever national offshore wind energy goal to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, creating a clear vision for the future of this innovative industry. BOEM expects to complete the review of at least 16 plans to construct and operate commercial, offshore wind energy facilities by 2025, which would represent more than 22 GW of clean energy for the nation.
The Administration is preparing for lease sales in the New York Bight and offshore the Carolinas and California this year, and is actively working with states, Tribes, ocean users, and key stakeholders to explore wind potential in the Gulf of Maine and in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as offshore Oregon and Hawaii.