Project has capacity to generate 130 megawatts of wind energy, enough to power over 70,000 homes and businesses
Date: Monday, April 3, 2023
WASHINGTON — In a major milestone towards meeting the Biden-Harris administration’s goal to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, the Department of the Interior today announced that the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has completed its review of critical design and installation reports for the South Fork Wind project, clearing the way for the start of turbine construction offshore Rhode Island and New York. This will be the first commercial-scale, offshore wind energy project to start turbine construction in federal waters in the United States.
The Biden-Harris administration is taking an all-of-government approach toward its ambitious renewable energy goals that will create jobs to support families, boost local economies, and help address economic injustice.
“Two years ago, President Biden issued a bold challenge to move America towards a clean energy future. The Interior Department answered that call and is moving rapidly to create a robust and sustainable clean energy economy with good-paying union jobs,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “As we celebrate the advancement of the South Fork Wind project, we look forward to continued progress that will help communities across America be part of the climate solution.”
“Today’s announcement is a significant milestone for the Biden-Harris administration and the Department’s progress in offshore wind development on the Outer Continental Shelf,” said BSEE Director Kevin Sligh. “The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has the important responsibility of reviewing renewable energy projects and is committed to ensuring they will be built and operated in a safe and environmentally sustainable manner.”
With BSEE’s completion of the 60-day review of the project’s Facility Design Report and Fabrication and Installation Report, South Fork Wind will now begin the historic step of constructing and installing offshore wind turbines on the Outer Continental Shelf, with an estimated completion date of summer 2023.
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.
In January 2023, the Department announced the transfer of regulations governing offshore renewable energy activities — including workplace safety and environmental compliance — from BOEM to BSEE.