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Sunrise Wind on the Horizon

Thu, 06/06/2024 - 12:22
Representatives from Orsted and Eversource, the developers behind Sunrise Wind, use this map to show where the offshore wind farm will be and how the cables will connect to the mainland.
Denis Hartnett

At a May 29 open house addressing the new Sunrise Wind project, consisting of up to 84 turbines to be built 26.5 miles off the coast of Montauk, its corporate parents, Orsted and Eversource, projected the new wind farm will yield 924 megawatts of energy -- enough potentially to power hundreds of thousands of houses.

The new effort is considerably larger than the first wind farm here, South Fork Wind, for which 12 turbines off Montauk begun generating power — 132 megawatts, also built by Orsted and Eversource — in March this year.

The company's officials said they expect their construction and operations plan to be approved by the federal Department of the Interior by the end of the summer. The proposal is to connect the turbines to the mainland through Smith Point County Park, at the eastern end of Fire Island. From there the cable would run under the Great South Bay and up to the Long Island Power Authority station in Holbrook.

The May 29 meeting, which took place at an office on West Lake Drive adjacent to the Montauk Fish Market, also addressed the proposed onshore construction logistics for the Sunrise Wind project. "We should be out of state waters in a matter of days with the preparation, which is minimal," said Tom Wilson, the onshore cable installation manager.

As the South Fork Wind project did, Sunrise Wind is already garnering critics — including some who opposed the first wind farm here.

Bonnie Brady, the executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, said she has several concerns about the project and how it may affect the community and environment, including the way turbines can affect local marine life.

"This is 'ready, shoot, aim' on every front you can imagine," Ms. Brady said on Monday.

Orsted and Eversource officials said they expect the Sunrise Wind farm to be operational sometime in 2026, with onshore construction slated to start in late September this year, after the beachgoing season has ended.

This story has been updated since it was first published.


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