A celebration and ceremonial groundbreaking marking the start of construction of the South Fork Wind Farm, New York State’s first offshore wind project, took place on Friday, Feb. 11 at LTV Studios in Wainscott, with NYS Governor Kathy Hochul and United States Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland in attendance, along with our East Hampton Town Board and other officials.
The wind farm is being built 35 miles from Montauk Point by Orsted/ Eversource, with the power cable coming ashore in Wainscott and connecting to an East Hampton power station.
“This is a great day,” Governor Hochul told the crowd. “I am so energized by what we’re doing here today to lean into the clean energy future.”
Gov. Hochul spoke following comments and an introduction by East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc, who highlighted East Hampton’s commitment to a clean energy future, as outlined in a 100-percent renewable energy goal adopted by the town in 2014, a statewide first.
Supervisor Van Scoyoc listed a number of East Hampton’s accomplishments, such as the installation of electric vehicle charging stations and transition of the town fleet to electric vehicles; construction of the first megawatt-scale solar farm on the South Fork, and the town’s installation of a solar and battery storage system at its Town Hall campus, also a statewide first.
“East Hampton is working to do its part to meet our renewable energy goals and address climate change,” the Supervisor said. “But we can’t do it alone. It takes leadership with a strong commitment to the cause; it takes leadership that is willing to take bold steps to make meaningful change,” he said, introducing Governor Hochul.
“Not just now but for generations,” the Governor said, “East Hampton has been leading the way in showing other municipalities and indeed the nation that the local governments are where the action is, where the visions can be formulated and executed, not just with local governments but also partnered with the state and federal governments, which we’re seeing here today”
“You are the first …. Congratulations,” she said. “We’re going to be able to point to what happened here in East Hampton and say to other communities, ‘yes, it can be done.’ “
“This is the future, ladies and gentlemen. We are seeing the future unfold before our very eyes, and this is exciting,” Gov. Hochul said. New York, she said, has “the most ambitious renewable energy plan,” with plans for several wind energy projects that will generate 9,000 megawatts of power, supplying a third of the state’s demand for electricity and creating jobs.
The South Fork Wind Farm is designed to generate 130 megawatts, enough clean, renewable energy to power 70,000 homes annually and eliminate up to 6 million tons of carbon emissions over the next five years, the Governor said.
Gov. Hochul cited the Biden administration’s leadership on clean energy and the work being done with the help of Interior Secretary Haaland. The federal and state renewable energy goals “are ambitious,” Secretary Haaland said in her remarks, “but we can meet them.”
“America’s clean energy transition is not a dream, or a distant future,“ she said. “It’s happening right here, and it’s happening right now.”
Access the YouTube video of the event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lg1Askees-I