Onshore construction updates

South Fork Wind, New York’s first offshore wind farm, has officially started onshore construction. Throughout the onshore construction phase, we will be making continuous updates to this section of the website. Below is the full onshore construction timeline, a map of the route, and frequently asked questions. Also, there is a weekly update section and a public notice section where you can find important updates.

Onshore Construction schedule

See the expected timeline as of January 2022.

Project Route


Get a live look at where we are on construction.

Go to live map

South Fork Wind map

 

FAQs

Timeline
  • When will construction begin?

    We anticipate that construction will begin in early 2022, starting with work on the onshore cable route.

  • What is your current timeline for completion?
    We anticipate that South Fork Wind will achieve commercial operation by the end of 2023
  • Onshore construction starts in January 2022. When does offshore construction begin and why can’t onshore offshore construction begin simultaneously? 
    Offshore construction will begin in 2023. Onshore construction must start first because it requires more time to complete.
Cable Route
  • How will the wind energy get to the grid?
    A buried electrical cable will connect the offshore wind farm to the existing East Hampton substation located off Cove Hollow Road. Offshore, the cable will be buried six feet beneath the seafloor. Onshore, the cable will be buried a minimum of three feet beneath existing roads and other rights-of-way like a typical underground utility. In the sea-to-shore transition area, the cable will be set approximately 80 feet under the beach and encased in a plastic conduit.
  • South Fork Wind will deliver power via a single, 138kV alternating current (AC) transmission line. Can you please provide a conversion of 138kV to amps? 
    South Fork Wind will produce no more than 132 MW, and at this output 138kV is 706 amps.
  • Where will the cable come ashore? And what route will it take to the substation?
    The cable will come ashore deep under Wainscott Beach at the end of Beach Lane. Power from South Fork Wind will be delivered to the existing substation located off Cove Hollow Road in East Hampton. The route from Wainscott Beach was identified as the preferred route because it would result in less impact to the environment and minimize community disruption by following lightly traveled roads and the Long Island Railroad right-of-way.
  • Will installation of the cable impact the beach?

    No. We will use a very common technique known as horizontal directional drilling (HDD) that allows us to drill deep under the beach without disturbing its surface. It also allows us to maintain public access to the beach throughout the construction process.

    HDD is a well-proven process that will enable the installation of an underground conduit (a plastic pipe) connecting the upland road to a point more than .3 miles offshore from the mean high-water mark. The submarine cable will be pulled through the conduit. As proposed, the conduit will be installed approximately 80 feet under the beach and deep under the nearshore area, ensuring it is well protected from erosion and impacts from major storms. The only visible evidence of a cable landing post-installation will be a set of standard manhole covers in the parking lot and a nicely restored road.

  • How deep will the cables be buried along the landfall and onshore route?
    The cable depth under the beach will be approximately 80 feet, measured from the edge of pavement in the parking lot and from mean low-water along the shoreline. Onshore cables will be buried a minimum of three feet beneath existing roads and other rights-of-way like a typical underground utility.
  • How can we be certain the cable won’t experience the same problems the BI Wind Farm cable has?

    A construction method called Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) will be used to set the cable under Wainscott Beach. This is a different construction method than was used initially for the sea-to-shore transition at Block Island. HDD avoids disturbance of the beach and ensures the cable will be set at a significantly greater depth (approximately 80 feet beneath the beach in Wainscott) protecting it from erosion over the life of the project.

    Importantly, the Ørsted-owned cable that connects the wind farm to Block Island was reset using the HDD process in 2021.

  • How can we be sure that you won’t land other future wind farms at this cable landing?

    The transmission infrastructure for South Fork Wind is designed to accommodate only power from its 12 turbines and a maximum delivered output of 132MW. Additionally, the project size is restricted by its permits and real estate agreements. In short, the project cannot be expanded.

    Additionally, the local grid in East Hampton is unable to accommodate additional large scale power injections.

  • Will residents living in Wainscott benefit from clean energy received from the offshore wind farm? 
    Yes, power from South Fork Wind will be delivered directly into the local grid. The project will supply enough energy to power approximately 70,000 homes each year.
Construction
  • How long will construction last on Beach Lane? 

    Construction on Beach Lane will take place initially between January and April of 2022. This phase of work will entail installation of two underground vaults located approximately 2500 feet apart, followed by installation of concrete encased conduit pipes connecting the two vaults.

    No work will occur on Beach Lane during May through September of 2022.

    Beginning in October of 2022, mobilization of the HDD equipment will begin, though active drilling will not start until November 15th, 2022. HDD is authorized to continue until May 1st, 2023 but is likely to conclude earlier. The conduit pipe in the Sea-to-Shore transition area will also be installed within this time frame once active drilling is finished.

    The HDD work must be complete and equipment removed by May 2023 to avoid a hefty fine. No ground disturbing activity is permitted between May 15, 2023 and October 2023, ensuring the area is cleared for the summer season.

    Resurfacing of the asphalt on Beach Lane and restoration of the grassy shoulder is scheduled for April of 2023. If time is insufficient, it will occur after October 1 of 2023.

    Splicing work is authorized to occur during the summer months on weekdays only. This work could occur only at the two vault locations on Beach Lane and would entail the presence of 2-3 utility trucks over a few days.

  • Will the onshore portion of the construction require Beach Lane to be widened? 
    For approximately 700’ along the HDD work zone (near the southern portion of Beach Lane) the project will expand the paved roadway (approximately 20’) to the full right-of-way width (approximately 50’). A temporary travel lane will be built along the western portion of this area. Once construction is complete, the roadway and adjacent landscaping will be restored to pre-construction conditions.
  • Will a trench be dug throughout the construction route to install the cables?
    Trenching will be used to install the underground cable infrastructure along the onshore route, beginning more than 500 feet landward of the southern end of Beach Lane where the sea-to-shore transition area ends. Areas between 200 and 600 feet will be opened at a time and filled and patched once the infrastructure has been set. These roads will be fully resurfaced following completion of onshore construction.
  • During construction will the project test soil contaminates? What is the process for removing soil and ensuring the environment is being protected? 
    The project will test soil, as applicable, in accordance with the approved Hazardous Waste and Petroleum Work Plan (HWPWP). The management of material excavated for construction will be performed in accordance with local, state, and federal regulations. It is presumed that fill and native soils can be managed for re-use on-site without additional testing as long as it does not exhibit certain characteristics as defined in the HWPWP. For soils not being re-used, soils are typically “live loaded” directly onto trucks for off-site transport and disposed at an approved facility. If the excess soil excavated from the trench is not contaminated, some soil may be retained at a project laydown yard for later use as backfill.
  • Will onshore construction have any impact on the water supply?
    No. The installed components are not sources of pollution. Additionally, the project permits require disposal of groundwater encountered along the route to avoid contamination.
  • Does the project have a plan to minimize the potential impacts to trees along the construction route?

    As part of our project design, and in coordination with the Town of East Hampton - our team has performed an inventory of all trees that are along the project route and developed a vegetation management plan, including tree and root protection plans to minimize potential impacts during construction.

    Importantly, no trees will be removed on Beach Lane or along other sections of the transmission route in Town-owned roads.

    The project will have an arborist and environmental monitor on-site during the excavation activities to observe and serve as an additional layer of protection.

  • During what hours will crews be working?
    Most onshore construction activities will occur between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. At certain locations, such as the Sea-to-Shore HDD zone and the Montauk Highway crossing, construction outside of these hours may be required.
  • You mentioned that some work may need to be done outside of the 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. work schedule. Can you please provide more information on the work that could be done outside of the 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. timeframe? 

    Limited and specific activities may be performed outside the standard 7:00 a.m. to 7: 00 p.m. work window if adequate notice is provided, or without notice in the event of extenuating circumstances. In the event of extended work hours, NYSDPS, the Town, adjacent landowners and businesses will be notified in advance, except in cases of an emergency.

    Activities permitted with adequate notice:

    • Cable pulling and laying, cable joint splicing, and some testing and commissioning activities at the Substation.
    • Activities that must comply with NYSDOT restrictions on daytime construction may be performed outside of the 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. window; in other words – night work where the transmission route crosses state-owned Route 27 (Montauk Hwy).

    Activities permitted without notice in extenuating circumstances:

    • Certain activities in the HDD Zone to protect life and safety or the integrity of the bore hole.
  • Will the construction of the project require our beach to be closed?
    There will be no impact to the beach during cable installation or operation. Access to Wainscott Beach from Beach Lane will be maintained throughout construction with the exception of brief, temporary restrictions during specific activities, such as vault installation.
  • Will the telephone lines along Beach Lane be buried?
    Along Beach Lane, the existing overhead utilities attached to the four most southern poles will be undergrounded and the poles removed.
  • Why have you chosen the onshore route that you have, why not take a different route?
    South Fork Wind has conducted extensive technical and environmental surveys, evaluated several landing locations on the north and south shores of East Hampton, and consulted with local stakeholders to determine the best route for the cable connecting the wind farm to the substation. Based on this evaluation, a cable landing at Beach Lane in Wainscott and the route shown have been identified as the preferred route and has been approved by the State Public Service Commission, as it allows us to minimize disruption, avoid environmentally sensitive areas, and stay within existing rights-of-way; and minimize disruption to homes, businesses and residents. Additionally, roughly half of the route is along the LIRR corridor, further reducing potential traffic impacts.
  • What safety practices will be implemented during the onshore construction work?
    Safety is of paramount importance to the South Fork Wind team. All Contractors are required to comply with the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and all other applicable federal, state, local laws, ordinances, regulations, and other project and site-specific permits. The program management document which guides the aforementioned expectations is the Contractor Safety Policy. The project will have safety professionals on site, to monitor and measure the implementation of the Contractor Safety Policy and, as necessary, develop corrective actions to ensure that worksite health and safety is not compromised.
  • Will there be any impacts to our emergency response times? What will you be doing to ensure that your project does not hinder our first responders?
    We will work closely with Town Officials and emergency responders to inform them of the planned construction activities and ensure minimal disruption. In addition, work in Town roads is planned to take place during off-peak season to take advantage of times with less traffic on the road.
  • Will workers be able to park along the route and the railroad?
    Consistent with permit requirements, crew members will be shuttled to the construction sites on Town-own roads and along the LIRR corridor.
  • Will trucks take up all lanes of traffic along the construction route?
    No. The project will maintain a lane at all times through the areas under construction. Flaggers will be on hand to support traffic flow and occasional short-term road closures that may be required.
  • Will there be any impacts to businesses along the route?
    The project has been designed to limit impacts to businesses in the area to the maximum extent practicable. Access to local businesses will be maintained during the construction activities but there may be some short term, localized and temporary impacts. South Fork Wind will provide residents and businesses with weekly updates via email of when and where construction is anticipated for the duration of the project.
  • Will Eversource and Ørsted repair property damage as a result of crews working on onshore construction actives?
  • I live along the route, will I be able to get out of my driveway while construction is taking place on my road?

    Yes, the construction team will have steel plates on hand to maintain access to properties. These steel plates can be installed within minutes or can be preinstalled to meet property owners’ schedules.

    The project team will provide weekly email notices with construction details to keep residents informed about the timing of construction near their properties. Members of the field team will also provide door-to-door notice to residences as the construction zone approaches, and field managers will be onsite at all times providing a point of contact for residents to discuss any access accommodation needs. Additional inquiries or concerns can also be relayed to info@southforkwind.com or 631-887-5470.

Oversight
  • Is there any oversight? Who makes sure you do what you say you’re going to?
    A number of state and local regulatory authorities are heavily involved in this project. Before we can begin construction, the project must earn approvals from multiple federal and state authorities. At the federal level, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) leads a review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that will include the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), and the Department of Defense (DOD), among others. At the state level, the Public Service Commission (PSC) leads a review under the Article VII of the Public Service Act that will include the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (SHPO), among others. The Article VII process has included participation by the Town of East Hampton and the East Hampton Town Trustees, in addition to dozens of other intervenors including local community groups and interested residents. The permits will require monitoring and reporting both while we’re constructing the project and after construction is complete.
Contact information
  • Where can I find additional information about the project?
    Additional information on the project can be found on our project website at www.southforkwind.com or by visiting our Open House Virtual View Room at www.southforkwindvirtual.com.
  • Who do I contact with questions that go beyond the information on the website?
    Questions can be submitted on our project website at www.southforkwind.com/contact-us or by email at info@southforkwind.com.
  • Will there be a project hotline?
    Yes. Questions or concerns can be directed to 631-887-5470.
  • Can I sign up for project alerts?
    Yes, please feel free to sign up for our mailing list to stay up to date on all project announcements and milestones at www.southforkwind.com/contact-us.
As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly with any questions you may have at info@southforkwind.com or call 631-887-5470.