The five-turbine Block Island Wind Farm will remain the nation's only offshore wind farm for a while longer after Deepwater Wind said it is pushing back the expected time frame for its other applications for new wind farms off Martha's Vineyard because of the coronavirus epidemic.
The Deepwater Wind application for the South Fork Wind Farm will be delayed, possibly for as long as a year, because of the novel coronavirus epidemic.
Representatives of Ørsted US Offshore, the company that purchased Deepwater Wind and the plans for the South Fork Wind Farm, said this week that they are anticipating its applications to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the New York State Public Service Commission will be delayed substantially by the epidemic.
Restrictions on non-essential business have interrupted the company’s ability to conduct needed geophysical and bathymetric surveys for its applications.
The company said it does not yet have a time frame for when the application preparations will be able to resume, but Ørsted announced last week another of its projects, the Skipjack Wind Farm off Maryland, was being delayed for a year.
“We anticipate a formal update from the federal government on our permitting timeline, which will inform our project schedule,” Ørsted spokesperson Meaghan Wims said on Wednesday.
The South Fork Wind Farm’s 15 turbines had been on track to become the second and, briefly, the largest offshore wind farm in the nation. The company had projected it would come online in 2022, shortly before several other much larger projects in the pipeline for development in the ocean south of Martha’s Vineyard.
Just before the pandemic exploded in the New York area, East Hampton Town had granted the company permission, for a second time, to conduct soil sampling along the roadsides the wind farm’s power cable would follow once it landed at Beach Lane in Wainscott, the company’s preferred choice of landing areas, and ran underground to the PSEG substation near East Hampton Village.
The application to New York State for the onshore portion of the $1 billion-plus project, is currently in the “settlement” phase, which has consisted of a series of private meetings between individuals, organizations and municipalities that registered as interested parties to the project, in an effort to iron out various concerns about details of the cable route from sea to substation.
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