Last week, local officials and energy company representatives gathered to pitch a project that would bring an operational facility to Port Jefferson to support a wind farm that would be located 30 miles east of Montauk Point.
The project, dubbed Sunrise Wind, is a joint venture between a Denmark-based renewable energy company, Ørsted, and Eversource, an American energy company with headquarters in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
The idea is to build an Operation and Maintenance Hub in the greater Port Jefferson area that Ørsted and Eversource say will create up to 100 new full-time jobs.
In a statement released about the project, the companies said the Operation and Maintenance Hub would include dockage for a 250-foot Service Operation Vessel, with a warehouse and office facility in the vicinity.
The Service Operation Vessel would serve as what they called a kind of “floatel” in a YouTube video (see below) describing life on the Operation and Maintenance Hub.
The ship would house workers as they take extended trips out to the wind farm. It would return to shore periodically, presumably to resupply and swap out personnel.
A representative from Eversource told GreaterPortJefferson in an email that no specific sites have been selected yet, but “access to the harbor is critical because of the boat.”
This is all dependent on Sunrise Wind being awarded the right to go-ahead with the project by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
Sunrise Wind is one of four proposers who submitted bids in response to a request for proposals (RFP) for 800 megawatts or more of offshore wind power for the state.
A NYSERDA representative called the response to the proposal “unprecedented and historic” in a statement sent to GreaterPortJefferson.
“Four proposers submitted a total of 18 bids, with projects up to 1200 MW, which if constructed, would be the largest offshore wind project in the U.S.”
The New York State Governor’s office has set a goal of 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2035. A statement about the award competition says the state has a mandate for 50 percent of its electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030.
State Assemblyman Steve Englebright said he was happy to see Port Jefferson Harbor chosen as a possible location for this clean energy project because of its long and sometimes contentious history with its oil-fired power plant.
He called it “a significant step in the village’s transformation into playing a part in the advancement of Suffolk County as the gravitation center of a renewable energy economy.”
The current RFP is closed to submissions and NYSERDA said an award announcement will be made this spring, but no deadline has been set yet.
Elected officials from Suffolk County, Brookhaven Town and Port Jefferson Village all look to this project as a way to solidify Long Island as a leader in offshore wind energy development.
Ørsted and Eversource had previously announced they will invest $10 million for the creation of a National Workforce Training Center in partnership with Suffolk County Community College. That partnership is also dependent on Sunrise Wind winning the NYSERDA award.
Port Jefferson Mayor Margot Garant said in a statement that the village’s deep water harbor makes it “uniquely positioned to support the state’s clean energy plan and to draw new and meaningful economic opportunity to the area.”