The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has cleared the path for the 130MW South Fork Wind project offshore Rhode Island and New York to commence the turbine construction.

According to the US Department of the Interior (DOI), the BSEE has completed the 60-day review of the offshore wind project’s facility design report and fabrication and installation report.

The South Fork Wind project is being developed by a 50-50 partnership between Ørsted and Eversource Energy.

The partnership is expected to complete the construction and installation of the offshore wind turbines on the Outer Continental Shelf by summer 2023.

Located 56.3km east of Montauk Point, the offshore wind project will feature 12 turbines and a transmission system.

The facility will produce sufficient renewable energy to power more than 70,000 households and businesses in East Hampton.

It is also expected to directly support nearly 165 jobs during the two-year construction stage and about 10 long-term jobs for its operations and maintenance.

The offshore wind project was approved by the DOI in November 2021 with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issuing a record of decision.

The DOI stated that the South Fork Wind project will be the first commercial-scale, offshore wind energy project to begin turbine construction in federal waters in the US.

BSEE Director Kevin Sligh said: “Today’s announcement is a significant milestone for the Biden-Harris administration and the Department’s progress in offshore wind development on the Outer Continental Shelf.

“The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has the important responsibility of reviewing renewable energy projects and is committed to ensuring they will be built and operated in a safe and environmentally sustainable manner.”

The construction of the South Fork Wind project started in early 2022 and operations are expected to begin by the end of this year.