Northeast
Mark Harrington / Newsday

NY - South Fork Wind Farm project to reduce turbines from 15 to 12

Developers of a planned offshore wind farm to power the South Fork have agreed to reduce the number of turbines for the LIPA-contracted project to 12 from 15, but Rhode Island fishermen offered a $12 million compensation package say the turbine reduction won't help and the package is inadequate.

Developers of a planned offshore wind farm to power the South Fork have agreed to reduce the number of turbines for the LIPA-contracted project to 12 from 15, but Rhode Island fishermen offered a $12 million compensation package say the turbine reduction won't help and the package is inadequate.

Orsted and Eversource, partners on the $2 billion-plus project set to be built off the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts by 2023, disclosed the change last week before a Rhode Island coastal commission that is considering whether to issue a permit for the project.

In a statement, the companies said they will "move forward with the reduction of the project's total turbines from 15 to 12," while offering a compensation package for Rhode Island fishermen. The $12 million, if accepted, would cover lost earnings, among other things, for those kept from fishing either by construction or placement of the turbines themselves.

Newer models have more capacity, companies say

The reduction in turbines won't reduce the project's power output of 130 megawatts, enough to power up to 70,000 homes, the companies have said. Newer turbine models are taller and have greater power capacity. South Fork is expected to use 11-megawatt turbines, Wims said.

Asked if the companies were prepared to offer a similar compensation package for New York fishermen who trawl in that area, Wims said they are eligible for compensation for "gear loss due to interaction with project equipment activities, and for temporary displacement of commercial fishing during construction, maintenance and decommissioning.

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