Wind power deal yields $170M in community benefits
David Winzelberg//March 20, 2023
As part of the agreement, announced Tuesday at a press event at Smith Point County Park, Sunrise Wind would pay a total of $169.9 million over 25 years, including $5 million towards construction of a Tri-Hamlet Park and projects in the community, according to a Suffolk County statement.
The Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency has also approved a $28 million payment-in-lieu-of-taxes for the Sunrise Wind project, which is expected to generate enough energy to power nearly 600,000 homes annually.
“I am proud that the Town of Brookhaven, in conjunction with Sunrise Wind, is taking the lead on a project that will generate clean green energy, create lasting employment, and put Suffolk County on the cutting edge of offshore wind operations,” Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine said in the statement.
The project’s wind turbines will be located about 30 miles east of Montauk and will deliver clean energy to the Long Island grid via a 124-mile power export cable. The planned onshore route for the transmission line includes making landfall deep under the beach at Smith Point County Park, then routing 18 miles under publicly owned roads and rights-of-way to a point of interconnection with the existing grid in Holbrook, according to the statement.
Sunrise Wind will be the second project to connect to the local grid in Suffolk County, following South Fork Wind, which is currently under construction and expected to be operational by the end of this year. Both projects are being developed through a joint venture between Ørsted and Eversource.
The investment includes $10 million for a National Offshore Wind Training Center in Brentwood; an operations and maintenance hub in East Setauket that will create up to 100 new jobs; $5 million for a research and development partnership with Stony Brook University; and hundreds of union construction jobs to build the 18-mile underground transmission infrastructure and interconnection facilities.
Port Jefferson has been designated as the home port of the project’s 260-foot service operation vessel.
“Offshore wind is our nation’s clean energy future, and Suffolk County is now firmly at the forefront of this industry,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in the statement. “In addition to the considerable benefits of this project, including hundreds of union jobs, the Host Community Agreement will generate millions of dollars in funding for important community projects including expanding sewers in the Forge River watershed.”
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Doreen M. Harris applauded the agreement.
“Now the residents of Brookhaven and Suffolk County can begin to benefit from hundreds of millions of dollars in local investments, a great example of what renewable energy development can bring to host communities,” Harris said in the statement. “NYSERDA looks forward to continuing to partner with Sunrise Wind as we work together to ensure these economic and environmental benefits unfold starting now, from construction through operation.”
Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said the benefits of a new renewable offshore wind economy keep giving.
“Fighting climate change, providing new job opportunities, and now investing in our communities with new tools for clean water and a healthier way of life,” Esposito said in the statement. “Bringing sewers to the Mastic community is a game changer and with this Host Community Benefit Package it is a reality. Thank you to Ørsted and Eversource for their commitment to being a good neighbor and understanding the needs of our community. Thank you to our elected leaders for their steadfast support in advancing these critical projects.”