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Orsted, Eversource pledge $5 million to Stony Brook University for wind-farm research

Wind developers Orsted and Eversource will partner with

Wind developers Orsted and Eversource will partner with Stony Brook's Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center, seen here. Credit: Stony Brook University

The developers of two offshore wind-farm projects slated to provide power to Long Island have pledged $5 million in research funding for a Stony Brook University energy center.

Orsted, the Danish energy giant, and its partner, Eversource, the New England utility and energy company, said they will partner with Stony Brook's Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center to support "multiple research projects" to "improve and advance" offshore wind development and grid integration. The funds will flow to the center this summer, an Orsted/Eversource spokeswoman said.

Among the areas of focus covered in a memorandum by the companies: offshore wind engineering, construction, and logistics; wind-resource assessment; power-grid integration; and coordination of project development with other ocean uses, such as commercial fishing.

Orsted and Eversource will feed a combined 1,000 megawatts plus of wind energy to Long Island, including the South Fork Wind Farm to feed the Hamptons, and Sunrise Wind, to connect at Smith Point.

David Hardy, chief executive of Orsted Offshore North America, said in a statement the partnership would "leverage the academic power of this world-class research institution and apply it to our projects."

Orsted/Eversource's offshore wind leases that will feed Long Island are located off the coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, requiring long transmission lines to reach their connection points, currently set at Wainscott and Brookhaven. Some Wainscott residents have sued and are attempting to incorporate a new village to block the connection at a popular Wainscott Beach.

Robert Catell, the former chief executive of KeySpan who is now chairman of the energy center's advisory board, called the center the "ideal location to conduct research to advance offshore wind technology and support economic development and workforce training."

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