Networking during the trade show as Orsted/Eversource hold a supply...

Networking during the trade show as Orsted/Eversource hold a supply forum for Sunrise Wind Farm at the Long Island Marriott on Wednesday. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Opportunities abound for Long Island businesses in the wind farms being developed off the South Shore — but they are mostly on land because the farms’ electrical turbines, platforms and foundations are being built elsewhere, executives said on Wednesday.

A joint venture between Orsted and Eversource has secured permission to construct three wind farms in the Atlantic Ocean, off Suffolk County and New England. They’re now seeking local contractors to provide everything from security guards and ditches for buried electrical cables to cafeteria services and truck transportation.

Orsted, based in Denmark, and Eversource, based in Boston and Hartford also need local unionized construction workers to complete the wind farms and then technicians and engineers to maintain them for the next 25 to 30 years.

“We want to match up the opportunities for goods and services that we have with your businesses,” said Troy Patton, a top executive at Orsted’s North America operation. “We’ve made a commitment to a direct investment of more than $400 million here in New York.”

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Wind farm developers Orsted and Eversource plan to spend more than $400 million with companies in New York State on the Sunrise Wind project.
  • Local firms are being sought for construction, security, food services, building maintenance and landscaping, among other needs.
  • Another developer, Equinor, plans to hold a supplier forum on March 10 at Farmingdale State College.

That investment is tied to the Sunrise Wind project, which will be located 30 miles off Montauk Point and connect to the power grid via a Holbrook substation. The wind farm will be fully operational in 2025 and generate 924 megawatts of electricity or enough to power nearly 600,000 homes, he said.

Patton and other Orsted/Eversource officials outlined Sunrise Wind for local business owners and educators during a “supplier forum” held on Wednesday at the Long Island Marriott hotel in Uniondale. Another forum is planned for April in Suffolk County.

“There is the ability for local contractors, local vendors to participate — whether you’re supplying spare parts, equipment management and maintenance or food trucks to feed the guys on the construction site,” Peter Rooney, a construction vice president at Eversource who lives in Ronkonkoma, told the crowd of about 300 people.

He cited Haugland Group LLC, a Melville-based construction company, that has been hired to dig trenches, lay electrical cables and perform other work in Suffolk to connect Sunrise Wind to the Holbrook substation. Haugland also is working on South Fork Wind, a smaller Orsted/Eversource project for LIPA that will be completed late next year.

Rooney said Haugland has created 100 union jobs so far.

Haugland vice president Mathew Raymond said, “The opportunities for us and other local contractors [on Sunrise Wind] would be crane work, Porta Johns, fencing, security services, blueprints” and other tasks.

Diversity questions

Several audience members called on Orsted/Eversource to do more to ensure minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses win contracts to work on Sunrise Wind and the joint venture's other project, Revolution Wind, off Massachusetts.

The work “is going to the large contractors like it usually does, but it’s not trickling down like it should,” said Carol Kleinberg, president of Brooklyn-based Kleinberg Electric Inc. “You need to reach us because we can do the work as well.”

Meta J. Mereday, president of the nonprofit advocacy group Veterans Entrepreneurial Development Initiatives Inc. in Garden City, agreed, saying, “We need to make sure [the awarding of contracts] is diverse, inclusive and equitable across the board for the underserved communities on Long Island.”

Rooney, the Eversource executive, replied that his company and Orsted are “committed to helping all companies that want to participate.” He said the joint venture plans to open a regional operations center in East Setauket and a port facility in Port Jefferson.

More information about Sunrise Wind may be found at sunrisewindny.com/. To be listed on a state database of contractors, go to https://nyserda.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eIOXwkj4XqmynHv

Besides Orsted/Eversource, Norwegian wind-farm developer Equinor is reaching out to potential contractors for its three projects: Empire Wind I & II and Beacon Wind.

Equinor plans to hold a supplier event on March 10 at Farmingdale State College.

The company "is committed to supporting the development of a new domestic supply chain for offshore wind,” spokeswoman Lauren Shane told Newsday.

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