The state Public Service Commission on Thursday approved plans for a vital 25-mile cable that will connect the state's largest new wind-energy array to the Long Island electric grid at Holbrook.
The Sunrise Wind project, which will be central to the state and Long Island's plan to replace aging fossil-fuel power plants with zero-carbon offshore wind power, is expected to be operational by 2025.
Construction will begin early next year, and the cable plan has the backing of state and local officials, including Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine. Romaine in a statement said he supported the plan by Gov. Kathy Hochul's administration — and the 800-plus jobs it promises to bring.
The PSC still must approve the cable project's environmental management and construction plan before work begins, Hochul's office said.
The lack of opposition is in stark contrast to that for South Fork Wind on the East End, where some Wainscott residents have strongly opposed a cable through their neighborhood. Construction began earlier this year.
Sunrise Wind's turbines will be built off the Massachusetts/Rhode Island coast, 30 miles from Montauk Point, and won't be visible from Long Island, the developers have said.
The cable, which will run 5.2 miles under state waters and emerge at Smith Point for a 17-mile land run up along the William Floyd Parkway, is a critical part of the project, which the developers say will provide power for about 600,000 homes — more than half LIPA's total customer base. It is being developed by Denmark-based Orsted and its U.S. partner Eversource. (Eversource has since said it is attempting to sell off its wind-energy holdings.) The two companies are also developing South Fork Wind, which is under contract to LIPA.
Plans for the cable involved state and county legislative action to pave the way for power lines under two county parks, including alienation of about 100 acres of parkland, Newsday reported.
Sunrise Wind in a statement said the PSC's approval "affirms that Sunrise Wind can be built while minimizing community and environmental impacts and helping New York State achieve its vision for a 100% clean energy future."
The state has awarded more than 4,300 megawatts in wind-energy projects.