The head of Danish pure-play renewables company Ørsted A/S (CPH:ORSTED) said today that its 130-MW South Fork offshore wind project in New York is “very likely” to be delayed beyond 2022, similar to the Skipjack scheme.
Henrik Poulsen, CEO and president of Ørsted, commented that the company has already secured the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) “Notice of Intent” for the South Fork project, but is still waiting for a confirmed permit schedule from the federal government outlining when the Construction and Operations Plan (COP) will be granted. An additional obstacle is New York’s lockdown with relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As announced earlier this week, Ørsted has pushed back by a year the targeted commissioning of its 120-MW Skipjack wind project off the coast of Maryland as well, due to a delay in the permitting procedures. It is now pursuing commissioning by the end of 2023 instead of late 2022.
Today, Poulsen commented that those two projects, the earliest in its US pipeline, are the ones most exposed to the risk of delays. However, all of the company’s US offshore wind plans are moving at a slower pace than originally expected due to a combination of prolonged BOEM analysis and COVID-19 effects.
Ørsted is also working on the Revolution Wind, Ocean Wind and Sunrise Wind projects, having submitted COP applications for the first two. When it comes to Sunrise Wind, offshore site surveys have been stopped because of coronavirus-related restrictions. This adversely impacts the COP application process, Poulsen noted.
“So, for these three projects, we need more visibility on the path to COP approval before concluding whether commissioning in 2023-24 remains realistic. We expect to have more clarity after summer,” the CEO concluded.
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