Sunrise Wind will be composed of 95 Siemens Gamesa turbines with an installed capacity of approximately 924 MW. The potential capacity of the wind farm will be enough to power nearly 600,000 homes. The project is a 50/50 partnership between Ørsted and Eversource Energy, and is estimated to be fully operational in 2025. Sunrise Wind will support approximately 800 jobs through the project’s development, construction, and operation.
The Sunrise Wind Lease Area covers approximately 86,823 acres and is located in federal waters approximately 30.4 km south of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts and approximately 48.1 km east of Montauk, New York, and 26.8 km from Block Island, Rhode Island. The planned interconnection point is the Holbrook and West-Bus substation in the town of Brookhaven within the Long Island Power Authority’s (LIPA) service territory. The offshore export cables would be buried below the seabed in federal and New York State waters.
- 2023, February: NOAA, Incidental Take Authorization
- 2023, June: US Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Act Consultation Package Conclusion
- 2022, November: Filed Environmental Management and Construction Plan and Water Quality Certification with the New York State Department of Public Service
- 2022, August: Filed Clean Water Act (CWA), Section 404/Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, Section 10 Individual Permit and Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, Section 14 Individual Permit with the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cooperating Agency
- 2022, August: Filed Outer Continental Shelf Air Permit with the U.S. EPA
- 2022: Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need, Water Quality Certification, Consultation with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Consultation with New York State Office of Parks, State Historic Preservation Offices (NYSHPO), Consultation with New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, and Section 68 Petition from New York State Department of Public Service
- 2022, June: National Park Service Right-of-way Permit and Special use Permit deemed complete
- 2022, October: Filed Utility Work Permit with the New York State Department of Transportation-Region 10
- 2022, September: Filed Utility Work Permit with the New York State Department of Transportation-Region 10
- 2021, December: Filed National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Individual Permit with the U.S. EPA
- 2025, April: Offshore Construction Anticipated Start
- 2024, April: Onshore Construction Anticipated Start
- 2023, Q4: NOAA Letter of Authorization Anticipated
- 2023, July: Onshore Substation Construction Start
- 2023, February: Public Consultation Window on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement
- 2022, December: BOEM Announced Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement
- 2022, November: New York State PSC Approval
- 2022, June: NPS Permit Application Deemed Complete
- 2021, October: Geophysical Surveys and Site Investigations
- 2021, May: Construction and Operations Plan Submitted
- 2021, April: Geophysical Survey along Export Cable
- 2021, March: Issuance of Commercial Lease of Submerged Lands for Renewable Energy Development on the OCS
- 2020, February-March: Geophysical Surveys and Site Investigations
- 2019, July: Offtake Conditionality Secured
- 2013, July: Site Exclusivity
Key Environmental Issues
On December 16, 2022, BOEM announced the availability of the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the construction and operations plan submitted by Sunrise Wind, LLC for its proposed Sunrise Wind Offshore Wind Farm Project offshore New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. This notice announced the start of the public review and comment period, as well as the dates and times for virtual public hearings on the DEIS. After the comment period and public hearings, BOEM will publish the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) addressing comments received on the DEIS.
The DEIS assessed the potential biological, socioeconomic, physical, and cultural impacts that could result from the construction, operations and maintenance, and decommissioning of the Sunrise Wind. Recommendations (alternative options) were detailed on how to best monitor and reduce the project impact on the surrounding area. Noted resources included, but were not limited to: air quality, water quality, bats, benthic resources, birds, coastal habitat and fauna, finfish, invertebrates, essential fish habitat, marine mammals, sea turtles, fisheries, and cultural resources.
Environmental Papers and Reports
Sunrise Wind Construction and Operations Plan (Stantec Consulting, 2022)
Baseline Assessment: Sunrise Wind
|Receptor||Design and Methods||Results||Publications||Data|
The description of the affected environment and assessment of potential impacts to bats were developed by reviewing current public data sources related to bats, including published scientific literature and correspondence and consultation with federal and state agencies. |
Acoustic and vessel-based surveys were conducted within the Sunrise Wind project area.
|Complete Bats are generally expected to occur in the Sunrise Wind outer continental shelf only during migratory periods, particularly in August and September. Available information suggests that activity is likely to increase with proximity to shore.||Stantec Consulting 2022||No data publicly available.|
|Birds||Avian Assessment Species that may occur within the Sunrise Wind project area were based on observations made during the Bay State Wind and MassCEC avian surveys as well as results of NYSERDA 2016-2019 digital aerial surveys which overlapped with the Sunrise Wind Farm. Regional telemetry studies conducted from 2014 to 2017 indicated that piping plover, red knot, roseate tern, and comment tern have the potential to occur over Sunrise Wind Farm while migrating.||Complete
The impact-producing factors associated with the Sunrise Wind have the potential to affect migratory and resident marine birds such as loons and grebes, petrels, shearwaters, gannets, cormorants, sea ducks, gulls, terns and skimmers, alcids, and migrant passerines. |
Avian displacement from Sunrise Wind is not expected to affect populations of marine birds due to the small footprint of the project relative to the larger Atlantic outer continental shelf and the spacing between turbines
|Stantec Consulting 2022|
|Fish||Finfish and Essential Fish Habitat Assessment Fish species of economic or ecological importance that are present in the Sunrise Wind Farm project and surrounding region were selected based on literature review, agency correspondence, fish sampling results from the Block Island Wind Farm, and essential fish habitat source document review. Atlantic sturgeon were collected during trawl surveys in the New York Bight.||Complete Atlantic sturgeon are not expected to occur in dense aggregations and occurrences will mostly consist of migrating individuals. There is also no Atlantic sturgeon critical habitat designated in the vicinity of the project area.||Stantec Consulting 2022||No data publicly available.|
|Fish||Essential Fish Habitat Assessment Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) data and text descriptions were downloaded from the NOAA Habitat Conservation EFH Mapper and supplemented with additional literature sources where necessary. EFH data were queried using GIS software based on the boundaries of the Sunrise Wind Farm, the Sunrise Wind Export Cables, and the Onshore Transmission Cable Project components and manually verified. A 800-m buffer around the SRWEC route centerline was assumed in order to query the data.||Complete The fish and invertebrate species with early and/or late benthic life stages with designated essential fish habitat in the project area were found to be: Ocean Pout, Winter and Summer Flounder, Atlantic Sea Scallop, Longfin Inshore Squid, Atlantic Cod, Black Sea Bass, Haddock, Monkfish, Pollock, Red Hake, Silver Hake, White Hake, Scup, Windowpane Flounder, Witch Flounder, Yellowtail Founder, Atlantic Surfclam, Ocean Quahog, Little and Winter Skate, Sand Tiger Shark, Sandbar Shark, Smoothound Shark, and Spiny Dogfish||INSPIRE Environmental 2022||No data publicly available.|
|Fish||Ichthyoplankton Assessment To evaluate the potential entrainment of ichthyoplankton during operational OCS-DC withdrawals, species abundance data was obtained from the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) electronic database. Using RStudio software, the ichthyoplankton data that fell within the Sunrise Wind project area were extracted from the dataset and organized by species and month.||Complete Species that are expected to be most susceptible to entrainment impacts associated with operation of the OCS-DC include Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus), red hake (Urophycis chuss), Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus), and silver hake (Merluccius bilinearis). The commercially important species whose larvae could be most susceptible to operation of the OCS-DC include yellowtail flounder (Limanda ferruginea), summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus), and Atlantic butterfish (Peprilus triacanthus).||TRC 2022|
|Invertebrates, Physical Environment||Trawl Surveys and Data Analysis Pre-construction trawl survey monitoring will collect demographic information on fish and invertebrates including size structure, fish condition, diet, and reproductive status. The use of an asymmetrical before after control impact (BACI) sampling design will allow for quantitative comparisons of relative abundance and demographics to be made before and after construction, and between the reference areas and Sunrise WInd area. The trawl survey will be carried out on a seasonal basis, with four surveys planned for each year.||Planned Results pending||Sunrise Wind 2022||No data publicly available.|
|Marine Mammals||Visual and Acoustic Surveys Visual and acoustic surveys were conducted in the Sunrise Wind project area.||Complete
Mysticete and odontocete whales were observed in all seasons. During Sunrise Wind surveys, Atlantic spotted dolphin, short-beaked common dolphin, gray and harbor seals were detected withing and outside the project area. |
Construction, operations and maintenance, and decommissioning activities associated with Sunrise Wind and Sunrise Wind Export Cables, and onshore facilities have the potential to cause both direct and indirect impacts on marine mammals.
|Stantec Consulting 2022||No data publicly available.|
|Marine Mammals, Reptiles||Underwater Noise Assessment
Modeling characterized the sounds produced by the source, determined how the sounds propagate within the surrounding water column, and then estimated species-specific exposure probability by considering the range- and depth-dependent sound fields in relation to animal movement in simulated representative scenarios. |
Synthetic pressure waveforms for impact pile driving were computed using a Full Waveform Range-dependent Acoustic Model (FWRAM). The modeling incorporates site-specific environmental data including bathymetry, sound speed in the water column, and seabed geoacoustics in the proposed construction area.
Sound sources and fields and range estimates were modelled. Exposure and exposure range estimates for marine mammals and sea turtles were determined. |
For those animals that exceeded thresholds, the closest point of approach to the source was found for each animal and the range encompassing 95% of those closest points of approach was reported as the exposure range, ER95%. The species-specific ER95% ranges were determined for different broadband sound attenuation levels to simulate the use of noise reduction systems, such as bubble curtains. ER95% can be used for mitigation purposes, such as establishing monitoring or exclusion areas. Fish were static receivers, so exposure ranges were not calculated. Instead, the acoustic ranges to their regulatory thresholds were determined and reported for each broadband attenuation level.
|Kusel et al. 2022||No data publicly available.|
|Physical Environment||Benthic Surveys: Sediment Profile and Plan View Imaging (SPI/PV) Sediment Profile and Plan View Imaging (SPI/PV) surveys were conducted at the Sunrise Wind Farm project area.||Complete
Seven benthic macrohabitat types were documented during the site-specific SPI/PV surveys. During construction, seafloor disturbance and sediment suspension/deposition are expected to affect sessile species and organisms with limited mobility, including early life stages more than mobile species Impacts are expected to be temporary and cease when construction activity stops. |
Environmental protection measures to reduce potential impacts on benthic and shellfish resources were developed and are to be implemented.
|Stantec Consulting 2022||No data publicly available.|
|Reptiles||Sea Turtle Assessment
The description of the affected environment and assessment of potential impacts to sea turtles were developed by reviewing the most recent literature and studies available that focus on renewable energy sites in the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions. |
The review also draws from multiple years of protected species observer sightings data derived from different contractor datasets gathered during Sunrise Wind geophysical and geotechnical surveys undertaken across the project area.
Project-specific protected species observer data from Sunrise Wind Geotechnical Surveys conducted November 2019 through March 2020 detected no sea turtles within the survey area. In offshore waters of the project area, the leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles are expected to be commonly occurring particularly in the summer and fall seasons. |
During construction and operations and maintenance (O&M) of Sunrise Wind Farm, sea turtles are expected to experience impacts from seafloor disturbance, sediment suspension and deposition, noise, discharges and releases, trash and debris, traffic, and lighting. During O&M of Sunrise Wind Farm, sea turtles may additionally experience impacts from electromagnetic field and visible infrastructure.
|Stantec Consulting 2022||No data publicly available.|
Post-Construction Monitoring: Sunrise Wind
|Stressor||Receptor||Design and Methods||Results||Publications||Data|
|Collision||Birds||Acoustic Avian Monitoring and Analysis
Avian nocturnal flight and avoidance radar monitoring will be conducted in the Sunrise Wind project area (a specific system and methods will be identified closer to when the project begins operating. The results would be related to time of year and weather conditions, to increase the understanding on when nocturnal migrants may have higher collision risk. |
Sunrise Wind will implement a reporting system to document dead or injured birds found incidentally on vessels and project structures during construction, operation, and decommissioning.
|Planned Results pending||Wing Goodale et al. 2022||No data publicly available.|
|Displacement||Bats||Acoustic Bat Monitoring and Analysis Acoustic monitoring of bat presence will be conducted for two years post-construction. Contingent on a successful test, ultrasonic bat detector stations will be installed on the offshore convertor station, wind turbine platforms, and/or buoys. All bat calls detected and identified will be analyzed to understand relationships with time of day, season, and weather/atmospheric conditions. The results would provide information on bat presence offshore and the conditions under which they may occur near offshore wind turbines.||Planned Results pending||Wing Goodale et al. 2022||No data publicly available.|
|Habitat Change||Physical Environment||Benthic Monitoring Pre-construction and post-construction surveying of soft sediment habitats along the Sunrise Wind export cable-New York. A combination of Sediment Profile and Plan View Imaging (SPI/PV) imaging and sediment grab sampling will be used to monitor the benthic environments.||Planned Results pending||INSPIRE Environmental 2022||No data publicly available.|
|Noise||Marine Mammals||High-Resolution Geophysical Surveys and Marine Mammal Monitoring
High-resolution geophysical (HRG) survey activities may be required during construction and operations and maintenance (O&M) phases of the Sunrise Wind project. When underway, HRG survey operations will be conducted 24-hours per day, although some vessels may only operate during daylight hours. |
Monitoring and mitigation zones are established in the Sunrise Wind Incidental Take Authorization.
|Planned Results pending||Sunrise Wind 2022||No data publicly available.|
|Noise||Reptiles||High-Resolution Geophysical Surveys and Sea Turtle Monitoring
High-resolution geophysical (HRG) surveys will take place at various times throughout the construction and operations phases of the Sunrise Wind project. |
Monitoring and mitigation zones for sea turtles during HRG surveys will include a 500 m shutdown zone in all directions. This zone will be monitored around all vessels operating boomer, sparkers, or bubble gun equipment.
|Planned Results pending||LGL Ecological Research Associates 2022||No data publicly available.|