A wind energy surveying contractor hoisted a 113-foot-long jack-up barge less than half a mile off Lido Beach and Long Beach to survey the best route for a power cable across the island- barrier to a power plant in Oceanside.

The survey team working with Stamford-based Equinor Wind will be stationed between 1/10th of a mile and half a mile offshore until March. Contractors are collecting soil samples and studying to potentially use the cable to connect the power plant to a wind farm project known as the Empire Offshore Wind Project with 1,000ft turbines 15 to 30 miles south of barrier island in the Atlantic Ocean.

Empire Wind has been selected to cover 80,000 nautical acres south of Long Island and depths of 131 feet to potentially power over one million homes in New York and Long Island. Construction could begin in 2024, then begin serving residents with wind power through the state power grid.

The barge and survey team began Jan. 10 off Lido Beach, where they will remain stationed for about 20 days, then head to central Long Beach near Riverside and Edwards Boulevard, officials said. the town of Equinor and Long Beach.

The survey will examine the seabed and the potential for landing through the Reynolds Channel to the EF Barrett Power Station in Oceanside. Crews will also have boats monitoring the Reynolds Canal.

“Offshore work, temporary surveys and surveys will be out of people’s reach in March,” said Ana Fisyak, Equinor’s community engagement manager. “We understand there are a lot of important stakeholders, including sailors and a huge surfer community, and we’re making sure the word gets out.”

Survey crews will work 12-hour shifts during the week and including weekends from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Officials said the survey work will not cause any noise or affect residents of the barrier island.

The wind farm and survey works are authorized by state and federal permits and approved by the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Survey vessels on the barge and surrounding boats will have species monitors to search for marine life and stop work for large mammals like whales offshore, Fisyak said.

City of Long Beach officials said they anticipate crews may seek access through public lands to reach the narrower sections of Reynolds Channel, Island Park and Oceanside. City leaders said they should consider permits to allow the cable to cross city lands while pursuing a community benefits package for the city.

“It’s a trade-off that city council will have to make if they’re willing to have a cable run through the city,” city spokesman John McNally told council members on Tuesday. “What’s the benefit to the community of making it interesting for city residents? We want to make sure that Long Beach residents end up on the safe side of things.”

Equinor held a series of public hearings in December over Zoom and plans to hold additional meetings online next month, with possible in-person meetings this summer. Officials said they were working with civic associations, fishing groups and surf shops to address any questions and concerns.

Wind survey work at sea

  • A 131ft long barge with legs reaching 175ft deep will be parked up to half a mile off Lido Beach and Long Beach until March
  • The survey will determine the locations of the electrical cables connecting the Atlantic Ocean to Oceanside.
  • The cables would connect an 80,000 acre offshore wind project powering 1 million homes on Long Island and surrounding communities.