The company planning to construct a dozen or more wind turbines in the ocean off Montauk has hired two former South Fork town government officials to lead their public outreach and relations efforts.
Julia Prince, a former East Hampton Town councilwoman, is leading the company’s community relations with Montauk residents and the commercial fishing industry in particular, where some of the loudest criticism of the project has been rooted.
Ms. Prince, who is from Montauk, served on the East Hampton Town Board from 2008 to 2012.
Deepwater Wind, a Rhode Island-based company, has also hired Jennifer Garvey, the former deputy chief of staff to former Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst. Ms. Garvey will serve as the South Fork Wind Farm projects program director, and head up the company’s work with local government agencies.
Most recently, Ms. Garvey, a Hampton Bays native, was a founding associate director of the New York State Center for Clean Water Technology at Stony Brook University, a scientific consortium working to improve nitrogen-reducing residential septic systems.
“We’re so pleased that Jen and Julia have joined our team,” Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski said in a statement from the company. “They’ve both lived and worked on the South Fork for years and are well-respected members of their communities. Their valuable local insight, deep roots in the community and considerable expertise will help guide our work to bring offshore wind energy to Long Island.”
The wind farm proposal would construct 12 to 15 turbines in the ocean 30 miles southeast of Montauk, about midway between Montauk and Nantucket. The turbines would supply up to 90 megawatts of electricity to the South Fork via an undersea cable that is expected to come ashore somewhere in East Hampton Town, to connect to the LIPA substation on Buell Lane in East Hampton Village.
The project has won the support of LIPA, which inked a contract last year to purchase electricity from the wind farm for 20 years starting in 2022, as well as from Governor Andrew Cuomo and renewable energy advocates.
But it has also drawn sharp criticism from some, commercial fishermen in particular, who feel the construction process, operation and electromagnetic pulses from the 40-mile-long power cable connecting it to land will harm marine life and possibly drive important seafood species away from their traditional migration routes.
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