As it had indicated earlier this month, Deepwater Wind has submitted an application to the New York State Public Service Commission for the portion of its proposed South Fork Wind Farm’s transmission cable that would lie in state waters and underground on a path from its landing to the Long Island Power Authority substation in East Hampton.
The application, submitted to the commission on Friday, includes Beach Lane in Wainscott as the transmission cable’s preferred route. The commission examines components of the project located in the state, which are the portions of the transmission cable within state waters and buried under roads or rights of way, as well as the interconnection facilities to be built at the LIPA substation. It will determine whether to issue a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need, as required under the review process known as Article VII, which covers applications to construct and operate a major electric transmission facility, allowing construction of the portion of the transmission cable under state jurisdiction.
The application can be seen at the Public Service Commission’s website, dps.ny.gov, and a link to the application will be added to Deepwater Wind’s website, according to Meaghan Wims, a spokeswoman for the Rhode Island company. Print copies are also to be made available at locations in East Hampton Town and Village.
“We look forward to the next steps in that process and encourage people to review our submission on the Public Service Commission’s website,” Ms. Wims said in an email on Tuesday. “Over all, the South Fork Wind Farm is moving forward on multiple fronts, including working with people on the South Fork to help make this project a reality by 2022.”
Deepwater Wind submitted a construction and operations plan for the installation to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in June, and an application to the Army Corps of Engineers is to be submitted in the coming weeks. Multiple other federal and state agencies must sign off on the project, a review process that may take up to two years.
The East Hampton Town Board voted in July to support the granting of an access and utility easement allowing the company to land the wind farm’s transmission cable in Wainscott. It also voted to hire an attorney to serve as outside counsel to the town attorney’s office for issues relating to the wind farm. The town trustees have also retained an attorney to guide them in negotiating a land-use agreement and their participation in the Article VII process. As Ms. Wims indicated, the wind farm could be operational by the end of 2022, provided the process proceeds according to schedule.
Deepwater Wind, which built and operates the nation’s first offshore wind farm, a five-turbine installation off Block Island, seeks to construct the 15-turbine South Fork Wind Farm approximately 30 miles from Montauk. The plan is controversial, with environmentalists and many elected officials calling it an essential component of the transition from fossil fuel-derived energy to renewable sources, and the commercial fishing industry almost universally opposed to it.
Many Wainscott residents also oppose Deepwater Wind’s preferred cable landing site, at the ocean beach at the end of Beach Lane, and are circulating a petition that they will deliver to the town board.
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