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State’s first public hearings on wind farm proposal are on Tuesday, June 11

The New York State Public Service Commission will hold its first public hearing next week on its consideration of the application by the former Deepwater Wind to install a power supply cable from the South Fork Wind Farm to land.

The hearings will be opened for two sessions on Tuesday, June 11, starting at 3 and 7 p.m., at the East Hampton Village Emergency Services Building. Each session will be preceded by a one-hour informational period, at which attendees will be able to review details of the proposal by Ørsted U.S. Offshore Wind, formerly known as Deepwater Wind, to construct a 15-turbine wind farm about 30 nautical miles southeast of Montauk and connect it to the South Fork with a 50-mile power cable.

The hearings being held next week will technically pertain only to the portion of the project that will be within New York State waters—namely, the installation of the power cable. The construction of the 15 wind turbines themselves is being reviewed by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which has yet to schedule public hearings.

The proposal from Ørsted that will be the focus of the hearings calls for the cable to buried in a trench 4 to 6 feet deep plowed through the sea floor from the wind farm to a point about 1,500 feet from shore. From there the cable would dive into a conduit running as deep as 30 feet below the sea floor and beneath the ocean beach and into a point on land.

The proposal officially has two potential landing sites. One is at Beach Lane in Wainscott, which the company has said is its preferred site, a little more than four miles from the Long Island Power Authority-owned power substation near Buell Lane in East Hampton, where the wind farm electrical supply will connect to the grid.

The installation in Wainscott would require a horizontal drilling machine to be stationed on the Beach Lane parking lot during the weeks or months it would take to drill the deep conduit, and would require “vaults” containing the cable connections to be buried beneath the parking lot. The cable would then run beneath mostly town roads, north, until it met the Long Island Rail Road right of way.

The other landing site would bring the cable into the parking lot at Hither Hills State Park and require an approximately 11-mile underground route from the parklands to the East Hampton substation.

Both routes have sparked opposition from residents of the surrounding areas.