Wind Farm Master Plan to Be Discussed in Southampton

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will hold a public information meeting on the state's Offshore Wind Master Plan at the Southampton Inn on Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. The inn is at 91 Hill Street.

The meeting will follow other public information meetings to be held at the Long Island Association in Melville on Monday and at the Long Beach Public Library on Tuesday. They are meant to provide Long Island residents an opportunity to learn about the components of the Offshore Wind Master Plan. There will be informational exhibits and a chance to ask questions about the plan.

The Offshore Wind Master Plan's aim is to ensure that offshore wind is developed responsibly off Long Island's coast. It will identify potential sites that meet the state's siting standards and take into consideration environmental, maritime, economic, and social issues.

Deepwater Wind, a Rhode Island company, is planning to construct a 15-turbine wind farm approximately 30 miles from Montauk. The company also developed and operates the country's first offshore wind farm, a five-turbine installation off Block Island, which began producing electricity last year.

Members of the commercial fishing industry on the South Fork have sharply criticized the plan, which they say will disrupt and perhaps destroy essential fish habitat and spawning grounds and interrupt their business. Officials of Deepwater have addressed the public in East Hampton, holding an open house at Clinton Academy in March and later addressing fishermen at a meeting of the East Hampton Town Trustees, who have also questioned the proposed project. The trustees are continuing to research the proposed wind farm and plan to issue a report of their findings to the public.

All meetings start with a presentation and question-and-answer session at 6 p.m., which is to be followed by an open house.