The Public Service Commission of the New York State Department of Public Service will hold informational forums and public statement hearings on a component of the proposed South Fork Wind Farm on Tuesday at the Emergency Services Building in East Hampton. Informational forums will be held at 2 and 6 p.m., each to be followed by public statement hearings at 3 and 7.
Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind, formerly known as Deepwater Wind, proposes the 15-turbine installation to be constructed approximately 35 miles east of Montauk. The company, which was acquired by the Danish energy company Orsted last year, has applied to the Public Service Commission for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need to construct an export cable connecting the wind farm to the Long Island Power Authority substation near Buell Lane in East Hampton.
If the commission grants permission, Orsted would be authorized to bury approximately 3.5 miles of the wind farm’s export cable in the seabed under state territorial waters, and approximately 4.1 miles underground from the landing site to the substation. Tuesday’s forums and hearings pertain to that export cable.
During the forums, maps of the proposed route will be available to review, commission representatives will give a short presentation on the review process in this case, and Orsted representatives will be available to answer questions. The public has been invited to arrive at any time during the sessions to review information and ask questions.
Those wishing to comment on Orsted’s request will have an opportunity to do so on the record before an administrative law judge during the public statement hearings. Appointments are not necessary, and people will be called to speak after completing a request card. Each hearing will be held open for at least a half-hour and, where possible, kept open until everyone wishing to speak has been heard or other reasonable arrangements have been made. A transcript of each hearing will be made for inclusion in the record.
Those who cannot attend or would prefer not to speak at such a hearing can register comments at dps.ny.gov by clicking on “Search,” using case number 18-T-0604, and clicking on the “Post Comments” button at the top of the page. Comments can also be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to Hon. Kathleen H. Burgess, secretary, Public Service Commission, 3 Empire State Plaza, Albany 12223-1350. The commission’s opinion line can also be called 24 hours a day at 800-335-2120.
Comments will be accepted while the proceedings are pending but have been requested by July 12. Written comments will become part of the record considered by the commission, and can be seen at dps.ny.gov by clicking on “Search,” using the case number, and then clicking on the “Public Comments” tab.
The application can be seen at dps.ny.gov using the case number, or at the East Hampton Library, the Hampton Library in Bridgehampton, the Amagansett Library, and the Springs Library.
Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind has identified the ocean beach at the end of Beach Lane in Wainscott as the preferred site for the cable landing. At the town board’s meeting on Tuesday, Councilman Jeff Bragman told his colleagues that Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind has indicated to the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee, to which he is the board’s liaison, that it is “putting a hold” on plans to land the cable at the Beach Lane site and that it considers an alternative site it previously identified — Hither Hills State Park in Montauk — a viable one. He called that “a fairly dramatic development” that the committee, which met on Saturday, welcomed.
Meaghan Wims, a spokeswoman for Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind, wrote in an email on Monday, “Our South Fork Wind Farm project plans and permitting efforts remain unchanged and on schedule. We continue to have constructive dialogue with all project stakeholders, including the East Hampton community, regarding the cable route options identified in our permit applications.”