A proposal to build a 15-turbine wind farm in federal waters 30 miles east of Montauk Point came closer to fruition when the East Hampton Town Board approved two agreements with South Fork Wind, LLC.
A press release issued by theTown says that the project would be the first offshore wind farm in New York State.
The turbines will produce enough clean, renewable energy every year to power 70,000 homes, according to a fact sheet available on South Fork Wind’s website.
South Fork Wind is a joint venture between Ørsted, a multinational power company based in Denmark, and Eversource, a national energy leader with homegrown expertise in regional energy transmission. Recently, the partners purchased a facility inResearch Way in East Setauket to serve as their local base of operations.
There are also plans to make Port Jefferson harbor the home port of the first-ever American-flagged Service Operations Vessel (SOV) to support the project and others planned for the area.
“It represents a significant step for East Hampton Town toward its goal of meeting 100% of communitywide electricity consumption with renewable energy sources,” the statement said.
The agreement between East Hampton Town and South Fork Wind (formerly known as Deepwater Wind) will allow the underground installation in town rights-of-way of the onshore portion of a 132-megawatt electrical transmission cable, from the proposed cable landing site at Beach Lane in Wainscott to a PSEG-LI/ Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) substation at Cove Hollow Road in East Hampton.
South Fork Wind will pay $29 million in payments over 25 years to the Town and the East Hampton Town Trustees to benefit the community and residents. No mention of what the money will specifically be used for was made in the statement.
Both agreements will take effect only upon approval of the project by the New York State Public Service Commission and federal reviewing agencies.
“Today, by approving these agreements, I vote yes to advancing our commitment to renewable energy and continuing East Hampton’s long tradition of leadership in protecting the environment,” said East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc.
Van Scoyoc said that the project has undergone an “extremely robust review” and discussion by more than 70 parties – organizations, community groups, and individuals – to the Public Service Commission review and settlement proceedings. The project has also been the subject of two dozen public Town Board and East Hampton Town Trustees meetings over more than four years.
“We need urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions and speed the shift to renewable energies like solar and wind,” said East Hampton Town Councilwoman Kathee BurkeGonzalez.
The Town will remain involved in the ongoing reviews of the project, including by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and will represent the concerns of East Hampton’s fisheries industry.
A number of agencies and environmental organizations, including the NYS Department of State, Department of Environmental Conservation, and the state Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, along with groups such as the Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation, National Wildlife Federation, Group for the East End, Concerned Citizens of Montauk, and Citizens Campaign for the Environment, have voiced support for the wind farm, a joint project of the Danish company Orsted, and Eversource Energy, based in Boston.
“I believe that offshore wind, commercial fisheries, and other ocean users are capable of coexisting,” said Councilman David Lys. “We need to come together as a whole to protect East Hampton’s future, and the environment of the planet.”