Deepwater Wind Farm Hearing Thursday

Deepwater Wind's Block Island Wind Farm has been in operation since late 2016. The company is seeking local approval to bring a power cable ashore in East Hampton Town. Christopher Walsh

The East Hampton Town Board and the town trustees will hold a joint hearing on the proposed South Fork Wind Farm tonight at 6:30 at LTV Studios in Wainscott. 

Deepwater Wind, the Rhode Island company that built and operates the Block Island Wind Farm, a five-turbine installation that is the nation’s first offshore wind farm, seeks to construct the 15-turbine South Fork Wind Farm approximately 36 miles southeast of Montauk. The company is seeking easements from the town board and trustees that would allow it to land the wind farm’s transmission cable at the ocean beach at the end of Beach Lane in Wainscott and bury it in the public road right of way, on a path to a Long Island Power Authority substation in East Hampton. 

Deepwater Wind plans to submit an application to construct the 90-megawatt wind farm to the State Public Service Commission next month. The trustees, meanwhile, intend to file for Article VII intervener status with the P.S.C. Article VII is a review process under the state public service law covering any application to construct and operate a major electric transmission facility or fuel gas transmission facility. It requires a review of the need for, and environmental impact of, the siting, design, construction, and operation of such facilities. 

Many East Hampton Town residents have lined up in favor of, or in opposition to, the proposed wind farm. While commercial fishermen are largely opposed, fearing its impact on their livelihood, other opponents have questioned its impact on the cost of electricity. Advocates of renewable energy have been equally fervent in their support, stating that the wind farm is critical to the town’s goal of achieving 100 percent electrical power from renewable sources and a transition from dirty, fossil fuel-derived power.