March 20, 2017 — More than 150 people crowded into Clinton Academy in East Hampton last Thursday for a look at the future of electricity generation, as representatives of Deepwater Wind, a Rhode Island company, presented its recently approved plan to construct a wind farm 30 miles offshore.
Those in attendance, including officials in East Hampton Town and Village government, were generally enthusiastic about the project. However, members of the commercial fishing industry, some of whom were at the meeting, continue to criticize the plan, fearing its impact on their livelihood and accusing both Deepwater Wind and local and state governments of ignoring their concerns.
Upon its anticipated completion in December 2022, the South Fork Wind Farm is expected to provide 90 megawatts of electricity to the South Fork, where demand is projected to continue to increase sharply. The installation, up to 15 turbines placed in federally leased waters, is expected to produce energy sufficient to power more than 50,000 residences.
The Long Island Power Authority authorized its chief executive to sign a 20-year contract with Deepwater Wind to buy the energy generated by the wind farm in January. The agreement includes a five-year extension option.
On Thursday, Deepwater Wind officials including Jeffrey Grybowski, the chief executive officer, and Clint Plummer, its vice president of development, said that a cable connecting the wind farm to the Long Island Power Authority substation on Buell Lane in East Hampton would likely make land either at the defunct fish factory at Promised Land or the parking lot at Fresh Pond Beach, both on Gardiner’s Bay. The cable would be buried beneath existing roads to the substation, they said. Onshore surveys of the proposed route are to begin in the spring.
A power purchase agreement with LIPA will be finalized this year, the Deepwater officials said, and permit applications will be submitted to state and federal agencies in 2018.