A group composed of the New York State Public Service Commission and more than a dozen stakeholders, including the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), last week agreed to and adopted a plan to build a transmission line that would link a proposed offshore wind farm to the state’s power grid.
The 7.6-mile transmission line would connect the proposed 132-megawatt (MW) South Fork wind farm sited 35 miles east of Montauk Point to a substation in the Town of East Hampton in Suffolk County on the east end of Long Island. The transmission line is due online by 2023.
On September 14, 2018, Deepwater Wind South Fork, the developer of the wind farm, filed for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for the construction of approximately 3.5 miles of submarine cable from the New York State territorial waters to the south shore of East Hampton and approximately 4.1 miles of underground cable from the south shore to an existing East Hampton substation.
In addition to requiring that the cable will be buried at least 30 feet below the surface of Wainscott Beach, where the project is to make landfall, other conditions will limit construction periods to off-peak seasons to ensure construction-related impacts are minimized.
The joint proposal was agreed to by Deepwater Wind, staff of the Department of Public Service, the Department of Environmental Conservation, Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Department of State, the Department of Transportation, the Town of East Hampton trustees, PSEG Long Island, which operates LIPA under contract with the state, Concerned Citizens of Montauk, the Group for the East End, Montauk United, Win With Wind, and others.
The South Fork wind farm and the transmission project were selected by PSEG Long Island through a 2015 competitive bidding process that sought new sources of power generation to cost effectively and reliably supply the South Fork of Suffolk County with electric power.
LIPA’s board of trustees in 2017 approved the project, which will the nation's largest offshore wind farm and the first offshore wind farm in New York.
PSEG Long Island, in a statement, said the wind farm and transmission line will serve the public interest by contributing to the goals of New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) and Clean Energy Standard.
New York State has a mandated goal of achieving economy-wide carbon dioxide neutrality and a zero-carbon dioxide emissions electricity sector by 2040. The state’s energy plan includes a $3.9 billion investment in 67 large-scale renewable projects across the state, the creation of more than 150,000 clean energy jobs, and a commitment to develop over 1,800 MW of offshore wind by 2024.