South Fork Wind Farm

Offshore wind farm
From https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomsonecology/15079751399/

Submitted by Alice Tepper Marlin. (letter to the editor of the EH Star, July 2019)

The wind farm proposed to be sited out of sight, 35 miles off our shores, can make a significant contribution to slowing the climate change that so threatens our beautiful seaside community and all life on our precious, unique planet. It is crucial to our town commitment to be powered 100% by renewables by 2030.

To my consternation, opposition is being skillfully fomented by a few individuals who, for various self-interested reasons, loudly promote misinformation and even disinformation about the project and the company behind it, sowing unwarranted fear and distrust.

The brouhaha is over the onshore route of the transmission line carrying the wind-generated electricity from the turbines to the East Hampton substation. The entire line will be under ground. I have seen the equivalent on Block Island, and it is hardly noticeable. All you can see are occasional manhole covers.

Yes, there would be a few months of wintertime construction for installation, but the route from Wainscott is only four miles long and half of it is in the railroad corridor. So this disruption is in no way a big deal. Just a few months ago, ten miles of water main were installed in Wainscott, and not a peep was heard to challenge it.

What about Orsted? Orsted is a Danish renewable energy company and a global leader in offshore wind. Its new partner, Eversource, is a premier transmission builder with 100 years of experience providing energy in the Northeast. Orsted supplies over 25% of the world’s wind energy capacity. It has experience successfully building thousands of offshore turbines in Europe. Fishermen in England, The Netherlands, and France report positively, they say that the fish love these artificial reefs. If these were oil rigs, there would be not only climate damage but also occasional spills killing thousands of marine animals. What harm can we even imagine from a wind spill? In 2018, Orsted won aN award for the most socially responsible companies in the world.

Independent of East Hampton’s decisions, there will be two dozen government reviews before construction can begin. These will provide detailed environmental and other reviews at a technical level above and beyond what one might reasonably expect at the local level. Numerous top environmental groups are participating in the process. In addition, East Hampton has the right to submit all our questions and concerns in these processes. The town Board has already filed a submission.

The South Fork Wind Farm will be able to generate enough power for 70,000 South fork homes.

Our region has the fastest growth rate for electricity use on Long Island. Forecasts indicate that that all the electricity generated by the South Fork wind farm will be required in our local region But even if that proves not to be the case, what portion serves homes and businesses here and what portion serves homes elsewhere matters not a bit to its lessening of global warming and of the acidification of our waters. Acidification from burning fossil fuels has already been a factor in driving the lobsters north and harms all life in the ocean.

We as citizens have a duty not only to our local community but also to the nation.

Let’s think globally and act locally: let our Trustees and Board members know that you want to be counted and will welcome the wind farm.

Alice Tepper Marlin

Support for South Fork Wind Farm

East Hampton, NY

First there is this report “Labor, Environmental Organizations, and Long Island Residents Voice Strong Support for Critical Offshore Wind Development” released by the Sierra Club.

…and then this very poignant personal letter submitted at the PSC hearing on June 11th in East Hampton:

June 11, 2019

My name is Michael Hansen. I live in Wainscott.

Today is my wedding anniversary.

But I am here today instead… (my wife understands) because I am acutely aware that we are in a climate crisis. And it’s happening right now. It’s happening on Long Island. It’s happening in the Township of East Hampton.

1.   The docks at Shelter Island need to be raised because of a rising sea level.

2.   We are paying to shore up the infrastructure in Montauk because today’s “typical nor’easter,” is not typical at all.

But the opposition to wind power on the East End wants you to know, and they have said it many times, that they are, “for renewable energy, they are for solar power, they are for wind power… but not now, it’s too expensive, somewhere else, not in my backyard.”

We are paying for climate change right now. Our tax dollars are going to those docks in Montauk. Today.  

We are in a climate crisis and I am here today to speak for my children. My daughter is eight and my son is six.

My family has been on the East End for over three hundred years—as I am sure many of the families in this room have been—and my family and yours will continue to live here. And a wind farm, that is part of a comprehensive plan, is key to our children’s future.

A final word on Wainscott. The cable landing should be there. It will be least disruptive to East Hampton Town. And, ya know, Wainscott is tough. We can take it. We endured Suffolk County Water digging up our roads to provide us with clean water.

We can endure one lane of digging for clean energy.

Why all the fuss?

This is a cross section (a real piece) of the existing Block Island cable for their wind farm, consisting of 5 wind turbines that produce all the energy for the island with surplus energy for the state of Rhode Island. It is on my kitchen table. It measures 7 inches in diameter. It is similar to the cable that will bring energy from the South Fork Wind farm ashore.

“Carbon-free New York by 2040” is the overriding goal. Period.

If the urgency of achieving this goal is not apparent to any readers, just look at the most recent local news: “Higher tides force Shelter Island Ferry to rebuild ramps” This is a very real cost of sea level rise here on the South Fork! Check it out via Newsday.com.

And this is just the beginning.

On the other side of the issue we have loud opponents of the South Fork wind farm:

1) wealthy homeowners, with mansions on the Wainscott beach, who oppose any cable coming ashore in their vicinity, clearly a case of NIMBY

2) fishermen that have been whipped up with scare tactics.  I note that there are only 2 commercial fishing boats out of Montauk that fish in the Southfork wind farm area (OCS-A 0486, near Cox Ledge) which is closer to Rhode Island and Martha’s Vineyard than to Montauk.  From Montauk it takes 5 hours to get there by boat and 5 hours back.

For all those worried about a disruptive cable running under the sea bed and coming ashore somewhere, I would point out that a larger electric cable already feeds power in to Long Island coming all the way from New Jersey.  This dates back to 2007!  Like a giant extension cord, this transmission cable, named Neptune, stretches 50 miles underwater from Sayreville, N.J., comes ashore at Jones beach and has been plugged into Long Island for all these years without any nefarious effects on, or off shore. It is a 10″ cable and provides 660 megawatts.  

Likewise LIPA imports power from New England on the 330-megawatt Cross Sound Cable, which runs underwater from Connecticut. Two older cables, the 600-megawatt Y49 cable and the 599-megawatt Y50 cable, also run under the Sound to the Island.

Initial concerns about the effects on the shell fish industry were apparently not a problem over all these years.

Read more here:

Offshore wind project in jeopardy?

Submit a Comment to Show Your Support for the South Fork Wind Farm!

Take action!

As the per the Sierra Club, the first offshore wind project in New York is in jeopardy — act today to make sure we build the clean renewable, energy we need to meet New York’s bold climate commitments. 
 

New York has made bold climate commitments to power our state with 100% clean, renewable energy by 2040. The South Fork Wind Farm is a critical clean, renewable energy project that will help us meet this goal, but a few vocal opponents are trying to slow down renewable energy and climate progress.

You can play a role. The Public Service Commission (PSC) is collecting public comments. Let Governor Cuomo and the PSC know we must get this first offshore wind project built to lay the groundwork for future wind projects and to meet our bold climate and clean energy goals.

Public Comment on Deepwater Wind South Fork

www.southforkwindfarm.com.

STATE OF NEW YORK PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
CASE 18-T-0604 -Application of Deepwater Wind South Fork, LLC for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the Construction of Approximately 3.5 Miles of Submarine Export Cable from the New York State Territorial Waters Boundary to the South Shore of the Town of East Hampton in Suffolk County and Approximately 4.1 Miles of Terrestrial Export Cable from the South Shore of the Town of East Hampton to an Interconnection Facility with an Interconnection Cable Connecting to the Existing East Hampton Substation in the Town of East Hampton, Suffolk County.

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that public comment is sought on a request by Deepwater Wind South Fork, LLC, (Deepwater) for authorization to build and operate an electric transmission line. If granted, Deepwater would be authorized to build an approximately 3.5 mile submarine export cable from the New York State Territorial Waters boundary to the South Shore of the Town of East Hampton in Suffolk County and approximately 4.1 miles of 138 kV terrestrial export cable from the South Shore of the Town of East Hampton to an interconnection facility with an interconnection cable to an existing East Hampton Substation (the Project). The Project would connect the proposed South Fork Wind Farm, located in federal jurisdictional waters on the Outer Continental Shelf, to the existing mainland electric grid in the Town of Easthampton.

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that opportunities for public information and comment regarding Deepwater’s request will be provided as follows:

Date: June 11, 2019
Location: East Hampton Firehouse
1 Cedar St
East Hampton, NY 11937
Afternoon: Information Forum – 2:00 PM
Public Statement Hearing – 3:00 PM
Evening: Information Forum – 6:00 p.m.
Public Statement Hearing – 7:00 p.m.

During the scheduled informational forums, maps of the proposed route will be available to review, New York State Department of Public Service Staff representatives will give a short presentation on the review process in this case, and Deepwater representatives will be available to answer questions about its proposal. The public is welcome to stop in at any time during the informal informational forums to review information and ask questions.

Each informational forum will be followed by a public statement hearing where all those wishing to comment on Deepwater’s request will have an opportunity to make a statement on the record before an Administrative Law Judge. It is not necessary to make an appointment in advance, or present written material to speak at the hearing. Persons will be called to speak after completing a request card. Each public statement hearing will be held open for at least one-half hour and, where practicable, will be kept open until everyone wishing to speak has been heard or other reasonable arrangements have been made. A verbatim transcript of each hearing will be made for inclusion in the record of this proceeding.

Persons with disabilities requiring special accommodations should call the Department of Public Service’s Human Resources Management Office at (518) 474-2520 as soon as possible. TDD users may request a sign language interpreter by placing a call through the New York Relay Service at 711. Individuals with difficulty understanding or reading English are encouraged to call the Commission at 1-800-342-3377 for free language assistance services regarding this notice.


Other Ways to Comment 
For those who cannot attend or prefer not to speak at a public statement hearing, there are several other ways to comment about this case to the Commission. Comments should refer to “Case 18-T-0604 – Deepwater.”

Internet or Mail: Go to www.dps.ny.gov, click on “Search,” search using case number “18-T-0604” and then click the “Post Comments” button at the top of the page; or send comments to the Secretary for the Commission atsecretary@dps.ny.gov. Alternatively, comments may be mailed or delivered to Hon. Kathleen H. Burgess, Secretary, Public Service Commission, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12223-1350.

Toll-Free Opinion Line: You may call the Commission’s Opinion Line at 1-800-335-2120. This number is set up to take comments about pending cases from in-state callers, 24 hours a day. These comments are not transcribed verbatim, but a summary is provided to the Commission.

Although comments submitted via these alternate means will be accepted throughout the pendency of this proceeding, they are requested by July 12, 2019. Written comments received by the Department will become part of the record considered by the Commission. Written comments may be viewed online (go to www.dps.ny.gov, click on “Search,” search using the case number and then click on the “Public Comments” tab). Many libraries offer free Internet access. The application may be viewed at www.dps.ny.gov  (search using the case number) or at the East Hampton Library (East Hampton), the Hampton Library Central Library (Bridgehampton), the Amagansett Free Library Central Library (Amagansett) or the Springs Library (East Hampton).

(SIGNED)                

KATHLEEN H. BURGESS
Secretary

Myth: No Wind in the Summer ?

Facts: Wind energy is an indirect form of solar energy.  Wind energy is stronger and more reliable offshore here because wind energy is affected by friction and the rotation of the Earth (Coriolis). Friction near the surface of land and ocean is called “surface roughness.”  Surface roughness includes buildings, topography, forests, and on the ocean surface: waves. “Therefore the Offshore Wind Industry is gradually becoming an important part of the global energy mix. In some regions of the world (e.g. the northeast region of the United States ), offshore wind is the most promising renewable energy resource.” Fundamentals of Ocean Renewable Energy: Generating Electricity from the Sea,Simon Neill M Reza Hashemi, eBook ISBN: 9780128104491, Imprint : Academic Press Published Date: 12th June 2018.


But is there wind in the summer? Opponents to renewable energy say “No”. However a new study at Rutgers University dispels that myth.
“The Rutgers study, published last September, found that not only do sea breezes travel three times farther offshore than onshore, but that the breezes are stronger during upwelling conditions, most common in the summer and fall, which is when water in deeper levels of the ocean rise to the surface. Thanks to the study, developers now know which months to expect the greatest potential wind energy.” 

https://www.philly.com/news/new-jersey/rutgers-helps-offshore-wind-firms-predict-coastal-breezes-20190127.html


https://njmonthly.com/articles/towns-schools/steve-adubato-only-in-nj/offshore-wind-farms-nj/?fbclid=IwAR1e4lFZoyeqsDQ00XUQgh8Adwtk2BcAJ9g_Iit9R-STUyRW-hurHwAYPyw#.XK3s1J6VLw4.facebook

From: Cate Rogers