“Settlement negotiations” will continue between Deepwater Wind South Fork and interested parties in the coming week. The talks began in East Hampton on November 8 and will be reconvened Wednesday, November 20, with an additional session the following day.
The meetings are scheduled for East Hampton Town Hall and are closed to the public. The matter of moving the entry point for the offshore cable away from Wainscott and into Montauk will be discussed at that time.
A group of well-funded Wainscott residents have vowed to stop the process if it involves a Beach Lane landing in the hamlet.
“Alternative landfall options and terrestrial routes” will be the subject of the discussions.
A second proposed landing site, on state land in Hither Hills, is also on the table as an alternative landing site to Wainscott, but there is significant opposition from the business community. It entails burying a cable along Montauk Highway for almost 11 miles.
Deepwater is reportedly set to offer yet another landing site with a goal of getting some of the “interveners” — interested parties — to agree to move forward through the process, known as an Article 7 hearing.
According to James Denn, an information officer for the NY Public Service Commission, the settlement conference is underway, “to explore what the issues are” and to move the Deepwater application further along by identifying “areas of commonality.” There are currently 63 parties who have signed on as interveners.
Many have agreed to sign non-disclosure forms in return for being allowed to attend the settlement talks. That’s because they may be made privy to information that could rightfully be considered outside the public’s purview, Denn said.
East Hampton’s Zach Cohen is among them.
Zach Cohen Analysis
Cohen filed an analysis that refutes a recent cost estimate made by the Long Island Power Authority for the Deepwater electricity generated by the wind turbines. He estimated it would cost six times as much. He was also highly critical of the entire project.
“Deepwater Wind South Fork would provide little energy compared to other new wind farms. What it provides is not needed because the other large wind farms will be built soon. The DWSF electricity price is absurdly high. Its sub-station and cable installation in East Hampton have strong opposition — most of it correct,” he stated.