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In Amagansett, Pushback on Offshore Wind Farm

Thu, 07/11/2019 - 19:34

Monday night’s meeting of the Amagansett Citizens Advisory Committee was almost entirely taken up by PowerPoint presentations on Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind’s proposed South Fork wind farm. 

Jen Garvey of Orsted spoke about the two possible locations for the cable-landing area: Beach Lane in Wainscott and Hither Hills in Montauk; Si Kinsella of Wainscott, who opposed the Wainscott landing, followed with a critique of the latter location, which would have heavy infrastructure passing along Route 27 on Napeague and on through Amagansett and East Hampton Main Streets. In Wainscott, opponents of the Beach Lane location were “not happy with my being here tonight,” he said, as “it would make you understand the problem and be against the Hither Hills alternative.”

Mr. Kinsella predicted, among other things, that should the cables run through Napeague, they will be “sitting in the water table” and subject to corrosion. Ms. Garvey said he was exaggerating, and called his assertion that ratepayers here would be paying far more for wind power than those in other places where Orsted has such installations, 

“deceptive.” They exchanged words for a time, interrupting each other, until Carl Hamilton spoke out: “If they get in a pissing match, I’ll walk out.”

There was a brief question-and-answer session at the end of the 80-minute exchange, during which the mood of the members seemed to swing against the Hither Hills landing site. “This project has not gone through the proper planning channels,” said Rachel Gruzen. 

“This is not the right place to experiment,” said Randi Ball, the commitee’s co-secretary. “Bring it back downIsland.” 

“What’s in it for us except higher rates?” asked Michael Cinque of Amagansett Wine and Spirits. 

 East Hampton Town Councilman David Lys, the committee’s liaison to the town board, wrapped up the evening with the announcement that Cavaniola’s Gourmet Cheese Shop in Amagansett Square has applied to the State Liquor Authority for a license to serve wine and beer for takeout. Finally, in response to a question from Vicki Littman about the proliferation of very short-term rentals in the hamlet, and how the town is monitoring them, Mr. Lys replied that “it’s something we might have to outsource.”