NIMBY concerns about a preferred landing site for a 130-MW offshore wind farm on Long Island’s South Fork have emerged as the project moves through early approval for its cable installation routes.

South Fork Wind Farm, under development by Danish giant Orsted, submitted its permitting application on Nov. 15 to the New York Public Service Commission (NYPSC) for installation of export cable for 3.5 miles from New York boundary waters to the South Shore of East Hampton and an additional 4.1 miles to an interconnection to an existing substation. 

Of concern to residents is the developer’s consideration of Wainscott Beach Lane as landfall for its 230-kV electric cable, in addition to running 460-kV lines throughout Wainscott, including at least 20 permanent vaults the size of ocean shipping containers, according to the Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott website. 

Michael McKeon, spokesperson for the nonprofit, says it has identified alternatives, including Hither Hills State Park, which it considers “significantly better.” 

An Orsted spokesman says the preferred Wainscott cable route would have the least impact to East Hampton roadways. 

“The Hither Hills cable route provides a viable alternative option, although it follows a longer, less direct route under state-owned roads and within the Long Island Railroad right-of-way to the East Hampton substation,” the spokesman says. Construction for either route would be confined to off-season. 

Si Kinsella, a Wainscott resident, says the highest contamination concentration levels of perfluoroalkyl substances exceed by ten times the Environmental Protection Agency health advisory limit of 70 parts per trillion in the preferred area.

The NYPSC is reviewing the two cable landing sites and the transmission cable route is expected to be finalized in 2020. East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc did not respond to calls from ENR.