Stop Deepwater from destroying our beach and hamlet

Without additional community action, foreign-owned Deepwater Wind LLC will land its 230,000-volt electric cable on Beach Lane beach and then run 460,000-volt lines throughout Wainscott. While we are very supportive of alternative energy sources (e.g., wind, solar) and conservation, installing permanent power line infrastructure in the water and on land (including at least 20 permanent vaults the size of ocean shipping containers along the land route) will permanently alter an already fragile, eroding beach and community. Deepwater itself has identified multiple viable and more reasonable already-identified alternatives.

We need your help now.

Deepwater only recently (Fall 2018) filed for permission to land its massive high-power cable on Beach Lane, one of the most popular public and scenic beaches in the Hamptons. Due to the community’s work together, Deepwater:

230,000 volts will be run beneath Wainscott Beach, 460,000 volts will be run throughout Wainscott and 20 previously unknown ocean container-sized ‘vaults’ installed along route. (Thanks to Si Kinsella for this and some of the original evaluation of Deepwater’s plans.)
  1. Divulged it now would run powerlines twice as powerful on Wainscott Beach, Beach Lane beach and other local Wainscott roads than originally communicated. Deepwater subtly amended its original filing to:
  • Double the capacity of its ‘export’ line: It will now be 230,000 volts, rather than its originally communicated 138,000 volts; and
  • Double the onshore lines: It wants to run two 230,000-volt lines, so 460,000 volts total, throughout Wainscott;

To put that in perspective:

  • The new voltage is equivalent to having extra-high voltage (EHV) overhead power lines running just beneath the surface. EHV-classified lines start at 345,000 volts and are used for long distance, very-high power transmission; and
  • These high-voltage cables have the capacity to deliver 8X more electricity than can be generated by the planned and communicated 90-megawatt wind farm;

2. Admitted for the first time it will need to dig at least 20 permanent vaults the size of ocean shipping containers (the smallest of which is 26’4” x 9’4” x 10’) throughout Wainscott. For example, its construction plans show that two of these massive vaults alone will be in front of our beloved Lisa and Bill’s Farm Stand; Continue reading “Stop Deepwater from destroying our beach and hamlet”

Assemblyman Thiele withdraws support, citing Deepwater’s “classic ‘bait and switch'” and “unethical tactics”

A former supporter of Deepwater and the South Fork Wind Farm, New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (District 1) withdrew his support for Deepwater on Jan. 24, 2019, once he had seen the new information. He wrote:

This is the classic “bait and switch.” What we were originally told about the project and its goals are no longer true. A project originally proposed by an American company to address the growing energy needs of eastern Long Island, now is to be part of the portfolio of an international energy giant, whose first decision was a 44% increase in the size of the project. We are left to imagine what other changes might be made or what other projects might show up on our doorstep in the future … Continue reading “Assemblyman Thiele withdraws support, citing Deepwater’s “classic ‘bait and switch’” and “unethical tactics””

Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott, Inc., sends formal letter to Town Board to stop Deepwater from starting premature drilling

Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the hamlet, has now engaged capable environmental advisors and legal counsels, among other actions. We have written the Town Board to prevent Deepwater from prematurely starting by drilling 194 pits throughout Wainscott and boring two one-hundred-foot holes using heavy machinery.

See our full letter here: 2019-01-31 – E. Seiler Letter to Town of E. Hampton Board

Town-appointed committee votes 10-2 against Deepwater’s Wainscott landing site

The Town-appointed Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee (WCAC) overwhelmingly voted (10-2) against a Beach Lane landfall site in December due to community members voicing their concerns. They wrote the Town Board, who appointed them, on Christmas Eve:

It is evident in Exhibit 3 of the Public Service Commission filing, “South Fork Export Cable Landing Site Alternatives,” that there are numerous advantages to using the Hither Hills site. As a Town appointed body representing the people of Wainscott, the WCAC requests that the Town not grant an easement to Deepwater Wind to come on shore at Beach Lane. This request represents the large majority of the WCAC and Wainscott residents …

Continue reading “Town-appointed committee votes 10-2 against Deepwater’s Wainscott landing site”

Deepwater tries to pull a fast one and start drilling early … and members of the Town Board want to abet them

 

The implications of Deepwater and the Town Board’s lack of transparency and attention to the interests of Wainscott hamlet residents is now imminent. At a Town Board working session on January 15, 2019, Deepwater revealed to the public for the first time that they planned to start exploratory work in Wainscott immediately by:

  • Drilling nearly 194 pits throughout Wainscott and
  • Boring two one-hundred-foot holes using heavy machinery

along Beach Lane, Wainscott Main Street, Sayres Path, Wainscott Stone Road, and Wainscott Northwest Road. Consistent with its deceptive pattern of operations and clear contempt for East Hampton residents, Deepwater made no mention of any of this just 10 days earlier when they spent three hours at the heavily attended Wainscott community meeting on January 5 to (unsuccessfully) defend its overall project. Not one word.

Continue reading “Deepwater tries to pull a fast one and start drilling early … and members of the Town Board want to abet them”

Town pulls a fast-one at Feb. 7 Board meeting, barely approving premature and accelerated drilling

Deepwater’s request to bore two 100-foot holes and dig 194 holes throughout Wainscott was not on the published Town Board agenda for Feb. 7. But without public notice (and inconsistent with good government practices), Supervisor Peter van Scoyoc brought the resolution up anyway. So without public comment, a narrow majority of the Town Board (3-2) voted to allow Deepwater to accelerate its plan to run its high-powered lines through Wainscott with these geological and archaeological test pits. If these ‘tests’ are not controversial, then why no public comment and such secrecy?

Continue reading “Town pulls a fast-one at Feb. 7 Board meeting, barely approving premature and accelerated drilling”

Actions you can take now

We need your help now and it is the perfect time for action. Deepwater filed with the New York State Public Service Commission (September 18, 2018) and the Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (October 17, 2018) for permission to land its massive high-power cable on Beach Lane, one of the most popular public and scenic beaches in the Hamptons.

Your immediate action is needed:

1. Sign the petition. Please join hundreds of neighbors who have already signed our petition. You can sign online here;

2. Email the New York State Public Service Commission rejecting the proposed landing at Beach Lane. Under its Article VII review process, the Commission wants and solicits community comments. They matter a lot. Electronically submit them on the Public Service Commission website. Alternatively you can email your comments to secretary@dps.ny.gov (make sure to reference Case 18-T-0604 Application of Deepwater Wind South Fork);

Continue reading “Actions you can take now”

More than 1,000 sign petition and letter protests arbitrary Town Board decisions

We wrote the Town Board on Dec. 11, 2018, delivering the petition signed by more than 1,000 Wainscott community members

Dear Peter, Sylvia, Jeff, Kathee, and David,

The Town Board should revisit its decision of its intent to grant Deepwater Wind South Fork LLC an easement to land its high-power electric cables in Wainscott. Since July when the Board narrowly approved (3-2) a motion of your intent to grant an easement at Beach Lane, a fuller picture emerged of the multiple negative impacts on the hamlet.

Barely five weeks after its initial mid-September filing with the New York State Public Service Commission, Deepwater revealed plans with a greater adverse impact on Wainscott than was known by the Town Board members when you voted. For example, Deepwater more than doubled all the infrastructure to be built throughout the hamlet. Indeed, the resolution itself references an amount of volts that has been materially exceeded.

Continue reading “More than 1,000 sign petition and letter protests arbitrary Town Board decisions”

Deepwater reveals that it will install double the infrastructure it originally communicated

Our more detailed knowledge of Deepwater’s proposal is only now coming to light because federal rules forced the company to reveal more (but still not all) of its previously hidden plans. Deepwater in its late October filings with the Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM):

  1. Divulged it now would run powerlines twice as powerful on Wainscott Beach, Beach Lane beach and other local Wainscott roads than originally communicated. Deepwater subtly amended its original filing to:
  • Double the capacity of its ‘export’ line: It will now be 230,000 volts, rather than its originally communicated 138,000 volts; and
  • Double the onshore lines: It wants to run two 230,000-volt lines, so 460,000 volts total, throughout Wainscott;

To put that in perspective:

  • The new voltage is equivalent to having extra-high voltage (EHV) overhead power lines running just beneath the surface. EHV-classified lines start at 345,000 volts and are used for long distance, very-high power transmission; and
  • These high-voltage cables have the capacity to deliver 8X more electricity than can be generated by the planned and communicated 90-megawatt wind farm;

2. Admitted for the first time it will need to dig at least 20 permanent vaults the size of ocean shipping containers (the smallest of which is 26’4” x 9’4” x 10’) throughout Wainscott. For example, its construction plans show that two of these massive vaults alone will be in front of our beloved Lisa and Bill’s Farm Stand;

Cable Route (reduced)_Page_1
Previously unknown ocean container-sized ‘vaults’ along route (there will be at least 20 in Wainscott). Thanks to Si Kinsella for this.

3. Doubled the size of the project by installing 15 turbines of 12 megawatts each, rather than 6 megawatt turbines. This means that Deepwater is plans to build between a 130 MW to 180 MW wind farm, not the 90 MW wind farm that we were told during the many public meetings; and

4. Demonstrated that its Hither Hills route is superior to its desired profit-maximizing Beach Lane plan.

We have been misled.

None of these changes are highlighted, of course. Only a forensic review of their two-volume (I and II), 25-section, 4,744-page Construction and Operations revised submission identifies these issues.

It has also become apparent that this ‘project’ is part of an overall industrialization of Wainscott. PSEG Long Island formally said this week that the current windfarm is not solely for the benefit of East Hampton (despite what Supervisor Peter van Scoyoc said at a Wainscott Community Advisory Committee meeting this summer, “This is for us,” as he justified the overall project). The Long Island Power Authority revealed in its 2017 budget that it needs to build another electric substation in Wainscott. Now Deepwater this week admitted it planned to expand the wind farm far beyond its current footprint (New York State this week started to solicit bids for new offshore wind lease areas that are 2X to 9X Deepwater’s current plan. Guess where all those power lines will run through?).

Hopefully our elected representatives will now put a stop to this industrialization of Wainscott. Remember, they were already deeply divided this summer when they had half the information from Deepwater we now have obtained. The Town Board barely approved (a highly divided vote 3-2 in July) an intent to grant an easement to Deepwater for Beach Lane beach without this fuller set of information. The separate Town Trustees have not yet indicated formally where they stand on the issue. All local and federal authorities here have another viable option with Hither Hills, which is far better by Deepwater’s own admission (but which costs its own private investors more).

Get up to speed quickly about the hedge-fund unit’s avarice

Articles

Deepwater files application without waiting for Town Trustees’ approval (Sept. 11, 2018). Article.

Highly contested vote (3-2) by Board of its intent to grant Deepwater an easement for Beach Lane. Article.

Hundreds of Wainscott residents and community members sign initial petition objecting to the Beach Lane. Article.

How Deepwater’s similar cable keeps getting exposed on Block Island’s beach. Article from Block Island Times on Aug. 17, 2018.

Overview of Deepwater’s frac equipment — heavy, noisy, fume-generating, construction equipment includes a drilling rig, mud pump, crane, generator, control cab, pipe trailer, two frac tanks, and a back hoe. Deepwater’s schematic.

Deepwater continues to hide true infrastructure that needs to be built to connect their wind farm to the electrical grid. Article.

Recent long-form article showing significant issues and a broader pattern of deception by Deepwater. Article.

Town Board claimed all the power is for the benefit of East Hampton … it clearly isn’t. Article.

PSEG admits in early November 2018 that (a) the wind farm will be larger than planned and (b) that not all of the power is just for East Hampton like Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc told the WCAC this summer. Article.

LIPA also planning to build a new power substation in Wainscott so it can also export the power to the rest of Long Island. (Deepwater and LIPA refuse to provide a full picture of all the different community costs going into their profiteering plan). Article.

Deepwater increases the capacity of its turbines by 44 percent. Article.

Block Island continues to wrestle with Deepwater months after its cable was exposed in August 2018. A preview of what would happen for us? Article.

Great Nov. 19, 2018, article about the major issues with the Wainscott landfall site. Article.

Continue reading “Get up to speed quickly about the hedge-fund unit’s avarice”