A pair of high-voltage cables that will bring power from an offshore wind farm to Long Island by 2024 could make land on the beach near Smith Point and travel through Shirley up the William Floyd Parkway if a plan floated by Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine comes to fruition.
An official for the project, called Sunrise Wind, confirmed the developer had met with Romaine to discuss the town’s offer, which could include a community benefits package worth millions for local improvements in the area. Sunrise Wind, an-880 megawatt offshore wind project that would erect more than 100 turbines in waters off the Massachusetts/Rhode Island coast, would ultimately bring its power via two 100-mile cables to a Long Island Power Authority substation in Holbrook.
Romaine “has offered a stakeholder process, which I really like,” said Kenneth Bowes, vice president of Eversource, which is partnering with Danish energy giant Orsted on the Sunrise Wind project.
Bowes stressed it’s very early in the process, and there’s lots of analysis and public input that would precede any decision. He also noted that any such agreement would “most definitely” include a community benefits package.
Orsted offered a similar package in East Hampton, worth more than $8 million, but that separate project for a South Fork wind farm has been slowed by community opposition to the cable landing spot.
“We don’t have the problems the East End” has with a power cable, Romaine said in an interview at the state’s first Long Island public information session at Brookhaven Town Hall Tuesday, noting numerous communication cables already lie under the parkway.
Bowes noted the project would encompass two high-voltage cables of about 100 miles long from the offshore wind site. The project would include two offshore substations and a so-called reactive compensation station of over 100 feet tall some 20 miles or more from Long Island to sustain the power on the long cable run. None would be visible from Long Island, he said.
Bowes said considerable work, analysis and public meetings would have to happen before a final landing site for the cables is chosen. “It’s several months of work,” he said. “It’s an intensive process.”
A municipality offering a prime site helps smooth the process. “We always want to work with a host community,” he said. “We’ll give deference to those ideas.”
Sunrise Wind is one of two projects chosen by New York State this summer to bring nearly 1,700 megawatts of power — enough for more than 1 million homes — to the downstate region by 2024. The state will finalize 25-year contracts with the developers in coming weeks, and publish ratepayer cost estimates within 30 days, officials have said.
A separate project called Empire Wind will be located 15 miles off the nearest point to land at Jones Beach, becoming less visible as the turbines move east. Equinor, the Norwegian energy giant developing the project, said its 850-foot high turbines would be visible from shore under clear conditions.
The turbines would be mounted on giant concrete foundations that will be built in New York State, shipped down the Hudson River and set in the ocean, said Julia Bovey, director of external affairs.
The company’s operations and maintenance center would at a port site in Brooklyn. Orsted’s would be at Port Jefferson.