Wants Permission for Survey

The proposed South Fork Wind Farm's transmission cable would land at the end of Beach Lane in Wainscott. Doug Kuntz

Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind has asked East Hampton Town for permission to conduct surveys related to its proposed South Fork Wind Farm and the installation’s transmission cable, which it plans to land at the ocean beach at the end of Beach Lane in Wainscott. 

The company, formed when the Danish firm Orsted acquired Deepwater Wind, plans to build 15 wind turbines approximately 35 miles off Montauk. It is seeking permission to conduct roadside archaeology surveys on Beach Lane to investigate the potential presence of “archaeological resources” along the preferred path of the wind farm’s transmission cable, from Beach Lane to the Long Island Power Authority substation in East Hampton. Shovel pits are to be excavated by hand at 50 or 100-foot intervals along both sides of the roadway. They are to be approximately 18 inches in diameter and three to four feet deep. Pits will be backfilled upon completion. 

Along with Beach Lane, affected roadways would include Wainscott Main Street, Sayre’s Path, Wainscott Stone Road, and Wainscott Northwest Road. A total of 194 pits are planned. Private property will not be affected. The work is expected to take up to 14 days, and will be conducted on weekdays during business hours. 

Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said at the town board’s work session on Tuesday that Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind will also need road opening permits from the Town Highway Department, and that it will be assessed a fee of $250 for each of the 194 pits. 

Separately, Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind is asking for permission to conduct two test borings and a percolation test near the site of proposed horizontal directional drilling, the technique to be employed offshore and under the beach to lay and bury the transmission cable at its preferred landfall site. 

The first boring is to be along the shoulder of Beach Lane, and the second within the beach’s parking area. This will take between 6 and 10 business days, the company said, and will be completed before March 31. The work will be done on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. A work exclusion zone will be set up around the drill rig, but a travel lane will be maintained for access to residences and to the beach, and to accommodate emergency vehicles. The drill rig will be taken offsite at the end of each shift. 

The surveys are mandated by the New York State Public Service Commission.

The town board is to vote on the requests, either at its meeting tonight or early next month.