PSEG Eyes a Hither Woods Site

Substation would require clearing in parkland, but majority favored this option
An aerial view of the site PSEG is looking closest at for a new Long Island Power Authority substation shows the areas that would need to be cleared for the substation, transmission lines, and access road. PSEG Long Island

PSEG Long Island announced this week that it will explore the possibility of building a modernized Long Island Power Authority substation on parkland north of the former Montauk landfill. The site was preferred by both East Hampton Town officials and the majority of people who weighed in during a monthlong comment period on possible locations for a new facility.

The parkland site was one of five under consideration for the modernized substation to replace the 101-year-old one in a floodplain on Industrial Road at the edge of Fort Pond. Two others were eliminated earlier this month, because of strong community opposition. “We had feedback from more than 400 people,” said David Gaier, PSEG Long Island’s director of communications.

Other options still on the table include the existing location and a LIPA-owned property nearby between Industrial and Navy Roads, both of which are in a floodplain. 

The parkland property presents the most challenges for PSEG because it requires significant clearing and is farther from the grid than the other two, although its higher elevation makes it “more sustainable and resilient,” Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said last week. 

Because it is in parkland, “there are very specific things we will need to do,” Mr. Gaier said Tuesday. Clearing would be required for the substation’s footprint, as well as for the cables that run underground to connect it “to the grid and to our Montauk customers, who will be powered by the substation.” 

Suffolk County and the New York State Legislature will have to pass “parkland alienation” legislation, allowing the area covered by the substation, transmission and distribution lines, and an access road, to be removed from parkland designation. “It will require an environmental survey and possibly other approvals,” Mr. Gaier said. “It’s a complicated option that would be more difficult than the others, so we are still studying the other two options.”

PSEG hopes to have a final answer on its choice by sometime this summer. In the meantime, Mr. Gaier said, “folks in the community may see our people in the area conducting the survey.” 

“We know the community is eager for an answer and we’re just as eager to get there.” 

“We currently have to use emergency generation to meet high demand on many summer days,” he said. “Given increasing load, this will increasingly affect reliability and resiliency until a modern substation is in place.” 

Those wishing to receive emailed periodic updates from PSEG on the Montauk substation decision-making pro­cess can sign up for them by emailing externalaffairsli@pseg.com.