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South Fork Wind Farm to Get a Virtual Public Hearing

Mon, 07/05/2021 - 14:16
Christopher Walsh

The New York State Public Service Commission will hold a virtual public statement hearing on Wednesday regarding a petition filed by the developers of the South Fork Wind farm on May 3.

The hearing will be held before Administrative Law Judge Michael Clarke at 1 p.m.

It can be accessed at webex.com or by telephone. Participants who would like to provide a statement and will log in to the hearing electronically can register to do so by visiting webex.com, clicking "join" at the top right corner of the screen, entering event number 173 757 6191, and providing the requested information. The password for the hearing is July7-1pm. Those wishing to provide a public statement on the record at the hearing must preregister to do so by 3 p.m. on Tuesday. 

When logging in to the hearing, participants will be asked to "select audio system." It is recommended that participants opt to have the system "call me" or "call using computer." The former option will require that participants enter their phone numbers. 

Participants can also listen by calling 518-549-0500 and using the access code 173 757 6191. Call-in participants wishing to provide a statement must register in advance by calling 800-342-3330, also by 3 p.m. on Tuesday, following prompts to the appropriate hearing, and providing their first and last name, address, and telephone number. 

The developers, Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind and Eversource Energy, must obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant to Public Service Law, which would ensure that they are properly registered to do business in the state, that they have received the consent of appropriate municipalities to proceed with the project, and that it is financially capable of doing so. On May 3, they filed a petition requesting that the commission issue an order granting the certificate and finding that they are entitled to a lightened regulatory regime as a participant in the wholesale electric market. 

In March, the commission granted a conditional certificate to the developers to construct, own, and operate a 7.6-mile, 138-kilovolt alternating current electric cable that will connect the wind farm, located in federal waters around 35 miles off Montauk Point, to the electrical grid in East Hampton. In doing so, the commission determined that the project addressed a public need and was necessary to deliver power from the offshore installation to the Long Island Power Authority substation off Cove Hollow Road.

In announcing the hearing, the commission noted that it is not an opportunity for parties to relitigate issues already decided in its review. Comments should pertain to the developers' ability and readiness to commence construction of the project.

The public statement hearing will be held open until everyone who has registered to speak has been heard or other reasonable arrangements to submit comments into the record have been made. Time limits may be set for each speaker. It is also recommended that lengthy comments be submitted in writing and summarized for oral presentation. A verbatim transcript of the public statement hearing will be made for inclusion in the record of this case. 

 Those requiring special accommodations should call the Department of Public Service's human resources management office at 518-474-2520 as soon as possible. TDD users can request a sign language interpreter by placing a call through the New York Relay Service at 711. Individuals with difficulty understanding or reading English have been encouraged to call the department at 800-342-3377 for free language assistance services regarding this notice. 

For those who cannot attend or prefer not to speak at a public statement hearing, there are several other ways to provide comments. At dps.ny.gov, click on "Search" and enter 21-E-0261 in the "Search by Case Number" field, and then click on "Post Comments" at the top right of the page. Comments can also be sent by email to the secretary to the commission at [email protected]. Comments should refer to Case 21-E-0261.

Comments may be mailed to the Hon. Michelle L. Phillips, secretary, Public Service Commission, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany 12223-1350. All written comments will become part of the record considered by the commission and may be accessed on the Department of Public Service website by searching the case number and clicking on the "Public Comments" tab.

Comments can also be left at the commission's opinion line at 800-335-2120. This number is set up to take comments about pending cases from in-state callers 24 hours a day. These comments are not transcribed verbatim, but a summary is provided to the commission. 

A procedural conference will be held immediately following the public statement hearing, as part of the same teleconference. Its principal purpose is to identify any potential parties and provide interested persons an opportunity to present and explain any proposals regarding the procedures they believe should be followed in this case by Judge Clarke and the commission, including, but not limited to, whether any issues of fact presented by the petition or public comments warrant an evidentiary hearing. Other procedural issues also may be addressed.

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