New York inches closer to its first offshore wind farm as developers reached a lease option agreement with a Montauk fishing cooperative.
Orsted, the Denmark-based developer, announced the agreement to build an operations and maintenance facility for the South Fork Wind Farm on property owned by Inlet Seafood in Montauk.
The wind farm’s employees will use the facility to dock their vessels and transfer personnel to and from the turbines.
Dave Aripotch is a commercial fisherman and a co-owner of Inlet Seafood. His wife, Bonnie Brady, is with the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association. Brady says Aripotch didn’t sign the agreement and will refuse any profits from it.
“No one has the right to come to this country from a foreign land and disrupt and literally displace this country’s fishermen when we have the supposed exclusive economic zone in order to ply our trade,” Brady said.
A meeting is scheduled next week in Albany for state officials and developers to discuss the state’s approval of the 15-turbine wind farm.
But regional elected officials say it will be held too far away from the community.
Thousands of residents on eastern Long Island have concerns about the project.
“I have not seen one effort on anyone’s part from the most local...the East Hampton Town Board…right up to Albany and our county and state representatives. All I’ve heard are words,” said Tom Bogdan with Montauk United, a citizen’s advocacy group.
The state’s decision to move forward with the project is after months of protests from residents and the commercial fishing industry. They say New York has advanced renewable energy goals without studying the impact on the environment.