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Sep 25, 2019 9:57 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Orsted To Partner With Commercial Fishing Dock In Montauk For Onshore Operations Base

Inlet Seafood
Oct 1, 2019 2:25 PM

Offshore wind farm developer Ørsted announced last week that it has reached an agreement with the owners of Inlet Seafood in Montauk to base its crew boats and onshore operations for the South Fork Wind Farm at the East Lake Drive commercial fishing dock.

According to Ørsted, the company will lease a portion of the Inlet Seafood property for its operations and maintenance facility once the wind farm is constructed and will dock the boats there that will be used to shuttle personnel to and from the wind farm.

Inlet Seafood is owned by a cooperative of six commercial fishermen. The group owns 6 acres of land on the eastern side of the mouth of the inlet into Montauk Harbor. The property contains a restaurant, dock slips and a seafood packing house.

Commercial fishermen have been the main opponents of the South Fork Wind Farm and to large-scale offshore wind development in general — but the agreement with some of the industry’s most prominent captains in Montauk would appear to have won at least some good will.

“It’s critical that offshore wind developers work with members of the commercial fishing industry to ensure we can all coexist,” Bill Grimm, a co-owner of Inlet Seafood, said in a statement sent out by Ørsted on Wednesday, September 25. “This agreement outlines how we can work at the dock alongside each other.”

Among the other owners of the property is fisherman David Aripotch, whose wife, Bonnie Brady, is the executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association. She has been one of the most strident critics of Ørsted, the South Fork Wind Farm and the offshore wind industry in general.

Ms. Brady was out of town on Wednesday but said in a message that her husband was not in favor of the purchase but has “only one vote” in the Inlet Seafood partnership.

The company has long said in its pitch for the 15-turbine wind farm project, which is expected to be the first to connect to New York’s power grid, that it would base operations somewhere in Montauk and expects to create a number of full-time jobs related to the operations and maintenance of the wind farm.

Ørsted has also presented a plan for a much larger wind farm, to be known as Sunrise Wind, that would total some 100 turbines, in the same area of ocean about 30 nautical miles southeast of Montauk. It has said that project will use Port Jefferson as its onshore operations hub.

“The design of the [operations and maintenance] facility is being carefully developed to ensure that the South Fork Wind Farm vessels do not impact the existing commercial fishing fleet or the packing operations that operate out of that dock,” Ørsted said in its statement about the Inlet Seafood facility.

The designs for whatever onshore buildings are needed would still need approvals from East Hampton Town planners.

“Wherever we work, we want to be good neighbors in the community,” Lee Olivier, a vice president at Eversource, the New England electrical company that partnered with Ørsted in the purchase of all of the former Deepwater Wind assets, said in the Ørsted press release. “We look forward to becoming active members of Montauk’s working waterfront.”

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It should be noted that Dave Aripotch has informed his partners that he won’t accept any of Orsteds money due to his personal convictions. A man with morals that can’t be bought. Bravo, Dave & Bonnie.
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Sep 30, 19 3:07 PM
So coming through Montauk is a done deal ...? Certainly reads that way ...
By Board Watcher (534), Amagansett on Oct 8, 19 4:50 PM