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PSEG silent on Greenport to Shelter Island cable project status

08/01/2016 11:35 AM |

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Despite plans that originally called for work on an electrical cable project between Greenport and Shelter Island Heights, PSEG is silent on its progress in investigating this option.The cable project — if it eventually happens — is meant to ensure Shelter Island would have reliable electrical service. There’s currently a single working cable that connects the Island to the North Fork. An attempt at a cable project undertaken by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) in 2013 lasted for months with numerous delays until the power company called it off.

Since then, PSEG has taken over management of LIPA and has been studying options to ensure power for the Island. The company’s preferred approach was to build a substation on the Island near the Shelter Island Historical Society. But vocal residents opposed that plan, the Town Board passed a resolution banning all substations here. The next move by the power company was a cable connection between Fifth Street in Greenport and the Heights.

PSEG representatives continue to speak to Greenport Mayor George Hubbard Jr. and Shelter Island Heights Property Owners Corporation (HPOC ) Executive Director Stella Lagudis. But neither has given approval for any project.

“It’s a long slog,” Ms. Lagudis said about the process. The HPOC is keeping an open mind about the project, she said, but no agreements have been signed.

Mr. Hubbard said if work couldn’t begin by mid-October, he doesn’t think it would happen at least until spring 2017. Then he would want a guarantee it would be finished before the summer tourist season. Failing that, it would be unlikely any work could begin until mid-October 2017.

There have been negotiations with PSEG, the mayor said, but no agreement has been inked with the Village.

The previous attempt by LIPA for a cable project under the bay three years ago were particularly disruptive on the North Fork, with the power company relocating a number of residents because of the noise and dirt the project generated.

Since that aborted effort, generators have been brought to Shelter Island during the summer seasons in case the remaining cable link to the North Fork should fail.

A link to the South Fork still exists, but can provide power for only part of Shelter Island.

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