PSEG: No Greenport-Shelter Island power project until fall

GRANT PARPAN FILE PHOTO | A North Ferry boat heading from Shelter Island to Greenport.
A North Ferry boat heading from Shelter Island to Greenport. (Grant Parpan file photo)

Residents of Island View Lane and Bay Shore Road in Greenport are breathing sighs of relief after power officials announced that construction will not invade their neighborhood again this summer — and may not resume at all. 

Public Service Enterprise Group officials announced Friday that they are considering two options for enhancing power to Shelter Island after a power line from Greenport failed during Hurricane Sandy. Regardless of which they choose, however, no further work will be done until this fall, officials said in a late afternoon conference call with Shelter Island officials.

PSEG is may decide to continue with the original project abandoned by the Long Island Power Authority in October after a drill bit broke off its rig and became stuck underground about 500 feet from the Greenport shore.

But utility officials said they are also weighing the option of building a freestanding substation on Shelter Island, which would make an underground power line unnecessary.

“It certainly is a relief that they will not be here this summer,” said Celia Swing, one of several homeowners who live directly next to the drilling location. “We’ve paid the price of that first performance and we don’t need to go through that again.”

Ms. Swing said she and the other affected homeowners would rather PSEG choose the substation, as it would remove Greenport from any involvement in this or future projects affecting the cable to Shelter Island.

“It seems to me that’s a reasonable consideration they should make. They would be free and clear, and totally independent of anything in Greenport,” she said.

Southold Town Highway Superintendent Vincent Orlando said he and town engineers will likely visit the drilling site to ensure that residents will have safe access to the beach this coming season. PSEG is responsible for refurbishing the area following the project.

PSEG plans to meet face-to-face with Shelter Island town officials within two weeks and will bring mobile generators to the island for the summer as a backup power source.

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With Julie Lane