The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, a vessel appeared just offshore at Smith Point County Park.
Reports from recent weeks indicated that a transmission cable from an offshore wind farm east of Montauk Point is proposed to run from an offshore substation, make landfall at Smith Point County Park, then make its way up William Floyd Parkway and then westward toward the Holbrook Substation, owned by Long Island Power Authority.
The vessel, now situated at Smith Point County Park, is conducting operational work in preparation for the proposed transmission cable. Michael Mulraney, a spokesperson for Sunrise Wind, discussed the specifics with The Advance.
Q: What is it? What tasks are performed here?
A: The survey vessel is a liftboat named the Laredo Brazos – a self-elevating barge who’s stabilization protects it from wave action. The vessel is conducting geotechnical assessments on behalf of Ørsted and Eversource’s Sunrise Wind (and before that, South Fork Wind).
This data collection involves taking four soil borings and measurements of the sea floor to support the design of the Sunrise Wind transmission cable.
Q: How long will it be there?
A: We expect the complete[d] work to take about two weeks from Nov. 24, weather providing, and then the vessel will return to the survey area off of Wainscott Beach in East Hampton in early December to complete two final soil borings for the South Fork Wind survey.
Q: What happens if there is a storm? (Does it raise?)
A: The Laredo Brazos can self-elevate for protection from wave action.
Q: Anything else relevant to share?
A: The soil borings will be taken at points approximately 1,100 – 2,700 feet from shore, directly in front of Smith Point Beach. Each boring is anticipated to take two to three days to complete, and work may occur on the liftboat 24 hours per day. The liftboat will be assisted by a smaller vessel, the Kristin Miller.
No significant noise is expected to be audible from shore during this survey work.
As mentioned, the vessel is a temporary feature of Smith Point County Park’s coastal waters. In order for a transmission cable to be laid here, operational work using a vessel like Laredo Brazos is necessary.