After meeting with North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth in early April regarding community concerns about PSEG-Long Island’s $15 million powerline installation from Port Washington to Great Neck, New York’s Department of Public Service is now conducting an independent review of the reliability need associated with the project.
The review is expected to be completed by Wednesday, April 30, according to a letter Bosworth received from Audrey Zibelman, the chief executive officer of Department of Public Service.
The letter is in response to an April 4 meeting Bosworth held with the Department of Public Service, located in Plainview. Bosworth met with the department a week after hundreds of residents gathered in late March at Harbor Links Clubhouse in Port Washington, imploring that the utility stop the project.
At the April 1 North Hempstead Town Board meeting, the board voted to retain a consultant to evaluate burying the utility wires being hung on poles from Great Neck to Port Washington.
The meeting with the Department of Public Service came just days after the measure was approved, as the town pushed for answers.
“The results of the reliability study will help determine if there is any merit to stop the project,” Zibelman wrote in the letter.
The department will also review “the incremental costs associated with burying the power line,” and expects to have the result of that study by mid-May.
In addition, the department is reviewing the “public outreach process” and will recommend ways to PSEGLI on how to “improve its outreach to elected officials and communities going forward,” according to the letter.
It will also ask PSEGLI to assemble “a more comprehensive look at its reliability plans over next several years,” and “share this ‘blueprint’ with local communities.”The department, Zibelman wrote, is “intent to ensure that its oversight of PSEG-LI will result in better service and improved reliability for electricity customers on Long Island.”
Read the full letter here.
At the March meeting, Dave Daly, PSEGLI's president and chief operating officer, said the utility would be willing to bury the wires as long as there was a “mechanism to fund the project,” noting that it would cost four-to-five times more than the overhead poles.
Towards that end, Bosworth has said that she and Councilwoman Dina DeGiorgio were seeing what kind of federal aid would be available.