No substation for Island, Board votes to reject PSEG plans

082913i_LIPA_Pipe_BW In a unanimous vote, the Town Board passed legislation Friday afternoon banning electrical substations on Shelter Island. This now places the responsibility on the power company, PSEG, to construct an underwater cable from the North Fork — an effort that failed spectacularly two years ago — to the Island that will ensure reliable backup electricity. Only three days after residents packed the Town Hall meeting room to hear, and reject, PSEG’s detailed plan for a facility at the old Highway Barn site on South Ferry Road, the board passed a resolution banning all substations since, the legislation states, “a substation is industrial in nature and is not compatible with the rural, residential nature of Shelter Island.” The resolution went on to recommend the building of an “underwater cable as a good solution to the electric reliability issues.” It’s interesting to note that the resolution rejects an effort to build a substation anywhere on the Island. The community roundly opposed the plan for the South Ferry Road site when it was proposed on three occasions by PSEG. Another site at town-owned property near New York Avenue and West Neck Road south of Ice Pond was suggested by the power company but never pursued, the same as building a substation at the Recycling Center. After the unanimous vote, Councilman Paul Shepherd said he had voted for the ban with “reservations.” Mr. Shepherd said he was “disturbed by the conclusion in that resolution that somehow a substation was not the best solution for Shelter Island, at least from a technical point of view.” Mr. Shepherd believes a substation “still remains the best thing for us,” but finding a place for one is a challenge. Nevertheless he voted with his colleagues to pass the resolution.