The barge broke loose Saturday, dragging its anchor off the Long Island shore, through the 138,000-volt transmission corridor, which is jointly owned by CL&P and Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). Four of the seven cables in the corridor were damaged in the incident. Divers are investigating the full extent of damage today. Once the extent of the damage is determined, and the repair costs are known, both companies will decide whether to repair the cables or proceed with replacing them. Their absence adds risk to our ability to provide reliable service.
Both utilities have planned to replace the seven fluid-filled cables with three solid-core cables of the same capacity. The replacement cable project was approved by the Connecticut Siting Council in September. Approvals are still needed from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, and New York state regulatory agencies.
“In recent years, this cable has been increasingly important to southwest Connecticut,” said David H. Boguslawski, vice president - Transmission Business. “Southwest Connecticut relies on generation from outside this region to meet about one third of its needs during peak summer use periods. This cable has been a valuable emergency source of power for this region.”
The existing cables have experienced a number of outages in recent years, caused primarily by damage from boat anchors and other commercial activities in the 11-mile corridor.
If the decision is made to replace the cables, the new installation will be buried approximately six feet in the seabed along the existing transmission corridor that both utilities have operated in since 1970. This will enhance the reliability of power flows between Long Island and Connecticut.
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