T&D World Magazine

LIPA/Neptune Activate New Cable Bringing Lower-Cost Energy Directly to Long Island from New Jersey for the First Time

The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and Neptune Regional Transmission System, LLC today announced that the Neptune electric transmission cable between New Jersey and Long Island has completed testing and has been in trial operations under the control of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) providing low cost energy to Long Island just in time for the peak summer season when demand for electricity is highest.
The over $600 million, 65-mile long Neptune Regional Transmission System is an undersea and underground High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) system that includes a cable that runs from Sayreville, New Jersey to New Cassel in the Town of North Hempstead in Nassau County. It carries 660 MW of energy, which is enough to meet the electricity demands of about 600,000 average-sized homes.

“Long Island enters a new era with the Neptune cable,” said LIPA Chairman Kevin Law. “The Neptune cable provides LIPA with the opportunity to acquire lower-cost energy to meet customer needs while providing more flexibility in selecting the markets from which we acquire that energy. It is a significant win-win for Long Island.”

“I am extremely pleased that the Neptune cable is now providing much needed energy for Long Island at the start of the summer season when demand for electricity is highest,” said LIPA CEO and President Richard M. Kessel. “When we first proposed the idea of an Atlantic cable in early 2003, the critics doubted it could be done. Through the hard work and dedication of a great many people at LIPA, Neptune and KeySpan personnel, and the regulatory entities involved with the review and approval of this project, Long Island will be well served by the Neptune cable for decades to come.”

“The Neptune project is an example of how this type of technology can bring much-needed electric power and transmission infrastructure to densely populated areas in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way,” said Edward M. Stern, Neptune’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Many American cities that face growing demand for energy would be well served by implementing projects such as Neptune – and more renewable energy projects would be built to serve such demand,” Stern added.

“In completing the project ahead of schedule and in time for the summer peak load period, we want to acknowledge the extraordinary teamwork and cooperation from LIPA, our principal contractors Siemens and Prysmian as well as from KeySpan, PJM, NYISO, and various Federal, New Jersey and New York State agencies such as the New York Office of Parks and Historic Preservation, Department of Transportation, Department of Environmental Conservation, and Department of Public Services, and from the Towns of North Hempstead and Hempstead, and the Borough of Sayreville, New Jersey.”

In 2004, Neptune was selected as the off-Island component of a diverse portfolio of resources developed under a comprehensive request for proposals (RFP) process in accordance with the procurement requirements of the State of New York. The on-Island component is the Caithness Long Island Energy Center project, a 350 MW combined cycle generating facility currently under construction in Yaphank, Suffolk County, which is expected to be in service by the summer of 2009.

Under LIPA’s 20 year agreement with Neptune, up to 660 MW of electricity will be delivered to a station in Sayreville, New Jersey, where it will be converted from alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) for efficient transmission to Long Island via the undersea and underground HVDC cable. The cable route travels east 51 miles from the Jersey shore to a point south of Jones Beach on Long Island, then goes north to another station in New Cassel where the electricity will be converted back to AC for use on LIPA’s system. The power is delivered to LIPA’s Newbridge Road substation in Levittown.

To get the power out to LIPA’s grid, the Newbridge Road substation was substantially upgraded, and new underground transmission lines were installed that connect it to the East Garden City substation to the west, and the Ruland Road substation to the east in Melville. Both the East Garden City and Ruland Road substations underwent major upgrades to receive the power and make it deliverable to LIPA’s customers.

In June 2004, the 330 MW Cross-Sound Cable went into regular commercial service, linking Shoreham, Long Island to New Haven Connecticut. Together, the Neptune and Cross Sound cable systems provide LIPA with direct access to two independent power pools in the PJM and New England markets. They add a combined 990 MW of off-Island resources to LIPA’s supply.

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