National Grid has completed the installation of the landfall cable segment, including the splicing of the new fiber optic cables. All of the equipment has been tested and re-energized, and the system is now back to regular operation. The new cable, which was spliced with the original cable at a location approximately 1,700 feet offshore, was installed in a conduit at a depth of approximately 30-40ft below the seafloor. Remaining activity is focused on restoration of the north parking lot, and is expected to be complete prior to the summer 2022 season.
The submarine cables were originally installed in the spring/summer of 2016 and subsequently experienced challenges with sediment coverage over the cables. After extensive due diligence, teams from Ørsted and National Grid determined the best approach to maintain proper burial depths of the two transmission cables is to reinstall these limited segments of the cables with new sections adjacent to where the existing cables now sit using a method called horizontal directional drill (HDD), a common procedure for submarine cables such as these.
National Grid and Ørsted worked in close collaboration with the Town of New Shoreham, the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other key agencies to receive the necessary work permits and to keep stakeholders informed of the plans.