Grid and Deepwater Wind/Ørsted ordered to reinstall their cables

At Block Island’s Town Beach
Thu, 05/16/2019 - 5:00pm

The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council has issued “an enforcement order” on both Deepwater Wind/Ørsted and National Grid to reinstall their cables at Block Island’s Town Beach. Both cables, which comprise the Block Island Wind Farm’s electrical transmission system, and were supposed to remain buried beneath the seabed, became exposed due to shifting sands and dense sediment in the surf zone.

Laura Dwyer, a CRMC spokesperson, told The Times that, “Following a meeting Tuesday with both parties, they have concluded that the most viable permanent solution is to do horizontal directional drilling” to remedy the situation. She noted that both companies were involved with “geotechnical surveys” of their cables. “Those results suggested that they need to go back to cable redesign.” 

“It doesn’t look as if the cables will be replaced and splice work done until the spring of 2021,” said Dwyer. “We have another meeting with them in August to make sure they’re on track. They are talking about splicing their cables offshore, and then directionally drilling, as we suggested the first time, and installing two new manholes” in the beach parking lot.

This is a developing story. Learn more in next week’s edition of The Block Island Times.