Vessel surveying cables at Town Beach

Thu, 10/31/2019 - 4:15pm

The 32-foot R/V Able II cruised through choppy surf off Crescent Beach conducting benthic surveys of National Grid’s sea2shore cable and Deepwater Wind/Ørsted’s export cable on Tuesday, Oct. 29. The surveys, which were supposed to begin on Oct. 9, were delayed until later in the month due to inclement weather. 

“The weather has presented some delays,” said Ted Kresse, Director of Strategic Communications for National Grid, on Monday. “We have another four days of work left, but with some additional weather challenges expected this week we’re taking it day by day.” 

Kresse told The Times that the purpose of the survey is to conduct “high resolution geophysical site investigations along near-shore sections of National Grid and Orsted’s cable route corridors.” He said the data from the surveys will support the planning and design of horizontal directional drilling for reinstalling sections of the cables.

The two cables became exposed due to shifting sands and hard seabed in August of 2018, when they were visible in the surf zone. The two companies have been trying to establish a process for reinstalling the exposed sections of the cables, which, they said, would be reinstalled by the summer of 2021.

National Grid’s cable links the island to the mainland, while Deepwater Wind/Ørsted’s cable connects the Block Island Wind Farm to the island’s electrical grid.