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Neptune Cable Provides Mid-Atlantic Power, $20M Savings, LIPA Says

Oct 11, 2007 - NGI's Power Market Today

he Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) said Thursday its use of the 65-mile long Neptune Regional Transmission System, an underground, high-voltage direct current cable running from Sayreville, NJ, to New Cassel, NY, saved the company more than $20 million and brought nearly 1.2 million MWh of low-cost power to Long Island during July, August and September.

The privately owned and operated 660 MW Neptune cable links Long Island directly to Mid-Atlantic power supply resources for the first time. LIPA said the savings it saw from Neptune, coupled with nearly $200 million in savings it achieved by importing lower cost energy via the Cross-Sound Cable since June 2004, are helping the company's efforts to minimize power supply costs.

"This historic power project has given Long Island direct access to a lower cost, more diversified power supply in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland (PJM) power market that stretches from New Jersey to Illinois," said LIPA CEO Kevin S. Law. "The money saved this summer is significant and in the long term will help us meet our objective of holding down our power supply charges as much as possible."

In June 2004, the 330 MW Cross-Sound Cable went into regular commercial service, linking Shoreham on Long Island to New Haven, CT (see Power Market Today, June 25, 2004). Together, the Neptune and Cross-Sound cable systems provide LIPA with direct access to two independent power pools in the PJM Interconnection and New England markets, adding a combined 990 MW of off-Long Island resources to LIPA's supply.

The on-Long Island component of the Neptune cable is the Caithness Long Island Energy Center project, a 350 MW combined-cycle generating facility currently under construction in Yaphank, NY. The center is expected to be in service by summer 2009 (see Power Market Today, Feb. 22).

In early 2006 the LIPA board of trustees gave its chairman the authority to enter into talks to buy electric generating capacity over the Neptune transmission cable (see Power Market Today, Jan. 27, 2006). Under LIPA's 20-year agreement with Neptune, up to 660 MW of electricity is delivered to a station in Sayreville, where it is converted from alternating current to direct current for transmission to Long Island via the cable. Upon arrival at another station in New Cassel, the electricity is converted back to alternating current for use on LIPA's system. The power is delivered to LIPA's Newbridge Road Substation in Levittown.

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