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NYPA: Repairs finished on underwater cable that powers Long Island

A contractor for the New York Power Authority has completed repairs on an underwater cable near Hempstead Harbor six months after it was damaged by an anchor.

Repairs on the 26-mile cable, one of four that stretches from Yonkers to a substation in East Garden City, were completed June 30, NYPA said.

NYPA owns and operates the cable under a long-term contract to the Long Island Power Authority.

The cable was damaged Jan. 6 by a tugboat and barge dropping anchor at the mouth of Hempstead Harbor, the authority said. The state authority is in the early stages of litigation with the oil-barging company, Bouchard Transportation Co. of Melville, to recoup repair costs NYPA said were $34 million. A Bouchard spokeswoman declined to comment.

NYPA trustees in January approved the outlay of $25 million to pay the contractor, Prysmian Group of North Carolina, which had previously repaired damage to the cable after a 2003 incident.

Output from the cable to the region was impacted only briefly, because the NYPA cable system consists of three working cables and a spare, which was quickly put into operation. The cable provides total capacity of 693 megawatts. One megawatt powers about 800 homes. Around 10 miles of the cable are underwater.

The so-called Y-49 cable has been in operation since May 1991.

When it was first struck, the cable leaked pressurized, nontoxic insulator fluid into Long Island Sound for weeks, but the leak was stopped early in the repair work. Workers then lifted the broken section of the cable to the water's surface for permanent repairs and testing.

The newly repaired cable is now operating as the spare, while the three others are in operation, NYPA said.

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