Ecological Cable Protection in Long Island Sound
December 2020 marked the deployment of fifty 150-sq. ft. nature-inclusive ECOncrete Marine Mattresses, providing large-scale armoring and protection for the Northport to Norwalk Submarine Cable, a 24 mile underwater electrical transmission cable under contract by Eversource and the Long Island Power Authority."
Operated by PSEG Long Island, as agent to LIPA, the cable runs along the bed of the Long Island Sound allowing electricity to be transmitted between Long Island and Connecticut. The 6,250 square feet of mattresses were developed by ECOncrete in partnership with Besser Company under the BIRD Foundation funding framework in 2016.
This project is the first full-scale deployment of ECOncrete’s ecological Marine Mattresses after completed pilot projects in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Neptune, New Jersey, having undergone comprehensive multi-year monitoring efforts to provide field validation. The ECOncrete Marine Mattresses will provide ecosystem regeneration, serving as a habitat for Long Island Sound’s marine life, in addition to fulfilling the structural purpose of protecting the underwater cable.
This project is a major step to reduce the ecological footprint of offshore construction, such as changes to native seabed ecosystems that can result in the dominance of invasive and nuisance species. This structural and ecological installation will also serve to improve accountability to an increasingly environmentally conscious public. ECOncrete’s Marine Mattresses provide the means to minimize structural-environmental conflicts, changing the way we build in water, so our infrastructure is made stronger by enabling ecosystems to thrive.
“The use of ECOncrete’s Mattresses for an offshore installation such as this will be a crucial case study for future offshore works, especially at a time when offshore wind energy is gearing up for full-scale deployment in the tri-state area,” said Dr. Andrew Rella, Global Director of Engineering, ECOncrete.
“For more than 50 years Eversource has operated high-voltage electric cables under the Long Island Sound, supporting the reliability needs of our customers in southwest Connecticut with an additional power source,” said Eversource Vice President of Electric Field Operations Don Boudreau. “It’s critical to protect those cables to ensure the safe delivery of power and the health and wellbeing of the Sound.”
“PSEG Long Island is pleased to be part of this innovative technology,” said John O’Connell, vice president of Transmission & Distribution at PSEG Long Island. “Providing our customers with safe and reliable power is very important to us. The new ECOncrete’s Mattresses will not only protect the cables, it will help to provide a safe environment for our local marine life.”