In order to alleviate power shortages on Long Island, New York, the US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued an order authorising the somewhat premature use of a new undersea cable. The order was made after a request from the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA).

The order, scheduled to run until October 1, allows the 330 MW cable, which has not yet received full authorisation to operate, to be used as a last resort – but only after service has been terminated to all interruptible customers, appeals have been made to the public to conserve energy, 30 minute reserves have been reduced to zero and voltage reductions consistent with good utility practice have been imposed.

The Corps of Engineers has judged that the operation of the line raises no navigational or environmental concerns. However the DOE order does not affect the obligations of Cross-Sound Cable, the company that owns the cable, to complete compliance with all relevant permits.

A heat wave has caused high demand on Long Island this summer, leading to power outages and the need for additional electricity. In mid-August LIPA delivered a weekend peak of 4467 MW.