Since starting operation in mid-2007, Neptune has provided, on average, approximately 20 percent of the electric power used on Long Island, and runs at its full capacity of 660 MW most of the time. In addition, Neptune has performed as well or better than expectations, averaging nearly 98 percent availability.
The Neptune cable allows LIPA to tap into a diverse range of power generation from PJM, including renewables such as wind and hydro, as well as oil, coal, nuclear, and natural gas. This diversity of generation sources is not available on Long Island. Because wholesale energy prices in PJM are generally much lower than on Long Island, power brought over the Neptune cable is less expensive than most of what can be generated on the island.
For LIPA, the Neptune cable was seen as an environmentally friendly, cost-effective solution to future power needs. According to LIPA, an economic assessment conducted prior to construction projected that the Neptune cable would provide about $1.4 billion in net benefits to LIPA, which was significantly more than any other project proposed to meet Long Island’s long-term energy needs. As former LIPA Chairman Kevin Law has said, “The Neptune cable provides LIPA with the opportunity to acquire lower-cost energy to meet customer needs while providing more flexibility in selecting the markets from which we acquire that energy. It is a significant win-win for Long Island.”