Martha's Vineyard Hybrid Cable
Hybrid Cable Installation
Falmouth and Tisbury, Massachusetts
The Comcast/NSTAR Martha’s Vineyard Hybrid Cable project is the first submarine cable project reviewed under the new Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan. Epsilon has been leading the permitting effort for this project, which involves a new submarine cable extending from Falmouth on Cape Cod to Tisbury on Martha’s Vineyard. In the initial stages of the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) review process, the project involved a fiber optic cable proposed by Comcast. Upon successful completion of MEPA review, Comcast, and NSTAR Electric Company reached an agreement to change the project to a hybrid cable bundling electricity with fiber optic cables.
Epsilon’s lead permitting strategy has involved the proactive approach of working closely with permitting agencies to achieve a project that meets the rigorous new standards of the Ocean Management Plan. To design a cable route that satisfies these performance standards, Epsilon worked with CR Environmental to conduct comprehensive marine surveys and sampling consisting of multi-beam bathymetry, multi-beam side-scan sonar, sub-bottom seismic, magnetometer, underwater video, and sediment sampling. At key milestones in the project development and permitting, Epsilon made presentations to the local, state, and federal regulatory agencies to keep them informed.
Regulatory filings include a submittal of a Notice of Project Change to the MEPA Office to reflect the change to a hybrid cable. After the MEPA review was complete, there were submissions to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Cape Cod Commission, Martha’s Vineyard Commission, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources, and local conservation commissions.