Chicopee (Mass.) Electric Light proposes new 115-kV line

Chicopee (Mass.) Electric Light has proposed to build a new 115-kV transmission line and a 13.8-kV substation in an existing right-of-way.

The project, according to a presentation by Chicopee Electric Light to the Chicopee City Council Utilities Committee and project abutters, will cost about $9.4m for the looped lines and substation, of which $6.35m would be non-pool transmission facilities (PTF) and $3.05m would be submitted to ISO New England for acceptance as PTF facilities through the transmission cost allocation process. 

PTF facilities are considered a regional asset and the costs to construct, operate and maintain the assets are reimbursed to the constructing utility through an annual return on the initial investment, according to Jim Lisowski, engineering and operations manager with Chicopee Electric Light.

Among the project benefits, Chicopee Electric Light noted the proximity to major load concentration and load growth areas; ease of construction while maintaining the existing Prospect substation; replacing 80 45- to 50-foot wood poles with 20 to 24 70- to 85-foot wood poles; and it is the most cost-effective solution over the proposed station’s operating life.

Lisowski told TransmissionHub that the project is needed for various reasons, including that the existing substation – Prospect substation – is being made obsolete by its current owner, a neighboring utility.

Furthermore, the existing substation is about 45- to 50-years old and has reached the end of its useful life. Lisowski also said the existing substation does not provide the level of reliability or technical type of advancements that exist in modern facilities.

Pending approval from ISO New England, construction on the project is set to begin likely mid-summer, and be completed by the end of 2013, he said.

The project is completely independent from Northeast Utilities‘ (NYSE:NU) Greater Springfield Reliability Project, Lisowski said, adding, “We are interconnecting into their upgraded lines – that’s the only level of commonness between the two [projects].”

As reported, Northeast Utilities continues to make progress on its 345-kV project and is on track to have the project in service by late 2013.

According to TransmissionHub data, the $718m Greater Springfield Reliability Project is a 39-mile, 345-kV transmission line that originates at New Bloomfield, Conn., and ends at Ludlow, Mass.

The project, which involves 35 miles of 345-kV lines and four miles of 115-kV lines, will ensure reliability and reduce energy costs and includes three major substations and two switching stations.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3205 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.