The New York state Department of Public Service told National Grid USA on Dec. 9 that state regulators will not require a formal investigation of the company’s proposed refurbishment project involving a 115-kV line in Albany County, N.Y. (Case 13-T-0467)
According to the company’s Part 102 report filed with the state Public Service Commission (PSC) in October, Niagara Mohawk d/b/a National Grid is proposing to conduct a refurbishment and maintenance project on the T5460 New Scotland – Bethlehem #4 115-kV transmission line, which is about 5.6 miles long and begins at the New Scotland substation in New Scotland in Albany County, N.Y., and ends at the Bethlehem substation in Bethlehem in Albany County.
The project is needed to provide system reliability to the electric utility end users, as well as provide for public safety in areas where structure replacement or other methods are used to mitigate substandard clearances.
Similar to projects conducted in accordance with the October 2010 NERC guidance document, “Consideration of actual field conditions in determination of facility ratings,” National Grid adheres to a limited timeline to address substandard clearances to comply with New York ISO standards and guidelines related to facility ratings.
The line has been identified as having eight areas within the 5.6 miles with substandard clearances. National Grid also said that engineering analysis is still being done to determine if all eight areas actually have substandard clearances based on the actual operation of the line.
Due to the rigid timeline to remedy a potential safety issue, National Grid said it is submitting the Part 102 report assuming that six structures will need to be replaced and two floating dead ends will need to be installed to correct the substandard clearances. That will ensure that once the engineering analysis is complete, National Grid will have obtained the necessary approvals to correct the substandard clearances and mitigate potential safety concerns.
The company further noted that the line is primarily placed on Type A double circuit suspension flexible steel structures. The structures slated to be replaced will be upgraded to modern wooden two-pole structures and the height of the structures will be increased from about 70 feet to 82 feet above ground height to a new height of 92.5 feet to 101.5 feet. The increase in the structures’ height is needed in order to achieve the required minimum clearance from the conductors to the ground.
National Grid also said that since the project is wholly located within the existing managed right-of-way, minimal impact is expected. The company said project construction will not interfere with any current or future land uses.
While there are no long-term impacts anticipated as a result of the project, some short-term impacts associated with the disruption of ongoing farming activities may occur. National Grid added that it will attempt to minimize short-term impacts through scheduling and, where possible, coordinating construction activities with ongoing farm operations.
National Grid is a subsidiary of National Grid plc.