New York regulators seek comments on Cricket Valley Energy Center’s proposed 345-kV line

New York state regulators are seeking comments by March 17 on Cricket Valley Energy Center’s proposed 14.6-mile, 345-kV transmission line that will connect the planned Cricket Valley Energy Center generation facility in Dover, N.Y., to the Consolidated Edison Company of New York’s (Con Edison) Pleasant Valley substation in Pleasant Valley, N.Y.

Cricket Valley Energy Center also sought, in its Dec. 30, 2013 application, authority to re-conductor an approximately 3.4-mile segment of the existing 345-kV Line 398 in Dover between the Cricket Valley switchyard and the New York – Connecticut state line, according to the state Public Service Commission’s (PSC) Jan. 24 notice inviting comments (Case 13-T-0585).

The company further requested waiver or partial waiver of certain regulations governing the content of Article VII applications, including certain provisions involving the use of maps produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) instead of New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) maps, the PSC said.

According to the application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need under Article VII of the Public Service Law, Cricket Valley Energy Center is submitting plans and figures showing such features as the location and function of any structure to be built on, or adjacent to, the right-of-way (ROW) upon recent aerial photos and USGS topographic maps. The maps included in the application, the company said, provide a depiction of the features required at an equivalent or finer scale than the NYSDOT maps specified in the regulation. The company also noted that the PSC has previously granted similar waivers in such situations.

The project, the company said, is needed to interconnect and deliver the electrical output of the generation facility to the state transmission grid. Cricket Valley Energy Center said it has secured the necessary approvals to build the new generation facility on property in Dover that is directly adjacent to Line 398. The PSC issued last year a certificate of public convenience and necessity approving the construction and operation of the generation facility.

Also, according to the studies approved by the New York ISO (NYISO), the project increases overall system reliability and maintains acceptable levels of transfer capability when the generation facility is in operation.

The company noted that the line is proposed to be routed within the existing ROW in which an existing transmission line is located that is owned and operated by Con Edison.

As a system upgrade facility required by the NYISO for the Cricket Valley approved generation facility to interconnect to the electric transmission system, ownership and maintenance of the proposed line, assuming the PSC approves the proposed line, will be transferred to Con Edison under NYISO tariffs.

At the appropriate time, the company added, it will seek PSC approval for the transfer of the issued Article VII certificate to Con Edison.

The company noted that the existing Line 398 ROW is generally 250 feet wide and traverses, from east to west, the towns of Dover, Union Vale, LaGrange and Pleasant Valley in Dutchess County, N.Y.

From the planned generation facility in Dover, the proposed transmission line heads northwest to the north of the Great Swamp Critical Environmental Area and then heads west over West Mountain. The proposed line continues in a northwesterly direction into Union Vale, the company added, noting that the total distance in Dover is about 3.5 miles.

The line continues in a generally westerly direction through Union Vale and passes just north of the Sky Acres Airport. The total distance in Union Vale is about 5.7 miles. The line continues in a west-northwesterly direction through LaGrange crossing State Route 82, several local roads and the Taconic State Parkway. The total distance in LaGrange is about 2.7 miles.

In Pleasant Valley, the company added, the new line will cross Wappinger Creek and Main Street – U.S. Route 44 – before interconnecting at the Pleasant Valley substation. The total distance in that town is about 2.7 miles.

The project will also include the reconductoring of the approximately 3.4-mile segment of Line 398 that runs east from the planned Cricket Valley Energy Center to the New York-Connecticut state line. The existing transmission ROW for that segment is generally 250 feet wide and located within Dover, the company added.

From the planned generation facility, that segment crosses New York State Route 22, County Route 6, Ten Mile River and Lake Weil before reaching the New York-Connecticut state line.

Cricket Valley Energy Center also said that it will conduct a comprehensive public involvement plan, which has been developed to provide relevant information to the public and stakeholders, consider stakeholder input in the development and implementation of solutions, and make stakeholders aware of the commitment the project sponsor has made to consistent, frequent and transparent outreach and communications.

Residents with property abutting the existing Line 398 ROW will be contacted by mail to provide them with detailed information on how the project will communication with them, collect their input and respond to inquiries.

The company also said that the project will be designed, built and operated in a manner that avoids or minimizes impacts to environmental resources, to the maximum extent practicable, within Dutchess County.

For instance, as the project is located within the existing Con Edison Line 398 electric transmission ROW, which has been largely cleared of tall woody vegetation in the past, limited tree clearing activities are anticipated.

Among other things, the company said that no reasonable alternative substation locations or line routes would provide the same benefits at a comparable cost or with such minimal environmental impacts.

Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED).

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3286 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares was TransmissionHub’s chief editor until August 2021, as well as part of the team that established TransmissionHub in 2011. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial from 2005 to 2011. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines.