New York finds Cricket Valley’s application for 345-kV line deficient

The New York Department of Public Service (DPS) on March 3 told Cricket Valley Energy Center that its Dec. 30, 2013, application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need under Article VII of the Public Service Law (PSL) for approval to build and operate a new 14.6-mile, 345-kV transmission line contains deficiencies.

The deficiencies must be remedied or otherwise cured before the documents can be deemed to comply with PSL Section 122 and the public hearing can begin, the DPS said.

As TransmissionHub reported, the line 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 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 DPS’ March 3 letter, Cricket Valley’s documents do not comply with certain requirements to state the types of pesticides or herbicides, if any, that will be used in construction or maintenance of the proposed facility, including the volumes and manner of use.

Also, the documents do not comply with requirements to provide plans to locate and design appurtenant structures to minimize their environmental impacts – that is, visual and noise.

“The documents as submitted are insufficient to assess the potential visual impacts of marking towers [and/or] conductors in order to comply with Federal Aviation Administration regulations or requirements in the vicinity of Sky Acres airport,” the DPS said. “Applicants [are to] provide sufficient information to assess the visual impacts of any painting and/or attaching strobe lights or other visual markers including large red or orange spheres to the poles or other features of the proposed transmission facility.”

Also, the documents do not comply with requirements to show the relationship of the proposed facility with respect to nearby, crossing or connecting rights-of-way (ROWs) or facilities of other utilities. The location of the Iroquois gas transmission line is only shown on the cross section of the corridor and is not illustrated on the plan figures, the DPS added.

Furthermore, the application does not comply with the requirement to provide a description of the equipment to be installed at the substation and details of any terminal facility to be part of the proposed facility. The applicant is to provide drawings illustrating how the facility will connect to the substation including any additional equipment required – redacted as appropriate, the DPS added.

The DPS also noted that while not required to deem the documents complete, staff has requested that Cricket Valley provide additional information, including aerial base maps that include topography to show the contours as it is related to the access roads.

Among other things, the DPS said that while the public involvement plan provides a good roadmap for outreach and education, it is lacking in details that would give a clearer picture about how the applicant will inform and engage the public about the proposed project. Staff recommended certain changes to provide more specific information about stakeholders, outreach activities and schedules, for instance, but believes that the plan should serve as a stand-alone source for information regarding public involvement for the case.

For instance, Cricket Valley should add federal, state and county elected officials and government agencies to the elected leadership and policymaker list, and should determine if there are additional categories or groups of stakeholders potentially affected by the project such as Native American tribes, and transportation or communication networks.

Con Edison comments on project

On March 17, Consolidated Edison’s (NYSE:ED) Con Edison submitted comments to the PSC in response to the Jan. 24 notice.

Con Edison noted that the proposed project is required by the New York ISO (NYISO) as a system upgrade facility in order for Cricket Valley to be able to interconnect its planned generation facility to the electric transmission system. Because the project will constitute a system upgrade facility, assuming the PSC approves the project and subsequent to completion of construction, ownership, operation and maintenance of the project will be transferred to Con Edison.

Con Edison also noted that because the proposed project will interconnect with and affect the Con Edison system, Cricket Valley must design and build the project in accordance with all applicable standards including any relevant Con Edison standards and specifications, as well as comply with Con Edison transmission requirements, including certain engineering specifications.

Among other things, Con Edison noted that the proposed project is to take place within the company’s existing Line 398 ROW, adding that if for some reason the existing ROW is not adequate to accommodate the project, Cricket Valley would be responsible for obtaining additional ROW.

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.