Technical hearing scheduled for April for VELCO’s proposed replacement project in Vermont

A technical hearing on the PV20 Cable Replacement Project from the New York border to the Town of Grand Isle, Vt., proposed by Vermont Transco and Vermont Electric Power Company – collectively, VELCO – will be held on April 28 at the Vermont Public Service Board’s (PSB) hearing room in Montpelier, Vt., according to a March 24 procedural order.

As noted in VELCO’s September 2015 petition filed with the PSB, VELCO is seeking a certificate of public good (CPG) for the construction of the project, which consists of the addition of a replacement .7-mile submarine transmission line, replacement of the termination and control equipment, connecting line structures, and removal of the former submarine transmission line, termination structures and connecting line structures all located within Grand Isle.

The existing PV20 circuit connects the New York Power Authority (NYPA) Plattsburgh substation in Beekmantown, N.Y., to the VELCO-Sand Bar substation in Milton, Vt., VELCO said. A portion of that circuit runs underwater (submarine) in Lake Champlain between Plattsburgh, N.Y., and Grand Isle. The existing submarine segment of the circuit consists of four cables installed in 1958, and three cables installed in 1970. The existing cables are damaged, with one being no longer usable, and are at the end of their expected useful service life, VELCO added.

“Replacing the existing cables and termination stations in Vermont and New York, and rerouting terrestrial and overhead portions of the PV20 line, is necessary to maintain this vital high-voltage circuit,” VELCO said.

The project seeks to:

  • Replace the VELCO-owned segment of the PV20 circuit from the New York border, located underwater within Lake Champlain, to the overhead point of interconnection, located in Grand Isle
  • Replace the existing Grand Isle termination station with a new termination station, to be located north of the existing station
  • Reroute the overhead transmission line with the installation of two new transmission structures
  • Remove the existing cables
  • Remove the existing Grand Isle termination station and its associated equipment
  • Remove two no-longer-required overhead line structures

The total estimated cost of the PV20 removal and replacement in New York and Vermont is $91.6m, which is comprised of $83.3m for the installation of new cables, spare cable and structures, and $8.3m for the removal of existing cables and structures, VELCO said. The estimated capital cost for VELCO’s portion of the installations is $45.1m, and the estimated cost for VELCO’s portion of the removals is $4.6m.

VELCO also said that its schedule calls for work on the access road, site grading and horizontal directional drilling to begin this year, and with primary construction beginning in the spring of 2017. The project is scheduled to be completed by the winter of 2017, and the removal of the existing facilities in 2018. The schedule, VELCO added, presumes that a CPG will be issued in July.

Among other things, VELCO said that energy efficiency and load management measures, as well as energy conservation programs, could not resolve the need to restore a redundant supply to the vital area of northwest Vermont.

“This project has screened out of the need for a detailed non-transmission alternative (“NTA”) analysis as it is maintenance/asset condition related,” VELCO said.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3272 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 16 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