Vermont PSB approves, subject to conditions, GMP’s proposed substation project

The Vermont Public Service Board (PSB), in a July 8 order, granted, subject to certain conditions, Green Mountain Power’s (GMP) April 8 petition in which GMP requested a certificate of public good in order to replace three regulators at its East Barnard substation and to rebuild its Sharon substation in Barnard and Sharon in Vermont.

The PSB said that it concludes that the project will promote the general good of the state.

The project activities at the East Barnard substation consist of replacing three 100-amp regulators with three 200-amp regulators, the PSB said, adding that the project activities at the Sharon substation consist of rebuilding the substation at its current location to increase substation capacity to enable the interconnection of a solar generation facility, as well as to address aging infrastructure, associated safety and reliability concerns and security.

The project will increase transformer capacity at the Sharon substation in order to accommodate the interconnection of the Elizabeth Mine Solar I, LLC, 4.998 MW photovoltaic array to be located at the Elizabeth Mine Superfund site on Mine Road in Sharon and Thetford in Vermont, the PSB said, adding that it approved the Elizabeth Mine Solar Project on June 29.

GMP estimates that the project will cost about $1m, the PSB said, noting that the Elizabeth Mine Solar Project will pay for the portion of the costs specifically serving its project. The Elizabeth Mine Solar Project total cost share is estimated to be $668,254, the PSB said.

To perform the work at the Sharon substation, GMP will need to install a temporary substation to provide service during substation construction, the PSB said, noting that the temporary substation will be equipped with an oil containment system and will be removed from the site when the reconstructed substation is put into service.

The project will not unduly interfere with the orderly development of the region, with

due consideration having been given to the recommendations of the municipal and regional planning commissions, the recommendations of the municipal legislative bodies, and the land conservation measures contained in the plan of any affected municipality, the PSB said.

The project will meet the need for present and future demand for service, which could

not otherwise be provided in a more cost-effective manner through energy conservation programs and measures, as well as energy efficiency and load management measures, the PSB said.

The project, which will allow for interconnection of planned distributed generation and reduce the likelihood of equipment failure due to age, will not have an undue adverse effect on aesthetics, historic sites, air and water purity, the natural environment, the use of natural resources, or public health and safety, the PSB said.

Among other things, the PSB said that the project will not destroy or significantly imperil necessary wildlife habitat or threatened or endangered species because the project site is fully within an existing disturbed area at the East Barnard substation and the Sharon substation.

The PSB said that GMP is to restrict construction activities to the hours of 7 a.m., to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and is to cease construction activities on Sundays as well as on state and federal holidays.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3263 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.