Niagara Mohawk Power d/b/a National Grid on Nov. 17 filed with the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) a Part 102 Report, saying that it proposes to conduct a clearance refurbishment project on the Whitehall-Blissville #7 115-kV Transmission Line, which orginates at the Whitehall substation in the Town of Whitehall in Washington County, N.Y., and terminates at the Blissville substation in the Town of Poultney in Rutland County, Vt.
The line, which was built before 1973, runs for about six miles within New York before crossing the border into Vermont, where ownership transfers to the Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO), National Grid said.
The maintenance project is necessary 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 and maintain thermal ratings, the company said.
As part of the project, National Grid said that it proposes to replace five structures and replace/relocate one structure to adhere to certain conditions. The project area traverses through agricultural areas and is adjacent to one residential property, the company said, adding that the line crosses U.S. Route 4 and State Route 21, along with multiple lower traffic roads. National Grid said that it owns the right of way (ROW) for the project.
Noting that the existing line is generally supported on single circuit wood H-Frame structures, the company said that the proposed new structure replacements/installations for the project would consist of wood H-Frame and three wood pole deadend structures.
The company noted that some short-term impacts associated with the disruption of ongoing farming activities may occur as a consequence of the project, but National Grid will attempt to minimize short-term impacts through scheduling and, where possible, coordinating construction activities with ongoing farm operations.
The company also said that the New York Natural Heritage Program has not identified any known populations of Indiana bats within one mile of the line, and that areas within the immediate vicinity of the ROW are comprised of forests that may have tree species suitable for Indiana bat roosts. However, National Grid said that any tree clearing or trimming of branches would be done in the winter months, eliminating potential for encounter or impact to that species.
Among other things, the company said that project construction is proposed to begin in January 2017, and the target date for completion of the project is April 2017.