Cricket Valley files environmental management and construction plan for 345-kV project in New York

Cricket Valley Energy Center LLC (CVEC) on April 28 filed with the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) the full Environmental Management and Construction Plan Revision 2 (EM&CP) for the Cricket Valley to Pleasant Valley 345-kV Transmission Project.

As noted in the filing, the new 14.6-mile line runs parallel to, and within the right of way (ROW) of, the existing Consolidated Edison 345-kV Line 398. The project will connect the CVEC generation facility in the Town of Dover, N.Y., to Consolidated Edison Company of New York’s (Con Edison) Pleasant Valley substation in the Town of Pleasant Valley, N.Y., CVEC added.

The project will also reconductor an approximately 3.4-mile segment of the existing 345-kV Line 398 in the Town of Dover between the CVEC new switchyard and the New York-Connecticut state line, as well as improve the Pleasant Valley substation to accommodate the new line, CVEC said.

CVEC noted that it filed in December 2013 an application with the PSC under Article VII of the Public Service Law (PSL) seeking a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need, which was issued in April 2016.

Since the project will constitute System Upgrade Facilities (SUFs) under the tariffs of the New York ISO (NYISO), subsequent to completion of construction, ownership, operation, and maintenance of the project will be transferred to Con Edison, CVEC said.

CVEC said that to date, it has filed with the PSC “phased” EM&CP filings requesting early tree clearing approval, as well as early approval of preparation and use of the project’s laydown areas. The EM&CP filed on April 28 is a “complete and final” filing that includes all proposed project construction activities, CVEC said.

To ensure that certain tree clearing is completed between Oct. 1 and March 31, before seasonal wildlife restrictions apply from April 1 to Sept. 30, CVEC said that it had requested that the project be approved in two portions: certain early tree clearing, in advance of the restriction period (Portion 1); followed by the remainder of the project (Portion 2).

CVEC said that it submitted in January a revision to the EM&CP for the purpose of supporting a request for approval from the PSC for the early tree clearing, and that the PSC in February granted that approval.

In accordance with a condition of the certificate of environmental compatibility and public need, CVEC said that it convened a preconstruction meeting in February with state Department of Public Service (DPS) staff and other interested agencies to discuss the limited tree clearing scheduled for completion in March, which involves the segment of the transmission corridor extending from the CVEC switchyard to transmission structures “CV-60” and “L-60-1.”

Describing the project, CVEC noted that from the Cricket Valley switching station, the transmission line heads northwest to the north of the Great Swamp Critical Environmental Area, and then heads west over West Mountain. The line continues in a northwesterly direction into the Town of Union Vale, CVEC said, noting that the total distance in the Town of Dover is about 3.5 miles.

The line continues in a generally westerly direction through the Town of Union Vale and passes to the north of the Sky Acres Airport, CVEC said, adding that the total distance in the Town of Union Vale is about 5.7 miles.

The line continues in a west-northwesterly direction through the Town of LaGrange crossing State Route 82, several local roads and the Taconic State Parkway. The total distance in the Town of LaGrange is about 2.7 miles, CVEC added.

In the Town of Pleasant Valley, the line will cross Wappinger Creek and Main Street (U.S. Route 44) before interconnecting at the Pleasant Valley substation, CVEC said, noting that the total distance in the Town of Pleasant Valley is about 2.7 miles.

Of the reconductoring segment, CVEC said that from the planned Cricket Valley switching station, the 3.4-mile reconductoring segment of Line 398 crosses New York State Route 22, County Route 6, Ten Mile River, and Lake Weil before reaching the New York-Connecticut state line.

The line will consist primarily of galvanized steel monopole structures with conductors arranged in a delta configuration for most of the structures, CVEC said, noting that the first three structures near the Pleasant Valley substation will be lower galvanized steel H-frames with conductors arranged in a horizontal configuration. While the height and location of certain structures have been adjusted to accommodate terrain and comply with engineering clearance requirements, the structures still average about 121 feet in height, CVEC said.

Construction of the line will occur in four general phases: ROW clearing and preparation; assembly of steel monopole structures; stringing of the conductors; as well as cleanup and restoration, CVEC said. Of the first phase of the project – ROW clearing and stabilization – CVEC noted, for instance, that the remainder of tree clearing (Portion 2) will occur in fall/winter of 2017/2018.

CVEC said that foundation types will be either drilled pier caisson foundation or micropile foundation. The transmission pole structure erection will be installed by two methods – by ground crane and by sky crane – depending on the terrain on the ROW, CVEC said.

Upon completion of construction, the areas disturbed during initial construction activities will be permanently restored using practices and methods that will promote stable soil and vegetation conditions, CVEC said.

Among other things, CVEC said that total construction duration is estimated to be about 24 months.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3224 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.