VELCO to formally apply to Vermont PSB in late June for approval of St. Albans Project

Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO) on May 10 said that it plans to formally apply to the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) on June 29 for approval of the St. Albans Project, which involves upgrading the St. Albans substation, tap station and the connecting tap line.

The project, as proposed, would replace outdated equipment within the substation, tap line and tap station, VELCO said. Work to be performed would include pole removal and replacement, equipment replacement, and a fence expansion to accommodate a new control building, VELCO said.

According to the project webpage, the upgrade is needed because a recent conditions assessment revealed deficiencies within the substation. The transmission system upgrade would improve the reliability of electric facilities serving portions of northwest Vermont, the webpage noted.

Further discussing the project’s needs and benefits, the webpage noted that the substation is connected to VELCO’s electric transmission network in northwest Vermont, and that Green Mountain Power (GMP) electric distribution systems are fed from VELCO’s transmission network, serving GMP customers.

The substation was originally built in 1958 and has not undergone major improvements or modifications, except for replacement of the power transformers, according to the webpage.

Work at the substation involves:

  • Replacing a control building
  • Replacing two power transformers with a single transformer
  • Replacing protection and control system
  • Replacing circuit switcher with 115-kV breaker
  • Installing instrument voltage transformers in support of new protection and control system
  • Installing steel box structure to support 34.5-kV equipment
  • Expanding the substation fence

The webpage further noted that work at the tap station involves:

  • Installing 115-kV steel switch stand and operated switch
  • Installing steel structure to facilitate tap line termination
  • Installing remote control equipment in control building

In addition, work at the tap line involves:

  • Removing three pole structure on west side of the tap station
  • Replacing existing switch on structure with an X-brace
  • Replacing three structures on the west side of the substation

Regarding impacts, the webpage noted that VELCO’s aesthetic consultant, T.J. Boyle Associates, reviewed the preliminary design plans and performed a visual analysis of the areas of the proposed project. The findings indicate that the project would not create any adverse aesthetic impacts, the webpage noted, adding that a full analysis of potential aesthetic impacts, as well as proposed landscaping to mitigate those impacts, is included with the certificate of public good petition filed with the PSB.

VELCO does not anticipate adverse aesthetic impacts from the project, according to the site.

In addition, VELCO’s noise consultant, Resource Systems Group Inc., (RSG) assessed the potential noise impacts associated with the substation relocation. Noting that RSG has measured sounds levels at the existing substation and modeled the proposed modifications, the website stated that the findings indicate that the project would not create any adverse noise impacts. A complete engineering noise analysis is included with the petition filed with the PSB.

The webpage further noted that VELCO expects no noise impacts to the closest residence at the substation.

According to the project timeline, if approved, construction is to begin in spring 2018, and the project is anticipated to be completed in fall 2018.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3058 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.