Galloo Island Wind, LLC on Jan. 8 filed with the New York State Public Service Commission an application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need authorizing it to build and operate a 34.5/138-kV collection substation on Galloo Island, Town of Hounsfield, Jefferson County, N.Y.; a 33-mile, 138-kV AC underground/submarine electric transmission cable; and a 115-kV point of interconnection (POI) substation on Mitchell Street in the City of Oswego, Oswego County, N.Y., (collectively referred to as the transmission facility).
The company said that it proposes to build, operate, and maintain the transmission facility to transmit power from the proposed 108.9-MW Galloo Island Wind Energy Facility to the mainland. The company noted that it previously submitted an application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need seeking permission to build, operate, and maintain the wind energy facility on Galloo Island.
The single-circuit electric transmission cable would run about 33 miles from the proposed collection substation on the south side of Galloo Island, through Lake Ontario, to the proposed POI substation in the City of Oswego, the company said. At the POI substation, the submarine cable would enter a stepdown yard where the power would be transferred from 138 kV to 115 kV. From there, the company added, the power would travel through a short span into a ring bus yard, and then into the existing 115-kV line. The POI substation is proposed to be built at property located west of the existing Indeck-Oswego combined cycle natural gas power plant on land that was formerly the site of a paper manufacturing facility, the company said.
The company noted that the proposed transmission cable is broken into five segments:
- An underground cable from the collection substation on Galloo Island to the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) entry pit
- The HDD portion of the conduit from Galloo Island into Lake Ontario
- The submarine portion of the transmission cable crossing Lake Ontario to the City of Oswego
- The portion of the cable brought to landfall at the POI substation through HDD
- The portion of the line from the mainland cable vault to the Indeck-Oswego 115-kV transmission line
The company noted that it is under contract to buy the land at the collection substation and POI substation, and so would own the land under the substations when construction of the transmission facility begins. The bed of Lake Ontario on which the transmission cable would be laid is owned by the state, and as a result, the company would be required to obtain an easement from the New York State Office of General Services to build and operate the line.
The proposed underwater easement, which would have a maximum width of 50 feet, would be about 33 miles long, and would traverse Lake Ontario through portions of Jefferson and Oswego counties, the company added.
The company noted that it is proposing a 300-foot-wide corridor in which the cable would be installed. The 50-foot-wide ROW is anticipated to be centered on the final cable alignment within that corridor.
The company also noted that it has made numerous efforts to site the facility in a manner that avoids and/or minimizes adverse environmental impacts. For instance, the company said that the POI substation has been sited in an industrialized area, adjacent to an existing co-generation facility, and thus, adverse impacts to land use and visibility at the POI substation have been minimized. Also, the submarine transmission cable route is proposed away from identified underwater cultural resources and mapped areas of significant fish and wildlife habitat.
At Galloo Island, the company added, the site is uninhabited, minimizing the number of potential viewers of the collection substation, which is about six miles from the nearest mainland location and therefore would be imperceptible from visually sensitive resources and viewers on the mainland.
Discussing the need for the proposed facility, the company said that the proposed generation and transmission facilities would help the state achieve the broad goals of, for instance, the 2015 State Energy Plan, which contains a series of policy objectives to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and diversify the state’s energy portfolio, while stabilizing energy costs and encouraging economic development and innovation.
According to the filing, the company anticipates beginning construction of the Galloo Island Wind Energy Facility and related transmission facility in 2019, with construction of the transmission facility expected to last about nine months.
Among other things, the filing noted that the proposed transmission facility is being developed on a merchant basis, with no cost recovery from captive utility ratepayers.
The cable price is estimated at $600,000 per mile, the company said, adding that installation costs do not lend themselves to unit pricing as there is a large portion of fixed cost in the delivery, mobilization, and horizontal directional bores at the landing sites. Lump sum costs to deliver and install cable is estimated at $25m, the company said.
The collection substation cost is about $5m, and the POI substation cost is about $5m, the company said, adding that system interconnection costs, including the switchyard, tap line, and associated utility owned hardware, have been estimated by the New York ISO at $7m.