The New York State Public Service Commission on July 31 said that it is seeking comment on a request by Central Hudson Gas and Electric to rebuild and upgrade about 23.6 miles of existing 69-kV transmission lines located in the City of Kingston and towns of Ulster and Saugerties in Ulster County, as well as the Town and Village of Catskill in Greene County.
A public statement hearing will be held on Aug. 7 in Saugerties, N.Y., the commission said, noting that the hearing will be preceded by a brief presentation by the state Department of Public Service staff that will begin at 6 p.m.
Comments may also be entered by Aug. 21 at the commission’s website at http://www.dps.ny.gov under case number 17-T-0816, as well as sent via email and mail, and provided by phone, the commission said.
Fortis’ (NYSE:FTS) Central Hudson requests commission authorization to rebuild the existing lines designated “H” and “SB,” the commission said, adding that according to the company, the rebuild would generally occur within an existing 23.6-mile right of way, with about 1.2 miles of the H line relocated to avoid the state-designated Great Vly Wildlife Management Area.
The company would upgrade the lines to 115-kV requirements by removing and replacing most of the structures, insulators, electrical conductors, and associated components of the two lines, which would use 253 total structures, three fewer than the existing lines occupy, the commission said.
As TransmissionHub reported, the company in December said that the project is needed to address the deteriorating condition of the “very old lines.” The company noted that the existing 69-kV H and SB Lines originally were installed in 1928 as double-circuit steel lattice structures using 1/0 Cu conductor for each of the four circuits; the double circuits subsequently were converted to two single circuits with 2 1/0 Cu conductors per phase.
An assessment of their condition determined that 32% of the lines’ structures were in need of replacement or the addition of mid-span poles to correct sag issues; an additional 35.5% of structures are in need of maintenance repairs. The company added that some identified issues found were severe enough to prompt replacements of nine structures in 2017.
The total estimated cost of the proposed H & SB Electric Transmission Lines Rebuild is about $41m, the company said.
Environmental studies that were primarily conducted by Central Hudson and its consultant, VHB, concluded that the construction and operation of the project would result in limited and temporary adverse environmental effects, which would occur primarily during the construction phase.
Central Hudson also said that since it has designed the project to be built and operated within or along existing transmission corridors and has proposed certain mitigation measures, the company has minimized the potential for the project to result in adverse impacts in such areas as land uses, visual resources, as well as terrestrial and wildlife resources.
Nearby residences may experience short-term disturbance and traffic inconvenience associated with construction activities. The company added that to minimize potential construction effects to adjacent landowners, it would, for instance, provide timely information to adjacent property owners and tenants regarding the planned construction activities and schedules.