New York State Public Service Commission Case 13-T-0235
On May 31, 2013, NYSEG and Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation d/b/a National Grid filed a joint application with the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need under Article VII of Public Service Law for the Auburn Transmission Project. On November 13, 2013 NYSEG and National Grid filed a supplement to this application.
The application, as filed on May 31, 2013, proposed the construction of a new 115- kilovolt (kV) electric transmission line over a distance of approximately 14.5 miles from the City of Auburn to the Town of Elbridge. The supplement added three elements to the application:
- Relocating and reconductoring a portion of National Grid’s existing 115-kV Geneva-to-Elbridge #15 transmission line.
- Busing together two existing 115-kV electric transmission lines over approximately 10.3 miles from the Town of Throop to the Town of Elbridge.
- Rebuilding an existing 115-kV electric transmission line over 4.2 miles within the City of Auburn and the Town of Throop.
In January 2014, the applicants entered into settlement negotiations with a number of participants. After extensive and cooperative negotiations, a Joint Proposal was signed by NYSEG, National Grid, the Staff of the New York State Department of Public Service, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Nucor Steel Auburn, Inc., Ratepayers and Community Intervenors and the Sierra Club. On June 22, 2015, the applicants filed the Joint Proposal with the PSC. The Joint Proposal contained Proposed Ordering Clauses that the parties recommended the PSC adopt, including clauses on public notice, health and safety, right-of-way restoration and protection of environmental resources.
On August 17, 2015, an evidentiary hearing was held for the purposes of examining the terms and conditions of the Joint Proposal and receiving into evidence the Joint Proposal and supporting evidence. On November 18, 2015, a Recommended Decision was issued recommending PSC issuance of an Article VII certificate to the applicants.
On February 23, 2016, the PSC approved the terms and conditions of the Joint Proposal. The Order granting the Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need was issued and effective February 25, 2016.
On April 15, 2016, NYSEG and National Grid filed an Environmental Management and Construction Plan (EM&CP), which details the precise location of project facilities and precautions to ensure environmental compatibility. Subsequently, NYSEG and National Grid received comments from Department of Public Service staff and other parties. On July 20, 2016, changes to the EM&CP were filed which address all the comments received. On August 1, 2016, the PSC approved the EM&CP for the ATP.
NYSEG is in the process of ordering materials, hiring contractors and taking steps to ensure all pre-construction activities required by the EM&CP and the Certificate have been completed. Once these steps are complete, construction will commence.
The project is needed to reinforce NYSEG’s electric transmission system in the Auburn area. NYSEG’s ability to provide reliable service to customers in NYSEG’s Auburn Division is currently dependent on at least one of the two generating units at the Cayuga Generating Facility in the Town of Lansing being available to operate. This dependency exists only because of limitations on transmission to the area. The proposed line is necessary to eliminate these transmission limitations and enable NYSEG to maintain adequate service throughout the company’s Auburn Division.
The relocated line, line busing and rebuilt line are needed to:
- Increase transfer capacity between NYSEG’s State Street Substation and National Grid’s Elbridge Substation.
- Provide an alternate source of supply to the City of Auburn and the surrounding area in the event of a loss of the proposed line.
- Minimize outage time during construction activities.
The new and upgraded facilities will be capable of delivering additional energy to meet the demands of the Auburn area, and will improve reliability at a reasonable and relatively low cost.
Following completion of all project elements, no identified local reliability needs are expected to occur under forecast load growth. Completion of the project will ensure transmission system reliability throughout the Auburn area by eliminating thermal overloads under the full range of forecast contingencies.
PROJECT SCOPE AND DESCRIPTION
Beginning at NYSEG’s State Street Substation, the first section of the proposed line will parallel NYSEG’s existing Lines 971 and 972 for approximately 4.2 miles, running generally south to north in the City of Auburn and Town of Throop. The second section of the proposed line will parallel existing National Grid transmission lines for approximately 10.3 miles to National Grid’s Elbridge Substation, running generally west to east in the Towns of Brutus, Sennett and Elbridge and the Village of Elbridge.
The relocated line will be installed in the National Grid right of way (ROW) from a point 4.2 miles north of NYSEG’s State Street Substation east to the Elbridge Substation, a distance of approximately 10.3 miles. It will be co-located on the same structures as the proposed line in this ROW.
The line busing will be performed in the same approximately 10.3-mile National Grid ROW.
The rebuilt line will result from rebuilding NYSEG’s existing 115-kV electric transmission (Line 972) in its current location in the existing NYSEG ROW that runs north from the State Street Substation for a distance of 4.2 miles within the City of Auburn and the Town of Throop. That ROW is also currently occupied by NYSEG’s existing 115-kV Line 971, which will be rebuilt for a distance of approximately 1.4 miles, and it will be the site of a portion of the proposed line.
The proposed line, relocated line and rebuilt line will be installed with new 1192.5 kcmil “bunting” aluminum conductor, steel reinforced (ACSR) conductors on steel poles. The proposed line and relocated line will be installed primarily on double-circuit capacity, phase-over-phase steel monopole structures within the National Grid ROW.
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Copies of the proposed EM&CP and Article VII filing are also available for public inspection during normal business hours at the:
- Elbridge Free Library, 241 East Main Street, Elbridge
- Jordan Bramley Library, 15 Mechanic Street, Jordan
- Port Byron Library, 12 Sponable Drive, Port Byron
- Seymour Library, 167-178 Genesee Street, Auburn
- Weedsport Free Library, 2795 E. Brutus Street, Weedsport
- Department of Public Service, Office of Central Files, 14th Floor, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223