Seven projects deserve consideration in New York AC transmission proceedings

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Staff of the New York State Department of Public Service (DPS) on July 6 submitted to New York regulators an interim report that identifies seven of 21 transmission proposals that should be considered further as part of the state’s AC transmission proceedings regarding possible solutions to transmission congestion at the Central East and Upstate New York/Southeast New York (UPNY/SENY) electrical interfaces.

The interim report addresses the issues of environmental compatibility and beneficial electric system effects on the electrical interfaces.

“We expect the issuance of the report to be a major step forward in narrowing the focus of the AC transmission proceedings by recommending the elimination from further consideration of projects that have significant environmental compatibility issues in relation to the other projects, or that do not demonstrate sufficient electric system benefits as compared to the other proposals,” staff said in the report.

The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) initiated the AC transmission proceedings to consider whether to address congestion issues at the Central East and UPNY/SENY interfaces, and requested project proposals from transmission owners and other developers to increase the UPNY/SENY transfer capacity by about 1,000 MW. Four entities submitted 21 proposals for the proceedings.

Those entities include LS Power unit North America Transmission Corp., New York Transco, NextEra Energy unit NextEra Energy Transmission New York and Boundless Energy NE.

New York Transco includes Fortis unit Central Hudson Gas and Electric, Consolidated Edison, National Grid and Iberdrola units New York State Electric and Gas and Rochester Gas and Electric.

The PSC directed DPS staff, with the assistance of the New York ISO, to conduct a comparative evaluation of the 21 project proposals. Staff said that the results presented in the interim report do not take into account the recently announced construction of the 720 MW CPV Valley generation facility, which will require updated power flow, production cost benefit and capacity cost benefit studies to reflect the change.

A final report will reflect those studies and will include an analysis for the seven recommended proposals, with a focus on project cost estimates, benefit/cost analysis and the issue of whether there is sufficient public need for a transmission solution as a matter of public policy.

Staff did not specify a release date for that final report, but indicated that it would be produced in an “expedited fashion.”

According to the report, the seven proposals staff recommended for further consideration are the most promising of the 21 submissions from an electric system benefit perspective, and are significantly more environmentally compatible primarily because they are all designed to use existing rights of way (ROW).

Staff selected for further consideration four of New York Transco’s nine proposals, an amended version of one of NextEra’s six proposals, and both of Boundless Energy’s proposals. Staff did not select any of the five proposals submitted by North America Transmission.

New York Transco’s Leeds to Pleasant Valley proposal includes reconductoring of two existing 345-kV electric transmission facilities within the Leeds to Pleasant Valley corridor. The proposal also includes replacement of about 10 percent of existing lattice structures within the ROW as well as repair of several other structures. Lattice structures at the Hudson River crossing would remain and be reconductored.

New York Transco’s New Scotland to Leeds to Pleasant Valley proposal includes reconductoring of two existing 345-kV steel lattice design transmission facilities within the New Scotland to Leeds corridor and replacement of several existing structures. The improved line would cross the Hudson River, and structure upgrades or replacement may be required.

The proposal also includes replacement of an existing double-circuit 115-kV line with new 115/345-kV double-circuit structures within the Leeds to Pleasant Valley corridor. The Leeds to Churchtown segment of the Leeds to Pleasant Valley component would cross the Hudson River, and the existing double-circuit 115 kV lattice towers would be replaced with monopole structures of similar height to support 115-kV and 345-kV conductors.

The Edic to New Scotland (ED-NS) component of New York Transco’s Edic to New Scotland to Pleasant Valley proposal includes the removal of one set of 230-kV conductors and insulators from each of the two existing 230/345-kV double-circuit monopole structures along the Edic to New Scotland ROW.

One set of the existing 230-kV conductors and insulators would be replaced with 345-kV conductors and insulators. Additionally, two existing single-circuit 230-kV lines with H-frame structures would be replaced with a single-circuit 345-kV facility primarily using H-frame structures.

A New Scotland to Leeds to Pleasant Valley component of the proposal includes reconductoring two existing 345-kV electric transmission facilities and the upgrade of several existing steel lattice structures within the ROW.

New York Transco’s Edic to New Scotland to Churchtown proposal includes the Edic to New Scotland segment from the Edic to New Scotland to Pleasant Valley proposal. It also includes reconductoring of two existing 345-kV steel lattice transmission facilities within the New Scotland to Leeds corridor and replacement of several existing structures.

The improved New Scotland to Leeds line would cross the Hudson River and includes replacement of existing double circuit 115-kV electric transmission facilities with new 115/345-kV double-circuit structures within the Leeds to Pleasant Valley corridor. The Leeds to Churchtown segment of the Leeds to Pleasant Valley component would cross the Hudson River, parts of which are designated as SASS.

Staff amended one of NextEra’s proposals as an option to connect a proposed switchyard, to be called Knickerbocker, to Pleasant Valley.

The proposal includes construction of the new Knickerbocker switchyard and replacement of existing 115-kV circuit with two 345/115-kV circuits connecting the Knickerbocker switchyard and existing Churchtown substation. The scenario also includes construction of a new 115/345-kV circuit connecting the existing Churchtown and Pleasant Valley substations.

Boundless Energy’s Athens generating station proposal includes reconductoring from the Athens generating substation to the Leeds substation, the Leeds substation to the Pleasant Valley substation, the Leeds substation to the Hurley substation, and the CPV Valley tap line to the Rock Tavern substation. The proposed reconductoring from Leeds to Pleasant Valley would traverse the Hudson River from Athens, N.Y., to Greenport, N.Y.

Boundless Energy also proposed installation of two underground 345-kV circuits from the Roseton substation to the East Fishkill substation.

Boundless Energy’s Leeds — Rock Tavern proposal includes the underground segment from the Athens generating station proposal and reconductoring from the Leeds substation to the Hurley substation and from the CPV Valley tap line to the Rock Tavern substation.

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