National Grid proposes refurbishment project on 115-kV line in New York


Niagara Mohawk Power, doing business as National Grid, in its Part 102 Report filed with New York state regulators on Oct. 2., said that it proposes to conduct a clearance refurbishment project on the Meco–Rotterdam #10 115-kV transmission line.

The line runs through the towns of Johnstown and Perth in Fulton County; towns of Amsterdam, Florida and Mohawk in Montgomery County; and the town of Rotterdam in Schenectady County in New York, the company said.

The line runs for about 32.5 circuit miles from the Meco 318 substation in Johnstown to the Rotterdam 138 substation in Rotterdam, the company said, adding that there are three taps off the mainline: a 2.2-mile tap to the Center Street substation in Fonda, N.Y.; a 1.7-mile tap to the Church Street substation in Amsterdam; and a single span loop to the Amsterdam substation in Amsterdam.

The line is double circuited with the 115-kV Stoner–Rotterdam #12 line for most of its length, the company said.

The refurbishment project is a maintenance project that is necessary to provide system reliability to the electric utility end users, as well as provide for public safety in areas where structure replacement or other methods are used to mitigate substandard clearances and maintain thermal ratings, the company said.

As part of the project, National Grid said it proposes the replacement of 20 structures, installation of three intermediate structures, and conversion of seven structures to floating deadends to adhere to certain conditions.

Replacement of existing structures and installation of new intermediate structures will take place within the developed right of way, which will minimize and/or avoid many potential impacts to adjacent and nearby existing or planned land uses.

Adjacent land uses, the company added, may experience some temporary, short-term disturbances and inconveniences associated with construction. No permanent impacts to land use or natural resources will occur as a result of the project, the company said.

National Grid noted that the line primarily traverses agricultural, commercial and residential properties, and it crosses several major roadways including Interstate 90, Route 30 and Route 67. National Grid said it owns the ROW for the project.

Most of the line, including the majority of the structures to be replaced as part of the project, was built in the early 1930s, the company said, adding that the portion of the line that runs from the Meco substation to Structure 134B was installed in 1961. Those structures are all wood H-frame type, as are those on the Center Street Tap, which was installed in 1971. The company added that previous work on the line includes replacement of the middle phase insulator string for Structure 274 in 2005; 12 intermediate structures were installed in 2014 to address substandard clearances on the Stoner–Rotterdam #12 line.

Among other things, National Grid discussed rare, threatened and endangered species, noting, for instance, that areas within the immediate vicinity of the ROW are comprised of forests that may have tree species suitable for northern long-eared bat roosts. Minor tree clearing may be necessary for off-ROW access associated with the project, the company said, adding that if necessary, tree clearing will be conducted between Oct. 1 and March 31 to avoid impacts to roosting bats.

Of agricultural land, National Grid said that it is anticipated that some short-term impacts associated with the disruption of ongoing farming activities may occur as a consequence of the project, but the company will attempt to minimize short-term impacts through scheduling and, where possible, coordinating construction activities with ongoing farm operations.

The company also noted that the New York State Historic Preservation Office, after reviewing the project, determined that the project will have “no effect” on historic properties.

The company said that project construction will begin as soon as all permits and approvals are obtained, which is anticipated to be by next December, and the target date for project completion is April 2016.

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