The New York State Public Service Commission has voted to issue a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need to the Long Island Power Authority under Article VII of the Public Service Law to construct and operate a 138-kV submarine electric transmission line between Northport, New York and Norwalk, Connecticut.
“Today’s action by the commission is proof of New York’s capability to plan its own infrastructure for the state’s energy future,” said Commission Chairwoman Patricia L. Acampora. “It is important to note that the Commission approved a critical transmission path for both Long Island and New England without opposition and based upon planning undertaken on both the local and regional levels. Today’s action shows why there is no need for the Department of Energy or the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to control infrastructure planning for New York State.”
On Oct. 25, 2001, LIPA applied, pursuant to Public Service Law, Article VII, for a certificate to construct a major electric transmission facility consisting of approximately 11 miles of 138-kV submarine electric transmission cables installed beneath the Long Island Sound between LIPA’a substation in the Town of Huntington on the Northport Power Station property and a Connecticut Light & Power Substation in Norwalk, Connecticut.
The purpose of the facility is to increase the ability to reliably transmit power between Long Island and Connecticut, as both regions are reliability constrained. The new facility will replace seven liquid-insulated cables mostly lying on the floor of the Long Island Sound with three solid dielectric cables buried approximately 10 feet below the floor of the Sound. The cables being replaced were installed in 1969 and have had a history of damage and service outages.
There will be minimal impacts to the environment as construction of the new facility will be entirely within the existing rights-of-way. Additionally in the long-term, environmental impacts of the new line are likely to be positive because the new facility will be buried and requires no insulating fluid. This result is possibly due to advances in transmission conductor technology since the existing line was installed.
Negotiations among the parties to the Commission’s Article VII proceeding led to the March 14, 2005 filing of a joint proposal by LIPA, Staff of the Department of Public Service, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the town of Huntington. The signatories filed comments in support of the proposal on May 1, 2007. No statements were filed in opposition.