Article

Transmission lines plan requires state approval

In addition [to] local approval and state and federal permits, the proposed St. Lawrence Wind Farm will need an act of the state Legislature to run a transmission line to a substation outside of Chaumont. ...About 1.6 miles will be through Ashland Flats Wildlife Management Area in Cape Vincent and Lyme. The state Department of Environmental Conservation controls the area.

ST. LAWRENCE WIND FARM: Preferred route would run through land controlled by DEC

CAPE VINCENT - In addition [to] local approval and state and federal permits, the proposed St. Lawrence Wind Farm will need an act of the state Legislature to run a transmission line to a substation outside of Chaumont.

According to developer Acciona Wind Energy USA LLC's supplemental draft environmental impact statement, the preferred route for a transmission line from the 53-turbine facility runs 9 miles from a substation on Swamp Road in the project area to a National Grid substation on County Route 179 in the town of Lyme.

About 1.6 miles will be through Ashland Flats Wildlife Management Area in Cape Vincent and Lyme. The state Department of Environmental Conservation controls the area.

In comments on the statement, DEC said putting a transmission line in the area would require an act of the state Legislature and the exchange of suitable property for public use. The comments warned that a bill has not yet been introduced, with no indication of when that would happen, so an alternative route may be required.

"We are aware of the process that is required," Acciona project manager Peter E.... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

ST. LAWRENCE WIND FARM: Preferred route would run through land controlled by DEC

CAPE VINCENT - In addition [to] local approval and state and federal permits, the proposed St. Lawrence Wind Farm will need an act of the state Legislature to run a transmission line to a substation outside of Chaumont.

According to developer Acciona Wind Energy USA LLC's supplemental draft environmental impact statement, the preferred route for a transmission line from the 53-turbine facility runs 9 miles from a substation on Swamp Road in the project area to a National Grid substation on County Route 179 in the town of Lyme.

About 1.6 miles will be through Ashland Flats Wildlife Management Area in Cape Vincent and Lyme. The state Department of Environmental Conservation controls the area.

In comments on the statement, DEC said putting a transmission line in the area would require an act of the state Legislature and the exchange of suitable property for public use. The comments warned that a bill has not yet been introduced, with no indication of when that would happen, so an alternative route may be required.

"We are aware of the process that is required," Acciona project manager Peter E. Zedick said in an e-mail last week. "We have been discussing the issue with the Real Property division of the DEC in the Watertown office."

The usual choice for introducing a bill would be the local representatives to the state Assembly and Senate. But Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine, D-Cape Vincent, has a lease with Acciona for possible turbine location on his property, creating a possible conflict.

Sen. Aubertine's office declined to comment on the matter.

Acciona said it plans to build much of its transmission line along the water line operated by the Development Authority of the North Country. The easements for the water line follow the abandoned New York Central Railroad corridor.

That line takes water from a plant in Cape Vincent to Glen Park, serving towns, villages and schools along the way. Placement in or along the DANC easement would extend for about 7.5 miles, or 85 percent of the electric transmission line's length.

But DANC would have to approve the plan. Officials there said they are still waiting for responses from the developer on questions. DANC Chief Executive Officer James W. Wright said in May the authority had sent a letter last summer and met with the developer last fall, then repeated the questions to Cape Vincent Supervisor Thomas K. Rienbeck in another letter in April.

The authority asked for information on National Electric Safety Code requirements for electric transmission line construction close to water lines, plans for the electric transmission line in the DANC easement, planned pole placement in the easement and a list of easements already secured.

Mr. Wright said Monday he has not heard back from the developer or Mr. Rienbeck.

In May, DEC asked DANC whether discussions had occurred between DANC and Acciona.

"I indicated we hadn't heard back from them," Mr. Wright said.

DEC's Region 6 office has heard from Acciona. Spokesman Stephen W. Litwhiler said the two communicated in May and had an e-mail exchange about wetland mitigation in June.

Acciona submitted a complete application for a federal Clean Water Act and state Freshwater Wetland permit on July 22.

In the application, Acciona said it will permanently fill 0.33 acre of wetlands on the 7,600-acre project development area, including along the proposed transmission line route. About 1.95 acres will be affected temporarily.

The application also said Acciona will place 11 overhead power poles adjacent to two DEC-registered wetlands, within the DANC easement.

Acciona offered to establish new wetlands totaling 0.7 acre, restore 1.95 acres that will be temporarily hurt and create at least an acre for a conservation easement.

The application is available for the public to review at the Cape Vincent Public Library, 157 N. Real St., Cape Vincent. DEC will accept comments on the application until Aug. 28.

DEC permit application notice: www.dec.ny.gov/enb/20090729_reg6.html#622280058700002


Source: http://www.watertowndailyti...

AUG 4 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/21551-transmission-lines-plan-requires-state-approval
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