NYSEG plans new 115 kV lines

Utility plans Ghent facility for back-up power to prevent outages

GHENT – NYSEG, the power company the serves much of northern and eastern Columbia County is planning an upgrade to its infrastructure here, which includes a proposal for a new power substation in the Town of Ghent and a new electricity transmission line that could run through parts of four towns in the county.

The project faces multiple hurdles in various federal, state and town approvals, but if all goes as NYSEG officials expect, the new substation and transmission line to be in place by the fall of 2012.

NYSEG spokesman Clayton Ellis said there are a number of preliminary routes under consideration for the new 115-kilovolt (kV) transmission line, but possible paths are through the towns of Ghent, Chatham, Kinderhook and Stockport.

“We have just begun work on this proposed project, and we have had preliminary discussions with officials in several towns in Columbia County,” said Mr. Ellis. He said NYSEG has met with officials from the towns of Ghent, Kinderhook and Stockport, so far.NYSEG says the new 10-mile overhead transmission line would provide a back-up to its Churchtown-Craryville line. It says an outage on that line puts nearly 10,000 customers at risk of losing electricity service. NYSEG, which has its headquarters in Binghamton, is a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, a regional public utility holding company owned in turn bu a Spanish firm.

There could be a downside for a few county residents, as the new overhead line might need to cut through private property. “Most of the routes under consideration would require obtaining new rights of way from property owners” Mr. Ellis said.

The new transmission line would connect NYSEG’s existing Klinekill substation in Chatham, National Grid’s existing 115-kV transmission line and a new NYSEG substation proposed for Ghent.

In a presentation to the Town of Kinderhook Planning Board earlier this month, NYSEG officials said there were two possible locations for the Ghent substation. One is a two-acre site about 600 feet west of Route 9H near Falls Industrial Park Road. The other is a two-acre site about 200 feet north of Stockport Road. Both would provide a connection to National Grid’s 115-kV Churchtown-Valkin line.

The presentation indicated the substation would consist of a 30-by50-foot control house on a one-acre gravel pad.

The overall project would also include an upgrade of NYSEG’s existing Klinekill Substation in Chatham, adding a new 115-kV transmission line dead-end structure, and new 115kV circuit breakers and bus work, according to the presentation.

The Town of Ghent is in the process of forming a committee to review the project, Ghent Planning Board Chair Jonathan Walters said in an email. He said the committee expects to start regular meetings in April.

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