Jay Substation Project
Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO) and Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) are proposing to construct a substation west of Leavitt Circle in Jay, Vermont, to provide a redundant path and additional capacity to deliver power to the area. This is the first of several projects planned for northeastern Vermont. Within the next year, additional transmission upgrades will be proposed at existing utility sites in northern Vermont to completely meet the identified supply needs for present and forecasted demand.
The need for the Jay Substation was identified from VEC's 2008 Integrated Resource Plan. The lack of redundancy in transmission paths, and the overloading when various events occur on the system have become reliability issues that could potentially impact VEC customers in Franklin, Orleans, Essex and Caledonia Counties of Vermont. The concern has increased in 2010 given new economic development in the Jay area and an increased commitment by VEC to improve service reliability.
The potential to defer the project using non-transmission alternatives was studied and discussed with the Vermont System Planning Committee. VELCO and VEC determined that non-transmission alternatives do not provide a lower cost solution. An analysis prepared by a consultant for VEC and VELCO considered the need for this Project and other upgrades in northern Vermont, and showed this Project to be the least costly transmission solution to solve the reliability problems in question. In addition, the proposed substation has been designed to avoid the need to replace the wires on approximately 22 miles of lower voltage (sub-transmission) line, which would be more costly and likely have a larger environmental impact than the construction of the substation and other transmission improvements.
The proposed project will install the following components
- 115 kV aluminum bus structure
- four circuit breakers
- two transformers
- a control building
- connections to VELCO and VEC's 115 kV and 46 kV transmission lines
- In order to connect to VEC's adjacent switching station, VEC will need to reposition some elements within the switching station (i.e., capacitors and switches to be moved, and bus to be extended).
See our glossary of electrical terms for definitions of these components.
VELCO's aesthetic consultant has reviewed the preliminary design plans and performed a visual analysis of the areas of the proposed Project. The findings indicated that any visual impacts created by the Project will be minimal and that the impacts will not be significantly adverse. In general, the site selected for the new VELCO substation is not very visible. It has contained electrical transmission infrastructure since the 1950s and is located with other electrical transmission upgrades (i.e., VEC's switching station that is currently being built).
Vegetation and land contours screen the site from most public viewing locations, including views from the northern section of the Long Trail. The Project will be most visible from Route 105, however, these views will be buffered by existing vegetation along the side of the road and by the lower elevation for the substation. The greatest visibility will be possible during times when leafy trees are bare. This visibility may be reduced by adding evergreen plantings within or along the edge of the existing vegetation. Since views from Jay Peak will be from distances over 3.5 miles away the proposed facility will not be a dominant feature in the landscape. Views of transmission infrastructure will increase from Leavitt Circle at the northern crossing of the transmission lines, however, landscape plantings will likely be able to successfully reduce this visibility.
VELCO is assessing the potential noise impacts from the substation transformers at the nearest residences and will design the facility to produce sound levels that are at or below Public Service Board acceptable thresholds.
Subject to Public Service Board approval, construction will start in the Fall of 2011 and will be complete in the Fall of 2012.