East Avenue Loop Project
In 2007, VELCO, Burlington Electric Department (BED), and Green Mountain Power (GMP) proposed to construct the East Avenue Loop Project in Burlington, Vermont, to provide a redundant path and additional capacity to deliver power to the greater Burlington area.
Needs & Benefits
The electric sub-transmission and distribution networks in the Chittenden County area (which includes South Burlington, Williston, Colchester, Winooski, Essex, Richmond, and Bolton) cannot provide adequate and reliable electric service to the customers served in that area. The East Avenue Loop project creates the "loop" flow of electricity to improve reliability within Burlington. The East Avenue substation interconnects VELCO's electric transmission network in northwest Vermont and feeds the electric distribution system serving BED and GMP customers.
Transmission utilities, such as VELCO, are required to design, operate and maintain a transmission network according to national and regional reliability standards. Planning studies by VELCO and ISO New England, New England's bulk electric system provider, reveal that the existing East Avenue substation does not meet current federally mandated reliability requirements.
As outlined in the 2005 Vermont Electric Plan, the vulnerability of the current transmission network design results in system reliability problems, which under certain circumstances may lead to loss of service, system outages and low voltage. These concerns can be addressed by constructing redundant paths and substation upgrades.
- 115 kV transmission system
- Expansion of existing East Avenue substation
- Two single pole transmission lines to replace existing single H-frame transmission line
- 34.5 kV sub-transmission system
- Sub-transmission line from the McNeil generating plant to VELCO East Avenue substation
- Moving BED's substation facilities from Lake Street in Burlington to the McNeil plant site
- Removing BED's overhead distribution lines from the waterfront between the Moran Plant and Maple Street
VELCO's aesthetic consultant reviewed the preliminary design plans and performed a visual analysis of the areas of the proposed Project. The findings identified seven locations along the 115 kV line corridor that would be adversely impact. These location are discussed in full detail in the visual report. The 34.5 kV upgrades were determined not to create adverse impacts at any locations. In addition, the removal of Lake Street substation and the removal of related distribution infrastructure resulted in an improvement to the visual character of the Burlington Waterfront. A full analysis of potential aesthetic impacts and potential landscape mitigation measures was included with the project petition.
VELCO's noise consultant assessed the potential noise impacts associated with the substation upgrade. A complete engineering noise analysis was provided as part of the Project's filing with the Public Service Board.
- Fall 2006
- Public meetings
- Spring 2007
- Regulatory & permitting process
- Summer 2008
- Construction start
- Summer 2010
- Construction complete