With more than two decades of experience successfully permitting large utility projects, Advanced Power chose Epsilon to lead the extensive permitting effort for over 17 miles of transmission line proposed to connect their new gas-fired power plant to NYISO’s electricity grid.
The new Cricket Valley Energy Center in Dover, NY will deliver power to the grid via a new overhead 345 kV 14.6-mile transmission line and through 3.4 miles of reconductored circuits along Con Edison’s existing 345 kV line (Line 398) in southern Dutchess County, New York.
The new and reconductored circuits will connect Cricket Valley’s new 1,000 MW gas-fired combined cycle power plant in Dover to the power grid at Con Edison’s substation in Pleasant Valley, New York. The new transmission line was constructed along an existing Con Edison right-of-way parallel to Con Edison’s existing 345 kV transmission line. Line 398 was upgraded (reconductored) from the new power plant east to connect with the NEISO electric power grid in Connecticut.
The project also included improvements to Con Edison’s Pleasant Valley Substation. New protection and communication system upgrades were required within the existing Pleasant Valley Substation and control buildings at the Pleasant Valley Substation, and a new 345 kV breaker and 345 kV feeder disconnect switch was installed at the substation.
Having previously successfully permitted large energy projects in the State of New York, Epsilon was well-suited to lead the permitting effort for this new energy project. Epsilon’s talented team of scientists was responsible for preparing the Application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need under Article VII of the New York State Public Service Law.
Epsilon was also responsible for securing approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for construction under the Clean Water Act - Nationwide Permit program. Epsilon conducted various environmental studies and analyses in support of the Article VII and US Army Corps permitting processes, including delineation and assessment of impacts to wetlands, determination of Rare, Threatened and Endangered (RTE) species habitats (e.g., Timber Rattlesnake), assessment of impacts to visual resources (with Saratoga Associates), and evaluation of impacts to cultural resources (with John Milner Associates).
In addition, our senior staff provided expert witness testimony at the Article VII adjudicatory hearings held at the Public Service Commission. The hearings involved cross-examination by intervenors representing local groups opposed to the design of the project. We have staff who regularly provide expert testimony are always well prepared and equipped to handle these situations.
Epsilon was pleased to deliver successful results in securing a positive Recommended Decision from the Adjudicatory Law Judge. Subsequently, Cricket Valley received approval from the NYS Public Service Commission and was issued a Certificate under Article VII in April of 2016. Approval from the U.S. Army Corps was issued in January 2016.
With permits and approvals in hand, Epsilon then prepared the Environmental Management and Construction Plan (EM&CP) for the project. The EM&CP explains how the construction of the project will comply with the Article VII Certificate Conditions, and provides very detailed Plan and Profile drawings specifying how the project will be constructed while meeting stringent requirements for protection of the wetlands and RTE species habitats.
Epsilon provided comprehensive compliance monitoring and construction oversight for the line, which was completed in 2019 is now in service supporting the Energy Center.
This project brings an updated, reliable source of energy to the New York region, and was completed without delays following receipt of critical approvals in a timely manner in a very challenging regulatory environment.
Epsilon was pleased to play a part in this significant energy project for the State of New York. Bringing our energy expertise to a project of this scale and providing successful results is something we take a lot of pride in.