National Grid's Gardenville - Dunkirk 141/142 Transmission Rebuild Project is a proposed transmission line project that will rebuild aging electric transmission lines in Erie County's Southtowns region. The rebuild will focus on the northern 20 miles of existing 115,000 volt (or, 115kV) electric transmission lines, traversing the communities of Angola, Evans, Hamburg, Blasdell, Lackawanna, and West Seneca, in Erie County, New York. Once constructed, the newly rebuilt transmission lines will provide enhanced electric reliability for the Western New York region.
Thank you to all who attended our project Open House on March 11, 2019.
A Public Statement Hearing for National Grid's Gardenville - Dunkirk #141/142 Transmission Rebuild Project was held:
Thursday, April 18, 2019
The hearing included an Information Forum followed by a Public Statement Hearing where interested persons placed comments on the record.
In May 2020, the Public Service Commission (PSC) issued to National Grid a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need in connection its Gardenville – Dunkirk 141/142 Transmission Rebuild Project, the next step in the process before construction can begin is for the Project to obtain approval from the PSC of its construction plans. The construction plans have now been submitted to the PSC. The plans are known as the Environmental Management and Construction Plan (EM&CP).
The EM&CP includes plans and specifications for environmental protections and construction of the Project. The main EM&CP document includes information on conditions from the PSC that National Grid must meet during Project construction. Appendix A of the EM&CP includes the proposed Plan and Profile construction drawings, which includes details such as Project access and structure locations. Various other appendices detail plans for environmental protection and communications protocols, among other topics.
Once the EM&CP is approved, DPS will issue a Notice to Proceed with Construction. The community, including affected landowners, will receive a Construction Commencement Notice before the start of construction.
The Article VII process involves an evaluation of all potential impacts from the Project and will include a detailed environmental impact assessment. Other agencies, like the Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, are parties to the Article VII process.
Permits from other agencies are also required before construction can start.
The permitting process includes opportunities for public involvement and comment from permitting through construction. To contact National Grid with a question or comment, click the "Contact Us" link above.
Interested persons who wish to participate as parties in this case may file for party status. This may be done through the Commission’s web site. From the home page of the Commission’s web site (www.dps.ny.gov), a prospective party should click on "Search.” On the Search page, the "Search by Case Number” box should be filled in with the number for this case (Case #18-T-0561). This will bring the user to the main Document and Matter Management ("DMM”) page for this case. On that page, the prospective party should click the button at the upper right labeled "Request for Party Status” to see a web page with instructions for the procedures to follow to become a party. An application to become a party to this case can be filed anytime while the case remains open with the Commission.
National Grid identified a need to rebuild the Gardenville - Dunkirk 141/142 transmission lines due to asset condition and reliability concerns. These lines were originally built in the 1930s and are in need of upgrading and replacement. The upgrading of the aging infrastructure is more cost effective then continued long term maintenance. The lines will be replaced with modern technology and built to the most recent National Electrical Safety Code standards, improving safety, performance and reliability.
As part of its review of Project alternatives, National Grid considered whether an underground transmission solution of the Project would meet the identified need of replacing aged infrastructure and increasing reliability of the lines. National Grid developed a conceptual design and conceptual route for an underground alternative and determined that an underground alternative could conceivably meet the Project needs. However, the underground transmission alternative has significantly higher costs, significant operational disadvantages, and no significant environmental benefits. Overall, National Grid concluded that the Project as proposed is a better solution to an underground transmission alternative. More information on this can be found in Exhibit 3, Alternatives, of the Article VII application.
The project is comprised of several segments, each with a unique design and proposed transmission structure. Please see the Project Map and Project Segments below for information on what is proposed in your community.
The National Grid project team can be reached toll-free at 844-324-3588, or by email at info@GardenvilleDunkirkTransmission.com. Also, you may visit the Department of Public Service website at www.dps.ny.gov for project-related documents.
The Project is currently in its permitting stage (see Permitting above). It is anticipated construction will start in 2021 and be completed and in service by 2023. However, the timeline may shift due to permitting approvals and other requirements that National Grid must meet. Please check back here or contact us for updated information.
While the entirety of the Gardenville - Dunkirk 141/142 transmission lines need rebuilding, the Project proposes to rebuild the northern section first, approximately 20 miles. The southern section’s transmission corridor has its own unique set of design needs, and will be permitted under a separate Article VII application in the future.
Yes, there are some areas that members of our real estate team will be approaching adjoining landowners about acquiring additional rights or easements. These property rights and easements allow for project construction and enable an effective vegetation management program that helps to strengthen the reliability of the transmission lines.
No. If property rights are needed from a landowner, National Grid will contact the landowner to explain what rights are required for the construction and/or maintenance of the facilities, and to negotiate any required easement
National Grid cannot use private property without the landowner's permission. When National Grid originally acquired the right-of-way (ROW), it also acquired rights to cross many of the properties adjoining the ROW. National Grid will seek additional access rights in connection with the Project. National Grid employees, contractors, and crews will provide property owners with advanced notice before construction commences, including vegetation management work
National Grid prohibits all unauthorized use of its property and will take steps to limit access to the right-of-way (ROW). If specific problems need to be addressed, National Grid will work with property owners and notify local authorities to resolve the issue. Measures taken to prevent unauthorized access to the ROW can include signage, access gates, traffic cones, and fencing.
Yes, National Grid began evaluating design options and alternatives for the Project in 2009. In its Article VII application, National Grid examined alternatives to the proposed Project. Alternatives included: the use of direct current (DC) technology instead of the proposed alternate current (AC); alternative structure designs; alternative Project routes; alternative measures to rebuilding and reconductoring the existing transmission lines; and a no action alternative. Each alternative was found to be inferior to the Project as proposed in the Article VII application, whether for cost, need for additional real estate rights and/or facilities, not meeting electric and maintenance guidelines, or not solving the reliability problem.
To learn more about the alternatives considered, please see Exhibit 3 of the Article VII application.
The Project is comprised of 6 segments, each with a unique transmission corridor and construction plan. Below are descriptions of each segment. For segment locations and visualizations, please see the Project Map above.
Segment 1 (Mile 0 to 8): Located in the Towns of Evans and Hamburg, Segment 1 generally involves the removal of existing double-circuit 115kV lattice structures and associated lines (wires), along with the removal of an existing 34.5kV sub-transmission line in the corridor. These structures will be replaced with a triple-circuit monopole structure that will house two 115kV transmission lines and one 34.5kV transmission line. Due to existing physical constraints, there are two exceptions to this general design:
Segment 2 (Mile 8 to 11.6): Located in the Town of Hamburg, the existing double-circuit 115kV lattice structures and associated lines will be removed and replaced with a double-circuit 115kV monopole structure, which will be built approximately 38 feet to the east of the existing lattice structure. For approximately 3.4 miles between Pleasant Ave and Camp Road, the new 115kV facilities will swap locations with the existing 34.5kV sub-transmission line, which will be rebuilt where the existing lattice structure now stands.
Segment 3 (Mile 11.6 to 15.4): Segment 3 is located in the Town of Hamburg and generally involves the removal of existing double-circuit 115kV lattice structures and associated lines. The structures will be replaced with a new double-circuit 115kV monopole structure on the existing centerline of the transmission lines. Exceptions to this general design include:
Segment 4 (Runs east to west. Then mile 15.3 to 16.9): Located in the Town of Lackawanna, the existing double-circuit 115kV lattice structures and associated wires would be removed and not replaced in the transmission right-of-way (ROW). The new structures would instead be built in the Segment 4 Bypass ROW, described below.
Segment 4 Bypass: The Segment 4 Bypass is located in the Towns of Hamburg and Lackawanna, and will be built using existing an existing transmission right-of-way. A new double-circuit 115kV monopole structure will be built to the west of existing double-circuit 115kV lattice structures.
Segment 5 (Mile 16.9 to 18.9): Located in the Towns of Lackawanna and West Seneca, the existing single-circuit 34.5kV lattice structure would be removed and replace with a double-circuit 115kV monopole structure. Also, the existing double-circuit 115kV lattice structure would be removed and replaced with a single-circuit 34.5kV sub-transmission pole structure.
Segment 6 (Mile 18.9 to 20.3): Located in the Town of West Seneca and terminating before the Gardenville Substation, Segment 6 generally involves the removal of existing double-circuit 115kV lattice structures and replacing them approximately 45 feet west of the existing centerline with a double-circuit 115kV monopole structure. The final .4 miles of the project (near Meyer Road, State Highway 400, and Center Road) would involve reconductoring (replacing wires) on existing lattice structures.
Rebuilding an electric transmission line involves a variety of activities set out in phases. Below are sample descriptions and photos; actual construction sequencing, methods, and materials will vary.
1. Site Preparation:
The first phase of site preparation and construction is tree and brush clearing. Clearing allows construction crews to build access roads and remove any trees that are in danger of falling into the transmission lines. Marshaling yards will be established to house materials and construction crews.
2. Environmental Controls:
Next, environmental controls would be installed to mitigate construction impacts to the area. These can include matting, silt fence, concrete washouts, among others.
3. Transmission Line Rebuilding:
The next phase would be transmission line rebuilding, where foundations are poured, structures are spotted and erected, and new wire is strung and energized. Old structures would be removed from the transmission right-of-way. This work would be done with a variety of equipment, including cranes and other heavy equipment.
The final phase of construction is ground surface restoration, in which the construction area is restored to the condition it was in before construction.
Please check back for updates to the construction schedule