The Clay-DeWitt and Clay-Teall Rebuild Project is a 115,000 volt (or, 115kV) electric transmission line project that will enhance the reliability of the electric system in the Syracuse area. The project will be constructed in the communities of Clay, Cicero, DeWitt and Salina, in Onondaga County, New York
The purpose and benefit of the Clay-DeWitt and Clay-Teall Rebuild Project is reliability of the transmission system, meaning that it will help strengthen the electric grid in Central New York to avoid disruption of electrical service. The Clay-DeWitt Line #3 and Clay-Teall Line #10 are important for transmission of safe, reliable electricity to the greater Syracuse area. Along with reliability benefits, the Project would provide:
The Project team worked with various state and federal agencies to receive approval and certification for the Project, which began with an application to the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC, or Commission) for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need ("Certificate") under Article VII of the State Public Service Law. The Article VII process involves an evaluation of all potential impacts from the Project and includes a detailed environmental impact assessment. Other agencies, like the Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Department of Environmental Conservation, are parties to the Article VII process. The Commission issued an order granting the Project its Certificate on April 23, 2018, allowing for the Project to be constructed.
Environmental Management & Construction Plan
National Grid received approval by the PSC of the Project's Environmental Management and Construction Plan (EM&CP) on June 13, 2019. The EM&CP includes best practices for construction as well as the Project's final design.
With the EM&CP 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.
Permits from other agencies are also required before construction can start. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will issue a permit under the Clean Water Act for construction activities in any waters under its jurisdiction (these typically include wetlands in upstate New York). The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also reviews the project and makes determinations regarding structure heights and proximity to air fields. New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) permits will also be required for various Project road crossings.
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.
How to Become a Party
Interested persons who wish to participate as parties in this case may file for party status with the PSC. 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 (15-T-0305). 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.
It is estimated that National Grid will complete the permitting process and begin construction on or about August 1, 2019. Using this timeline, construction (including restoration) would end and the Project would be in-service by 2021.
The Project is comprised of seven different segments, including different structure designs and heights. In Segments 1 and 2, there will be no change in structure height, and there will be fewer structures after construction than what exists today. In Segment 3, the structures would be approximately 15 feet taller. In Segment 4, the structures would typically be 15 feet taller, with an approximately half-mile segment where structures would be approximately 25—45 feet taller. Segment 5 structures would be approximately 15—23 feet taller than what exists today. Structures in Segment 6 would be approximately 23 feet taller, while in Segment 7, the new structures would be shorter than the tallest existing structure in the right-of-way.
Please see the "Project Segments" section for more information on each segment.
The existing transmission right-of-way (ROW) varies in width from one end of the project to the other and is made up of a combination of fee-owned property and easements. For the vast majority of the Project, need to acquire new property rights for the Project is minimal and will generally consist of acquiring select operational easements and danger tree rights in various locations along the ROW.
General descriptions of an operational easement and danger tree easement are provided below:
No additional property rights need to be acquired for Segments 1 and 2. Segment 3 will require danger tree rights along the west side of the ROW. In several areas along Segment 4, operational easements are required, totaling approximately .59 miles of the ROW, along with intermittent danger tree rights along the west side of the ROW. For .11 miles of Segment 5, operational easements of 75 feet are required on the east side. There will also be a 1.5-mile portion of Segment 5 that requires transmission line construction and operational easement rights on a 50 foot wide corridor of land east of an existing 100 foot transmission ROW. For .2 miles of Segment 6, operational easements are needed along the north (west) side of the ROW, along with intermittent danger tree rights.
Segment 7 proposes to expand an existing ROW for a length of 2.37 miles and will require the acquisition of a 250 foot wide operational easement for approximately .54 miles and a 50 foot wide operational easement for approximately 1.83 miles. The new operational easements required for Segment 7 will be located south of and adjacent to the existing ROW.
Please note that temporary property rights needed for construction, including marshaling yards and access roads, may be needed for construction of the project.
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 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 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.
Within the transmission line ROW (owned by National Grid) and vegetation management areas, trees, saplings, and shrubs would be removed by clearing or mowing to provide safe access to structure work sites. After the project is completed, landowners would have full use of their property on which National Grid has a vegetation management easement, but there would be some restrictions as to the type of vegetation that may be planted by the landowner in the vegetation management area. While some medium-growing species, woody shrubs, and low-growing species would be allowed to re-vegetate in vegetation management areas, tall-growing species are not permitted. National Grid would work with landowners to suggest appropriate vegetation choices. In addition to vegetation management-related activities, these areas also are used temporarily for construction; permanently for access to the ROW; to perform environmental mitigation activities; and other similar purposes.
In its Article VII filing, National Grid examined alternatives to the proposed Project. Alternatives included using direct current (DC) technology instead of 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 proposed in the Article VII filing, whether for cost, need for additional 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: http://on.ny.gov/2eE7Ds5
For this Project, National Grid chose to use overhead transmission line construction, allowing for a cost-effective system that can easily be operated and maintained. National Grid installs underground transmission lines when obtaining an overhead transmission line right-of-way would be impractical or not lead to the optimal economic and/or electric circumstances. Underground transmission lines are significantly more expensive than overhead transmission lines, and any additional costs would be borne by National Grid customers.
From an electrical perspective, the overhead construction of this Project requires less modifications or system upgrades as compared to a potential undergrounding, which would require more structures such as converter stations. Having considered both the significantly higher costs and the operational challenges of undergrounding in this case, National Grid's optimal solution is an overhead transmission line.
Yes. The rebuilt lines will provide a more robust contingency performance for the electric transmission system serving the region than what currently is in place.
The Project is comprised of seven segments, each with a unique transmission corridor and construction plan. Below are descriptions of each segment. For segment locations, please see the Project Map above.
Segment 1 begins at the Clay Substation near the intersection of Caughdenoy Road and Verplank Road, travels northeast for 2.72 miles, ending near the intersection of Clarecastle Path and Longford Path. Currently, the corridor contains three single-circuit 115kV H-frame structures standing approximately 57—65 feet tall. The two outside structures and their conductors (wires) would be removed, leaving one existing single-circuit 115kV H-frame structure that stands approximately 65 feet tall. The structures that are removed would not be replaced.
Segment 2 Located in the Town of Cicero, Segment 2 begins near the intersection of Clarecastle Path and Longford Path, travels east then southeast for 1.31 miles, ending at the Bartell Road Substation, south of St. Elmos Drive. Currently, the corridor contains one double-circuit 115kV lattice structure, standing approximately 57 feet tall, along with a shorter 34.5kV sub-transmission pole for a portion of the segment. The 115kV lattice structures and conductor would be removed and not replaced.
Segment 3 Located in the Town of Cicero, Segment 3 begins at the Bartell Road Substation south of St. Elmos Drive, travels southeast for 2.19 miles and ends near the intersection of State Route 11 and Meltzer Court. Currently, the corridor contains one double-circuit 115kV lattice structure, standing approximately 65 feet tall, along with a 34.5kV sub-transmission pole that stands approximately 39 feet tall. The 115kV lattice structure would be removed and replaced with a double-circuit 115kV monopole structure made of weathering steel, standing approximately 80 feet tall. The centerline of the new monopole structure would be placed approximately 50 feet from the edge of the existing transmission right-of-way.
Segment 4 Located in the Town of Cicero, Segment 4 begins near the intersection of State Route 11 and Meltzer Court, travels southeast for 2.55 miles and ends near where the transmission corridor crosses Darby Road. Currently, the corridor contains a double-circuit 115kV lattice structure, standing approximately 65 feet tall, along with a 34.5kV sub-transmission pole that stands approximately 39 feet tall. The 115kV lattice structure would be removed and replaced with a double-circuit 115kV monopole structure made of weathering steel, ranging from approximately 80 feet to 110 feet tall. In some areas, the structure centerline will remain the same as existing for the corridor; in other areas, the structure centerline will shift. For specific structure height and centerline questions, please contact the Project team via the "Contact Us” link above.
Segment 5 Located in the Towns of Cicero and DeWitt, Segment 5 begins near where the transmission corridor crosses Darby Road, travels southeast for 4.18 miles and ends near the junction of Northern Boulevard and East Molloy Road. Currently, the corridor contains two single-circuit 115kV H-frame structures that stand approximately 57—65 feet tall. Some areas of the corridor also contain a double-circuit 115kV lattice structure that stands approximately 65 feet tall, and a 34.5kV sub-transmission pole that stands approximately 34 feet tall. For the first 2.27 miles of the corridor, both existing 115kV H-frame structures would be removed and replaced with two single-circuit 115kV monopole structures standing approximately 80 feet tall and made of weathering steel. For the next 1.91 miles, the westernmost existing 115kV H-frame would be removed and replaced with a single-circuit 115kV monopole structure, also standing approximately 80 feet tall and made of weathering steel. The 115kV structures' centerline will be shifted to the east.
Segment 6 Located in the Towns of DeWitt and Salina, Segment 6 begins near the junction of Northern Boulevard and East Molloy Road, travels southwest for 2.58 miles and ends at the Teall Avenue Substation near the intersection of Townline Road and Factory Avenue. Currently, the corridor contains four separate single-circuit 115kV H-frame structures, standing approximately 57 feet tall, and one 34.5kV sub-transmission pole standing approximately 34 feet tall. The northernmost H-frame structure would be removed and replaced with one single-circuit 115kV monopole structure made of weathering steel, standing approximately 80 feet tall. The structure centerline would be the same as what exists today.
Segment 7 Located in the Towns of Clay and Cicero, Segment 7 begins at the Clay Substation near the intersection of Caughdenoy Road and Verplank Road, travels southeast for 2.5 miles and ends near the intersection of State Route 11 and Meltzer Court. The corridor currently contains two single-circuit 345kV lattice structures standing approximately 87 feet tall, and one double-circuit 345/115kV lattice structure standing approximately 134 feet tall. A new double-circuit 115kV monopole structure made of weathering steel and standing approximately 95 feet tall would be constructed on the southern end of the corridor. No structures would be removed from the corridor.
Rebuilding an electric transmission line involves a variety of activities set out in phases:
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 will 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 is transmission line rebuilding, where foundations are poured, structures are spotted and erected, and new wire is strung and energized. Old structures are removed from the transmission right-of-way. This work is done with a variety of equipment, including cranes and other heavy equipment, using temporary work pads.
The final phase of construction is ground surface restoration, in which the construction area is restored to the condition it was in before construction.
During the vegetation clearing phase of the Project, National Grid will employ a variety of Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) techniques. Mechanical clearing, hand cutting, mowing and selective herbicide applications are a few examples of such techniques. This work will be conducted by New York State Department of Conservation-licensed contractors in site-specific locations prescribed by National Grid Forestry staff. The herbicide application—as part of a planned IVM program—will enable National Grid to create stable, low-growing plant communities that require minimal maintenance. The labels for each of the herbicides to be used can be found below. The herbicide letter that is being distributed can be found here.
For more information about the Clay-DeWitt and Clay-Teall Rebuild Project, please send us an email or call us at (844) 324-3589.