PSC Approves Major New $57.8 Million Underground Power Line in Rockland County

PSC Approves Major New $57.8 Million Underground Power Line in Rockland County

By M. C. Millman

A new $57.8 million project in the Town of Clarkstown will fund a 138 kilovolt (kV) underground transmission line, primarily within the public roadway rights-of-way (ROW), for a total distance of approximately five-and-one-half miles between the Burns substation and the West Nyack Substation.

The New York State Public Service Commission adopted the terms of the joint proposal signed by Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc., the New York State Department of Public Service, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Department of Transportation, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the County of Rockland and the Town of Clarkstown this month. 

“This new transmission project is good news for the region and its customers,” said Commission Chair Rory M. Christian. “It will help improve reliability and reduce the chances of power outages due to an over-stressed electric grid.”  

According to the joint proposal, the new power line is needed to relieve the potential overloading of O&R’s existing 138 kV overhead Line 702 between its Burns and Oak Street substations. 

Recent summer studies indicate that the power flow on the existing line will exceed its capacity if an outage occurs on another 138 kV line serving the region. Additional anticipated loads from proposed data centers in the Orangetown area will increase the potential for overloading under the same contingency. Should such overloads occur, load transfers to adjacent substations will be needed and, if the overloading persists, load shedding will occur to prevent damage to the existing conductors. 

Once completed, the project will immediately alleviate loads on the existing line, improving the regional transmission network’s overall resiliency and power source reliability to southern Rockland County while utilizing existing ROW without visual impacts.  

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