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Petition No. 720
University of Connecticut 69-kV/115-kV Interconnection
Storrs, Connecticut
Staff Report
Wednesday, June 8, 2005

On Friday, June 3, 2005 Connecticut Siting Council (Council) member James J. Murphy, Jr. with Derek Phelps of Council staff met with University of Connecticut (UConn) representative Fred Hethcote, Director of Facilities of UConn; Attorney Philip M. Small, of Brown Rudnick Berlack Israels, LLP, representing The Connecticut Light & Power Company (CL&P); Richard Orlowski, project manager with CL&P; and Attorney Lee D. Hoffman, of Pullman & Comley, LLC , representing UConn at the UConn Storrs campus for a field review of this petition. UConn is petitioning the Council for a declaratory ruling that a proposed approximately 325-foot long length of 69-kV underground line and associated equipment between UConn’s substation approved by the Council in Petition 639 and CL&P’s 69-kV 800 line in Mansfield, Connecticut, pose no significant adverse environmental effect. The petitioner states that the proposed 69-kV interconnection is a "transmission line tap" as defined in Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-50i(e) and would have no SAEE in the State of Connecticut. This petition for declaratory ruling is filed pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 4-176 and 16-50i(e) and Reg. Conn. State Agencies § 16-50j-13 through 16-50j-17.

UConn plans to construct underground 69-kV solid dielectric cables and a small underground-to-overhead line transition station which would be prebuilt for operation at 115-kV. The cables would also be capable of 115-kV operation should CL&P’s 69-kV transmission system be upgraded to 115-kV in the future.

A new approximately 44-foot by 61-foot transition station would be constructed on CL&P property south of the exiting CL&P Mansfield Substation on North Eagleville Road, at the UCONN Storrs Campus. The transition station would include short conductor taps up to the CL&P 69-kV 800 Line, a circuit switcher and cable terminators for the underground 69-kV cables (all prebuilt for 115-kV). CL&P would own all of the new equipment from the 69-kV 800 Line taps to the 69-kV cable terminators, which include the circuit switcher and associated auxiliary equipment. UCONN would own the 69-kV cable, able terminators and associated equipment back to its new substation on UCONN property.

The petitioner asserts that the proposed substation would not pose a substantial adverse environmental effect because: 1) The properties are owned by the State of Connecticut and CL&P and are currently developed with a paved commuter parking lot and an operating electrical substation, respectively. No new land acquisitions are necessary for the development of the proposed facilities and no new overhead lines are required to complete the interconnection. 2) No adverse effects would occur to existing inland wetland resources, waterways or intermittent watercourses. 3) The proposed facilities are not in the 100-year flood plain. 4) The proposed transition station will not contribute to noise levels. 5) No oil or hazardous material would be used or stored at the transition station. 6) Construction activities would occur within previously developed (i.e., paved) areas and an underdeveloped lawn, mitigating any disturbances to vegetation and/or wildlife. 7) Extended construction hours could be necessary in order to complete construction on schedule. 8) No sensitive receptors (e.g., wetlands or watercourses, vegetation, wildlife, cultural or historic resources, threatened/endangered species or species of special concern, public water supply wells or aquifers and flood hazard areas) are directly affected by the proposed project. 9) Brief views of the transition station would be primarily limited to motorists traveling along North Eagleville Road immediately in front of CL&P’s Property. Visual effects would be minimized by the proposed landscaping.

Mr. Orlowski remarked that the town has no objection to the proposed interconnection project.