The Long Island Power Authority announced plans on Tuesday to upgrade a transmission line to improve reliability and capacity on the North and South Forks.
The project will involve upgrading the existing 10.6 mile Wildwood to Riverhead 69 kilovolts (kV) transmission circuit to 138kV, and was approved last week by the New York State Public Service Commission.
“As the East End continues to thrive as a national vacation destination, this ongoing low- impact project, which is the next in a series of planned improvements for the East End, will help to keep up with the growth in electric use on Eastern Long Island,” said LIPA Chief Operating Officer Michael Hervey.
"On behalf of Riverhead ratepayers I welcome this service improvement. We
all hope this upgrade and newly added technologies will keep Riverhead's
lights burning bright for years to come," said Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter.
Insulators will be installed that are capable of supporting 138 kV transmission using existing conductors and poles. The transmission line is located in a right-of-way that runs between LIPA’s Wildwood and Riverhead substations. The line is approximately 10.6 miles and utilizes approximately 170 structural poles, LIPA officials say.
"This critical project ensures the North Fork has the electricity capacity needed to meet growing demand," said Suffolk County Legislator Ed Romaine. "I want to thank Patricia Acampora and the other members of the PSC for recognizing the importance of this project and LIPA for making a substantial investment in the future."
Demand on the East End has increased by an average of approximately 5.2 percent between 2000 and 2006, with LIPA forecasts indicating an increase on the South Fork at an annual average rate of about 3.3 percent through 2025. The upgrade will begin the end of 2014.
“I am very pleased that LIPA is investing in the transmission infrastructure for the East End of Long Island. In the past decade, almost all of the population growth that Long Island has experienced has been in eastern Brookhaven and the twin forks,” said Assemblyman Dan Losquadro. “I would like to thank LIPA for their timely response to questions posed by myself and members of the community regarding this project. Clear communication and open dialogue has helped this project progress.”
With an eye toward protecting the environment, the access points and configuration will avoid or minimize the disturbance of natural habitat, agricultural land uses, and the human environment. The project will use the existing transmission lines, poles, and rights-of-way.
"LIPA's upgrades will help eastern Long Island,” Senator Kenneth LaValle said. "Reinforcement of the existing transmission capacity will help provide more stable and reliable service ratepayers deserve."
Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele applauded LIPA's proactive infrastructure planning efforts. "This expanded transmission line will help meet the South Fork's growing energy demand and ensure reliable, uninterrupted service," he said.
“Southold Town is pleased to see the upgrades being undertaken by LIPA. This is part of a larger effort on that agency’s part to address the needs of the East End residents. It is clear to me that LIPA is making every effort to make sure our energy needs are met and is making an investment that will be of great benefit to the residents of Southold Town," said Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell.