US$180 million powerline from Royalton to Elma expected to start soon

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Construction work on the powerline from Royalton to Elma in Niagara county is expected to start within the next month. The 20-mile powerline is designed to make the region’s power grid more resilient. NextEra Energy Transmission New York was appointed to carry out the US$180 million power line project which will create an additional line to carry electricity generated at the Niagara Power Project and power imported from Canada. NextEra was chosen by the New York Independent System Operator, which runs the state’s power grid, after a two-year selection process that started in 2015.

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The new project will make a line that would be able to handle the Power Project’s output and allow electricity to flow more freely. It will have enough capacity to handle 2,700 MW from the Power Project and as much as 1,000 MW of imported Canadian power. The line will be carried by steel monopole structures, each 115 feet high, which on average are 40 feet higher and 15 feet narrower than traditional H-frame structures that carry long-distance electricity lines. NextEra has not received any tax breaks or other incentives and expects to pay a total of US$3.5 million in property taxes to local governments and school districts along the route during the line’s first year of operation.

Johnbinh Vu, the company’s project manager, said the project is to be completed by June 2022, stating that the project will begin with the construction of a new electric switchyard on Dysinger Road in Royalton, where NextEra obtained an option on a private lot. A 42-member group of homeowners near the route, called Challengers of the Empire State Line, filed complaints last year about the visual impact of the project and the number of trees that will have to be cut down to make way for it. In November, the Public Service Commission ordered NextEra to meet with the homeowners before and after construction to work out a landscape restoration plan.