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Jun 26, 2017 4:09 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

PSEG Rules Out Metal Poles For New Transmission Lines In East Hampton And Southampton Towns

Jun 27, 2017 3:45 PM

Metal poles will not be utilized in any power line improvements in East Hampton and Southampton towns, part of a $513 million project to bolster the South Fork’s grid, PSEG Long Island officials said this week.

John O’Connell, the vice president of transmission and distribution at PSEG, said on Thursday, June 22, that he had previously been unable to rule out the possibility that 70-foot-tall metal poles might be used in five projects upgrading the electric infrastructure in East Hampton Town. That included upgrading lines from 23 kilovolts to 33 kilovolts in Amagansett, two locations in East Hampton, and in Hither Hills and at Culloden Point in Montauk.

Mr. O’Connell said when the 23-kilovolt lines were installed, they were intended to eventually be upgraded to higher voltages, and 33 kilovolts fits within the line’s capability. But he wasn’t certain then if the existing poles in East Hampton would be adequate.

“I didn’t know if all of those lines would be able to be upgraded without [steel poles],” Mr. O’Connell said last week. “Luckily, and thankfully, everything is designed for 33 kilovolts, so we won’t need to use steel poles.”

Current efforts to upgrade the power grid on the South Fork are already under way in Eastport, where the installation of 70-foot-tall metal poles have already caught the attention of local officials.

The poles are part of an upgrade between Riverhead and Eastport, along the County Road 51 corridor, within the Brookhaven Town limits and also in Northampton and Riverside in Southampton Town. Brookhaven Town officials are demanding that the lines on Eastport Manor Road, between Sunrise Highway and Montauk Highway, be buried, though the towering poles have already been installed along that stretch.

Brookhaven Town officials maintain that the work was done with no advance notice to town officials or hamlet residents.

East Hampton and Southampton town’s elected officials are hoping to avoid being put in the same situation. Both Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman and East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell have said they support burying the upgraded lines within their respective towns.

Along with the five mini-projects to upgrade the lines from 23 kilovolts to 33 kilovolts in East Hampton Town, the $513 million will go toward upgrades for power lines running between substations near the Shinnecock Canal in Hampton Bays and Southampton Village, and between facilities in Bridgehampton and Buell Lane in East Hampton.

Other work includes the installation of two new buried 138-kilovolt lines between Riverhead and the canal, PSEG officials said. Those new lines, PSEG officials added, would continue east from the Shinnecock Canal to Wainscott.

Noting that plans are still preliminary, Mr. O’Connell said the exact routes of these projects have not been determined.

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The metal poles were placed on CR51 starting from the County Center which is Southampton Town to Eastport which is partial Southampton Town ending in Brookhaven Town. The poles are mostly in Southampton Town already.
By allaire831 (1), Riverhead on Jun 27, 17 9:25 AM
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