Construction complete on $68.7M underwater power transmission project

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the completion of a $68.7-million power system infrastructure project involving the placement of new underwater transmission cables, spanning 1.7 miles across Lake Champlain.

The new power cables, laid as much as 195 feet below the lake’s surface, allow power flow to and from Vermont and improved power communications systems. The new 1.7-mile section of submarine cable is part of the eight-mile long Plattsburgh to Vermont 20, PV-20, transmission line that is jointly owned by the New York Power Authority and Vermont Electric Power Company.

The new section uses several of the latest technological advances, including fiber-optic cables for detecting adverse conditions of the line, supporting greater situational awareness, and data sharing between NYPA and the Vermont Electric Power Company.

The project, which kicked off formally in 2013, involved the replacement of seven existing cables with four new cables. Several of these cables date back to 1958 and had reached the end of their useful lives. The utilities shared the cost of the complex effort which NYPA managed.

The project involved drilling holes through bedrock up to 24 hours per day to avoid disturbance to the shoreline habitat, remotely operating underwater vehicles, cable laying vessels and divers, and was supported by several firms, including L.S. Cable America, Caldwell Marine International, ECI Drilling, Northline Utilities, Mott MacDonald and CHA Consulting.

In addition, the project involved the construction of new power transition stations on either side of the lake to accommodate the high voltage cables and connect to the land-based portions of the PV-20 lines which run from Beekmantown, N.Y. to Milton, Vt.

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