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Public weighs in on bigger transmission line

National Grid wants structure built to accommodate electricity demands of GlobalFoundries

Inside the vast auditorium at Scotia-Glenville High School, local residents were somewhat sparse in attendance, but some expressed concerns about the cost and visual impact of a new National Grid transmission line to better accommodate the expected electricity demands of microchip manufacturer GlobalFoundries.

Quite frankly, I believe if GlobalFoundries needs this power supply so bad, they should pay for it themselves, said Robert Killeen Jr. of Charlton at the Monday, July 26, public hearing. "They have soaked up every single taxpayer incentive that they possibly can and now they're asking for more."

Killeen and others expressed concerns that the new transmission lines, estimated to cost $66 million, according to National Grid, would cause a spike in their electricity bills.

National Grid is planning to build the new 115-kilovolt transmission line spanning 33 miles and primarily within the company's existing right-of-way, although some land easement will need to be acquired for vegetation management purposes.

The new line is scheduled to be built in two segments " from the Spier Falls Substation to the Ballston Tap is 22 miles, and the remaining 11 miles goes from the Rotterdam Substation to the Ballston Tap. The new lines are designed to be less wide than existing line structures and only raise 4 feet higher.

The public information and hearing on July 26 aimed to address residents' questions about the application. There was also another hearing held in Ballston Spa on July 22.

Administrative Law Judge Eleanor Stein, from the New York State Public Service Commission said during the first hearing on May 18 in Saratoga Springs that residents expressed a concern about having adequate information on the project.

National Grid states in its application that performance of their transmission system in the Northeast region was marginally acceptable in the summer of 2009. By the summer of 2012 their transmission system is cited to be unacceptable.

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