Greenwich Officials Unhappy with Connecticut Siting Council Ruling

Connecticu Siting Council

Members of the Connecticut Siting Council at Cole Auditorium during a public hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015

Greenwich First Selectman Peter  Tesei issued a statement on Friday afternoon responding Connecticut Siting Council’s ruling that would allow construction of a new open-air substation in central Greenwich.

In a decision received Thursday from the Siting Council, Eversource was granted a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need to build a new substation at 290 Railroad Ave and to install 2.3 miles of 115-kilovolt transmission lines from the Cos Cob substation to the new
substation.

Tesei said the Town is exploring all of its legal options with the intent of filing an appeal, and that several key Town department heads met with counsel on Friday to review options.

“We are disappointed that the Siting Council did not take into consideration the arguments presented by the Town, its consultants and legal counsel,” Mr. Tesei said. “We believe the Siting Council failed to recognize that Eversource did not demonstrate a need for this project.”

Tesei said Eversource was unable to show that the reliability of electric service in Greenwich would be improved by this $100 million expenditure and that Connecticut ratepayers shouldn’t bear the burden of what he described as “an exorbitant project.”

Mr. Tesei said that he and Town officials including Town Planner Katie DeLuca, Department of Public Works Commissioner Amy Siebert and Conservation Director Denise Savageau, are also concerned with the design and location of the new substation.

The location approved by the Siting Council is at 290 Railroad Ave., the site of Pet Pantry Warehouse, and next door to the Airgas facility.

The Siting Council ordered that the new substation be an open-air facility, rather than fully-enclosed, as sought by the Town for safety and security reasons.

Mr. Tesei said that despite the disappointing Nov 14 decision, the Town’s efforts in opposing Eversource’s proposals over the last two years have resulted in significant achievements, including preventing the use of oil-filled cables and horizontal directional drilling that would have had significant adverse environmental effects in Bruce Park. In addition, even if the transmission line is built, the Town’s sewer force main will be protected.

“The Town remains committed to protecting its vast natural resources, and more importantly, its residents,” Tesei said. “We will continue to pursue all options to do so.”

One of Eversource's renderings of the proposed sub station intended for 290 Railroad Ave in Greenwich.

One of Eversource’s renderings of the proposed sub station intended for 290 Railroad Ave in Greenwich. Rather than a fully enclosed building, the Siting Council approved an open air facility.