About the Project

As part of our commitment to provide safe and reliable service to all our customers, Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation (RG&E), in conjunction with our parent company, AVANGRID, is updating the electric transmission system in our service areas. These upgrades comply with new federal reliability requirements. While we are investing in upgrades to meet the community’s growing energy demands, we are working closely with our neighbors to ensure that all improvements are performed safely and with minimal disruption to the environment and the community.

Project Purpose and Need

In 2010 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) established a "Brightline” threshold that redefined Bulk Electric System (BES) transmission elements as those operating at 100kV and above. In response, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) updated its reliability standards and issued a "Brightline Order.”

To comply with these more stringent reliability standards issued at the federal level, RG&E plans to install a new 115 kilovolt (kV) transmission line (L949) between Station 48, located on Lexington Avenue in the City of Rochester, and Station 418, located in the vicinity of the Rochester Technology Park in the Town of Gates, and to expand and upgrade Stations 48 and 418 to accommodate the proposed new line. This project, known as the Rochester Transmission Project (RTP) Enhancement, will provide an additional source of power to Station 418, reinforce the bulk power supply and ensure reliable service under certain contingency scenarios.

Project Map

Project Scope & Benefits

  • Addition of a new 115kV transmission line (L949) between Station 48 (City of Rochester) and Station 418 (Town of Gates).
  • Proposed L949 total length approximately 6.7 miles located in the City of Rochester (2.5 miles) and Town of Gates (4.2 miles).
  • Expansion and upgrade of Stations 48 and 418 to accommodate the receipt of L949.
  • Minimizing land impacts by installing L949 along existing electric transmission line rights-of-way and replacing single-circuit poles with double-circuit poles.
  • Public Outreach will be conducted via public information meetings, project Fact Sheets, and website updates.
  • The project requires an amendment to a PSC Article VII Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need.

Benefits to the Region

  • The upgraded and expanded facilities will meet the growing demand for additional power in the Rochester region.
  • The additional energy brought into the area by the project will encourage and support expanded economic development.
  • The upgrades will improve the reliability and resiliency of the entire transmission system, ensuring that the safe and reliable distribution of power is maintained.

Construction Process

Overhead transmission line construction involves the following stages:


1) Survey

Prior to beginning construction activities in any given area, survey crews walk every mile of the route to mark construction locations and right-of-way (ROW) limits in accordance with the approved Environmental Protection and Construction Plan (EM&CP). The survey crews will use different colored flags and stakes to identify clearing limits, danger trees, access roads, structure locations and work spaces, and sensitive natural resources.

2) Clearing

Before construction can begin, vegetation from the ROW must be removed to assist crews in creating a safe, level work surface, and to remove vegetation and trees capable of growing into the transmission lines and "danger trees" that could fall into the lines. After tree removal, the work area will look different, however, native shrubbery and ground cover will typically grow back.

3) Road Work

Existing roads and parking lots will be used where practical. Where necessary, new access roads will be constructed, preferably within the ROW. Timber mats will be used to protect lawns, agricultural fields and other sensitive areas such as wetlands. After construction is complete and the area is completely rehabilitated, we will restore roads and entrances as required. Strict run-off controls will be in place and managed throughout the project.

4) Foundation Work

Structure types and heights are based on the unique engineering requirements for each project location. The structures that will be used for the RTP Enhancement are double circuit monopole structures and will either be direct embed or erected on concrete foundations. For structures with foundations, concrete will be delivered by truck.

5) Structure Placement

Once foundations are in place, construction crews will erect the structures within the ROW. Steel poles will be assembled using a truck-mounted crane and then lifted onto the foundations. Embedded structures will be placed into excavations and which will be backfilled.

6) Wire Work

Insulators and attachment hardware will be installed and stringing sheaves (rollers or blocks) attached to the insulators. The conductors will be strung by attaching the conductor to a steel line and pulled through each structure’s stringing sheaves under tension to keep the conductors well off the ground. Conductor pulling sites located along the ROW will provide space for tractors, trailers with spools of conductor, and tensioning equipment.

7) Restoration

After all construction activities have been completed, ground cover and vegetation are encouraged to grow back. In some areas vegetative buffers or other landscaping may be installed. Good construction practices will be used to stabilize disturbed soils to promote re-vegetation and progress will be monitored. If any damage occurs to roads, they will be restored to their original state.

About the Permitting Process

To construct the Project, RG&E will need, in addition to other necessary permits:

  • Two approvals from the New York State Public Service Commission under Article VII of the Public Service Law, the amended Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the Rochester Transmission Project, and approval of an Environmental Management & Construction Plan (EM&CP).
  • Federal approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
  • New York State approval from or consultation with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation and the New York State Department of Transportation.
  • Approval from or consultation with CSX Transportation and the Rochester & Southern Railroad.
  • Consultation with Monroe County, the City of Rochester and the Town of Gates.

How the Electric System Works

The electric grid consists of high-voltage transmission lines and low-voltage distribution lines that transport electricity from power generation plants to community areas that need electricity.

Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E):

RG&E, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, serves approximately 378,500 electricity customers and 313,000 natural gas customers in a nine-county region centered on the City of Rochester. Affiliated with Iberdrola SA, AVANGRID owns eight electricity, natural gas or combination utilities in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New York. The utilities serve 2.2 million electricity customers, 930,000 natural gas customers, and are recognized for safe, reliable energy delivery, excellent customer service, and a commitment to the community and environment.

For more information, visit rge.com and avangrid.com

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