GREENWICH, Conn. -- .Greenwich Town officials on Friday applauded the decision of the Connecticut Siting Council to reject an application from Eversource to construct a new substation in central Greenwich.
The Connecticut Siting Council, in a decision released Thursday, voted 4-2 with two abstentions, to deny the Eversource application without prejudice.
The utility had sought approval to build a 115-kilovolt bulk substation at 290 Railroad Ave. and two 115-kilovolt underground transmission lines along a 2.3-mile route between the Cos Cob substation and the Railroad Avenue location.
“The Siting Council’s decision clearly reaffirms the town’s position that the need and cost of the proposed project could not be justified," said First Selectman Peter Tesei. "While there may be issues with service provided by Eversource, it certainly is not necessary to disrupt neighborhoods and town parks to improve service to the town’s residents.”
Tesei also praised the continued efforts of Greenwich Planning and Zoning Director Katie DeLuca.
“Katie and her staff have been indefatigable in their efforts to show that the Eversource project would cause irreparable harm to one of the town’s valuable natural resources – Bruce Park and the nearby coastline.”
In its decision, the Siting Council expressed concern about the project's price tag.
“The cost of the preferred Route, Northern Alternative and Southern Alternative exceedingly high for a relatively short transmission line project, ranging from $140 [million] to $155 million depending on the route.”
In its decision, the Council also wrote that it “finds and determines that there is not presently an immediate public need for the (project) as presented in the application, there are substantial adverse environmental impacts associated with the Preferred Route and Southern Alternative through Bruce Park that cannot be adequately mitigated and the project costs for the Preferred Route, Southern Alternative and Northern Alternative are well beyond the lowest reasonable cost for consumers to resolve a localized issue.“
DeLuca said she was satisfied with the decision and grateful to the Connecticut Siting Council "for their attention to detail and willingness to afford us the opportunity to work in earnest with Eversource to develop an environmentally sensitive, economical and responsible solution.
"I think we worked tirelessly to question the details of the application, not take things at face value, ask the right questions and force accountability and that hard work has clearly paid off,” she said.
Greenwich Selectmen Drew Marzullo and John Toner joined Tesei in applauding the decision.
"The proposal looked horrible located inappropriately," Marzullo said. "It raised environmental and health concerns and no one was convinced electrical activity would increase."
“This is a victory not only for the town as a whole. It also is a victory for residents and businesses that would have been impacted by this project," Toner said.
The Connecticut Siting Council decision can be found by clicking here.