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STATE OF VERMONT PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD Docket No. 7246 Petition of Central Vermont Public Service Corporation for a Certificate of Public Good, pursuant to 30 V.S.A. § 248, authorizing the construction of a 115 kV/46 kV electrical substation, including the installation of synchronous condensers and related equipment, at the intersection of Kendall Farm Road and Blackcherry Ridge Road in the Town of Winhall, Vermont ) ) ) ) ) ) )

Order entered: 9/12/2007

ORDER RE REQUEST TO BIFURCATE PROCEEDING Introduction and Background On May 29, 2007, Central Vermont Public Service Corporation ("CVPS"or "Company") and the Vermont Department of Public Service ("Department") filed a stipulation setting forth various agreements concerning the need for the proposed project ("Department Stipulation"). This stipulation includes an agreement to bifurcate this proceeding to allow for an initial ruling by the Vermont Public Service Board ("Board") on the need for the proposed project. On June 25, 2007, the Friends of Kendall Farm Road, Andrew and Elizabeth Crichton, Richard and Sonia Meyer, and Greg and Diane Strattner (together, the "Intervenors") and CVPS filed a separate stipulation ("Intervenors Stipulation"). Pursuant to this stipulation, CVPS agrees to amend its petition to provide for relocation of the proposed project. An exact description of the new location is to be determined by a survey that is mutually agreeable to CVPS and the landowners. The Intervenors Stipulation also includes an agreement to bifurcate this proceeding to allow for an initial Board ruling on the need for the proposed project. On August 22, 2007, I convened a status conference to discuss CVPS's request for bifurcation of the docket. In attendance were CVPS and the Department. Discussion CVPS requests that the Board issue an initial order approving the proposed project, but consider only issues that arise under 30 V.S.A. §§ 248(b)(2), (3), (4), (6) and (10). CVPS argues

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that this initial ruling will allow the Company to begin the solicitation and bid process for "two or more like size Synchronous Condensers and associated Transformers" needed for the proposed project.1 CVPS asserts that such an order is necessary to allow the Company to "order long leadtime equipment including the proposed synchronous condensers."2 The Department does not object to the bifurcation of the docket and consents to the issuance of an order on the "need" criteria as requested by CVPS. However, the Department argues that any such order should not be construed as "pre-approval" of the proposed project.3 CVPS requests that the Board issue an order finding that the proposed project is needed under 30 V.S.A. § 248, with findings under only §§ 248(b)(2), (3), (4), (6) and (10). Findings under all other § 248 criteria would presumably be deferred until such time as CVPS finalizes plans for its proposed project and the Board reviews the final proposal.4 Section 248 prohibits site preparation or construction of an electrical generation facility until the Board has issued a certificate of public good ("CPG") authorizing such construction or site preparation. Before the Board can issue a CPG, the Board must find that the project promotes the public good and meets each of the criteria enumerated in 30 V.S.A. § 248(b). While many of the § 248 criteria may not require site-specific evidence, other criteria regarding environmental and aesthetic concerns are more dependent upon the exact location of a project. There are also concerns with respect to adequate notice to affected landowners where the exact location and details of a project have not been finalized. The location of a project may significantly impact the issues raised by affected landowners and members of the public regarding a project. In addition, the equipment described in CVPS's request is presumably only needed if there is a suitable substation to utilize the equipment. Because CVPS has not finalized its plans for the substation, the Board cannot determine whether the equipment is necessary. Therefore, because CVPS has not submitted

1. Department Stipulation at 3. 2. CVPS draft proposal for decision filed August 24, 2007. 3. Tr. 8/22/07 at 28-29 (Po rter). 4. CV PS has no t submitted information regarding the exact location for the pro posed substation.

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sufficient evidence to permit the Board to make affirmative findings under each of the § 248 criteria, the Board cannot at this time find that the project promotes the public good. In addition, CVPS has not adequately explained why an order affirming the need for the proposed project is necessary in this case. CVPS argues that the order approving the need for the proposed project will facilitate the solicitation and bid process for the "long lead-time" synchronous condensers and transformers related to the proposed project. Other than the additional time necessary to purchase this type of equipment, CVPS has not adequately explained why in this particular case such an order is necessary to purchase materials. The Board has reviewed many cases involving upgrades or replacements to substations with similar components. However, I am unaware of any other dockets, nor has CVPS identified any such dockets, where a company has requested or been granted advance approval to purchase equipment. Furthermore, § 248 does not confer upon the Board the authority to approve the purchase of equipment; indeed, under § 248 the Board authorizes only site preparation and construction of facilities that fall under that section. Based upon these considerations, CVPS's request to bifurcate the docket is denied. Scheduling CVPS shall file with the Board and other parties additional testimony regarding the proposed project once the exact location is finalized. Along with the additional information, CVPS shall file a stipulated schedule for the remainder of this proceeding, including the required public hearing. If the parties are unable to reach consensus, each party shall file a separate proposal within one week of CVPS's filing of the additional testimony.

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SO ORDERED.

Dated at Montpelier, Vermont, this 12th

day of

September

, 2007.

s/Gregg C. Faber Gregg C. Faber Hearing Officer OFFICE OF THE CLERK FILED: September 12, 2007 ATTEST : s/Susan M. Hudson Clerk of the Board

N OTICE TO R EADERS: This decision is subject to revision of technical errors. Readers are requested to notify the Clerk of the Board (by e-mail, telephone, or in writing) of any apparent errors, in order that any necessary corrections may be made. (E-mail address: [email protected] state.vt.us)

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