NYSEG upgrading aging infrastructure in Heritage Hills in Somers
New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) is upgrading and replacing aging infrastructure and cables in Heritage Hills, a condominium subdivision within the company’s Brewster Division.
The project replaced 58,994 feet of cable, 94 pad mount transformers, and 46 junction cabinets while providing a $4,000 ($68,000 total) stipend per condo to replace vegetation that was removed to complete the upgrades with more utility-friendly plantings. Fault indicators were installed within transformers, allowing line workers to quickly identify and fix power outages.
“These upgrades will improve service for 2,961 Heritage Hills customers by increasing reliability and decreasing the number of and duration of outages,” said Program Manager for major construction Rich Schmoll. “This project is an important piece of the investment we’re making in Brewster, which also includes upgrades to the Dingle Ridge substation and associated circuits.”
The upgrades come following several years of complaints from residents and local leaders. In 2018, Somers’ former Town Supervisor Rick Morrissey and North Salem Town Supervisor Warren Lucas lodged a formal complaint against the utility provider for an “alarming number and length of power outages” that the pair said had “become a significant public safety issue.” They wrote, “we are on a dangerous course that, if not remediated, may have serious implications for our residents.”
Two years later, in the wake of Tropical Storm Isaias, New York State Senator Pete Hackham called for formal hearings on “the failure of electrical utilities and wireless communications providers to prepare adequately for a powerful storm, and their slow response to power outages.”
NYSEG officials said that the Heritage Hills upgrade project began in May 2020 and is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
“NYSEG’s plan to substantially upgrade the utility infrastructure at Heritage Hills in Somers is certainly welcome news,” said Sen. Harckham. “This community has been hit hard with power outages over the years, so working to maintain reliable utility service for residents, especially during severe weather events, will benefit residents greatly.”
“Somers residents in Heritage Hills have been on the receiving end of power outages for too long,” said Assemblyman Matt Slater. “I appreciate NYSEG's investments that will improve reliability and storm resiliency for this community. There is more work to be done, but NYSEG is demonstrating a strong commitment to the Hudson Valley.”
“The improvements to aging infrastructure are a massive benefit to our Heritage Hills residents,” said Somers Supervisor Rob Scorrano. “These upgrades will modernize technology and increase reliability during outage periods.”