Matt Bathrick in The Columbia Paper reports
that the state Public Service Commission will “reexamine” its plans to authorize new, higher-wattage power lines from upstate power producers to downstate customers as a way to relieve what the agency has describes as congestion on the power grid. Communities along the proposed routes -- through portions of Greene and Columbia and northern Dutchess counties -- have challenged the plans and found one expert who has presented data suggesting there is no need for new power lines. Mon. Jan. 19 is the deadline to submit new information to the PSC for that reexamination. The PSC plans will report back by June 10 and will host a technical conference about the need for more power lines. The agency will also allow interested parties to question the findings and offer additional comments. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s "Highway Energy initiative" called for the upgraded power lines to transmit 1,000 megawatts (MW) of power from western New York to the downstate area. The four developers will resubmit new proposals based on six criteria the PSC has announced they will base examinations of proposals on:
1. Amount of increased transfer capability
2. Cost to ratepayers
3. Electric systems impact, emission reductions, and production cost impact
4. Extent of new rights-of-way necessary
5. Use of innovative technology to enhance capability or reduce physical footprint of the project
6. Assessment of environmental compatibility, including visual impacts.
According the the article, Claverack Town Board Councilwoman Katy Cashen said the new procedure means “the clock has started” on beginning power line approval process again. The PSC’s website is www.dps.ny.gov (the Case Number is 13-E-0488). Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.