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Athens residents learn more about power project

Oct 17, 2013 7:06 am
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="233"] (nyenergyhighway.com)[/caption]

More than 70 people attended an informational meeting held by West Point Partners and the state Public Service Commission, and hosted by the town and village of Athens at the Athens Volunteer Fire Department, Wed., Oct. 16. The meeting focused on West Point's $1 billion plan for construction of a six-acre DC converter substation and buried high voltage DC transmission lines through the town and village of Athens, projected to go online by 2016 or 2017. The line would enter the river at Peckham Industries and resurface downriver in Buchanan where another converter station would be built. Residents in attendance expressed a variety of concerns about the project. Chief among them: The decision to route the lines through residential areas of the village. Residents also questioned how the project would benefit Athens or the local area, given its purpose is to deliver power to New York City. The panel of speakers included Jeremy Flaum of the Public Service Commission, Chris Hocker, Vice President of Planning for West Point and Susan Brown, Project Coordinator for PowerBridge, West Point's parent company. Athens Town Supervisor Lee Palmateer and Athens Mayor Chris Pfister moderated the event. Palmateer said he is against the proposed route, but not entirely against the project. Pfister expressed his opinion of the project and concerns about the route. PLAY clip (3:26). The 1,000 megawatt project is part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's "Energy Highway" initiative. On Wednesday, Hocker made a point of noting the project is not part of any plan to close Indian Point Energy Center, a three-unit nuclear power plant station located in Buchanan. West Point Partners is based in Fairfield, Conn. ED. NOTE: Sebren is a resident of Athens.

-- Sam Sebren

Listen to more audio:

PLAY Excerpts of remarks by Jeremy Flaum, Utility Analyst, Office of Energy Efficiency and the Environment of the Public Service Commission. (2:19)
PLAY Remarks by Chris Hocker, Vice President of Planning, West Point Partners. (4:25)
Sebren's Q&A with Chris Hocker of West Point Partners. (6:32)
PLAY Collage of residents' Q&A with Chris Hocker of West Point Partners. (5:34)
PLAY Jeremy Flaum, Utility Analyst, Office of Energy and the Environment, Public Service Commission. (56:01)
PLAY Full, unedited Hocker presentation and Q&A. (2:05:00)

For more information about the project, see this NY Dept of Public Service document: http://documents.dps.ny.gov/public/Common/ViewDoc.aspx?DocRefId=%7B4267045B-C627-413B-8CBE-ABA076E3176B%7D

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