The New York Regional Interconnect, Inc. (NYRI) has proposed a high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission facility would increase the existing network's capacity for the transfer of electrical power from upstate New York to the southeastern portion of the state.
NYRI's application to the Public Service Commission (PSC) was deemed complete on August of 2008, and the PSC review of the application is due to be completed in August 2009.
NYRI believes the project would relieve chronic congestion caused by some of the state's toughest transmission bottlenecks (citing documentation by New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) and US Department of Energy (DOE) studies). NYRI believes that these bottlenecks could cause blackouts in the near future. The powerline is proposed to ease congestion and supply a reliable flow of power. NYRI claims the power line will help ensure New York State's energy security and continued economic growth.
Opponents to the project cite impacts to the scenic landscape, economic losses, health hazards, safety risks and environmental damage as reasons to deny the proposed powerline.
Among the opposition groups is Communities Against Regional Interconnect (CARI), a group of politicians, county representatives and citizens that has come together to fight the New York Regional Interconnect (NYRI) power line project.
CARI cites the NYRI application
regarding impacts on New York state includes the following:
- Electric prices in Upstate New York would rise
- The route travels through 7 counties, 1 city, 7 villages and 30 towns
- It crosses scenic byways and historic trails
- Spans 154 rivers and streams and 64 trout streams
- Tranverses 5 state regulated wetlands and 37 Federal wetlands
- Passes over 66 historic properties and 265 archeological sites
- Travels through the Mongaup Wildlife Management area
- Impacts the Wild and Scenic Delaware River Management Area
Recently, the Marcy-South powerline that runs through Otsego County has gained attention as an alternative route. NYRI has proposed an alternate Marcy-South route that would create islands of properties between the two powerlines. The PSC staff has proposed a different a route alternative along Marcy-South.
Testimony by interested parties on the $2.1 billion line was submitted to the Public Service Commission on Jan. 9. A decision by the PSC on NYRI should be made by September.