In response to requests from the New York Public Service Commission (PSC), New York Regional Interconnect, Inc. (NYRI) submitted to the Commission a Supplemental Filing that details research findings on the economic and environmental impacts of NYRI's proposed transmission line, as well as alternative routing options. The new filing supplements NYRI's original Article VII application submitted in May 2006. The filing indicates that the transmission line would result in lower wholesale electricity pricing across the state.
The Supplemental Filing is part of NYRI's bid to secure approval from the State of New York to build, at no cost to taxpayers, a 190-mile transmission line to bring electrical energy from upstate New York to meet the growing demand in the southeastern part of the state. The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), the U.S. Department of Energy and the private sector have documented the critical need for upgrading transmission in this corridor to relieve system congestion and increase reliability. Without new transmission, and even with conservation measures, the region risks potentially devastating blackouts and brownouts that would impact individuals, businesses, hospitals, schools -- virtually every aspect of modern life.
"New, efficient transmission lines would improve the reliability of the transmission system, providing safe and reliable power while protecting our national security," said Chris Thompson, president of New York Regional Interconnect, Inc. "NYRI will be the first major transmission upgrade from upstate to downstate New York in more than 20 years."
Economic Benefits. The new studies contained in NYRI's Supplemental Filing indicate important economic benefits to New York State, which currently has the third highest rates in the U.S., behind Alaska and Hawaii. As reported by NYRI's independent consultant in the chart below, Charles River Associates (CRA), NYRI would lower wholesale electricity costs throughout New York State. The report states that NYRI "is likely to reduce electricity costs for the State of New York in a number of significant ways: it will reduce prices and the cost of energy to New York consumers, it will reduce the production cost of electricity thereby improving economic efficiency and improving social welfare, and it will reduce the cost of congestion."
Environmental Benefits. Independent studies included in the Supplemental Filing relating to the environment indicate that the NYRI transmission line would stimulate investment in renewable energy sources. These studies suggest that NYRI would help New York State achieve its environmental policy goals for using more renewable energy sources. The NYRI transmission line would also help to address the global warming problem by encouraging a more diverse energy mix.
Transmission Route. Studies of alternative transmission line routes, which NYRI recently outlined in public notices appearing in community newspapers, are described in more detail in NYRI's Supplemental Filing. These options include installing the line underground in selected areas and adjusting the originally proposed route to completely bypass other areas.
"NYRI enlisted leading experts from highly respected organizations to conduct additional studies on the project's economic, environmental and community impacts," Thompson added. "The studies have concluded that NYRI will yield significant economic advantages and environmental benefits for all of New York, including the development of renewable sources. We are very pleased with these results and hope that communities will see that NYRI is trying to be as responsive as we can to them as we strive to address the vital energy needs of all New Yorkers."