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NYPSC APPROVES OPERATION OF 1,000 MEGAWATT POWER LINE

(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by The New York State Public Service Commission and
received via e-mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.) 
April 18, 2013 
Commission Approves Major New Power Line 
New York City Consumers Would Benefit from Low-Cost Canadian
Hydropower 
The New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) today
approved the construction and operation of a 1,000 megawatt (MW)
transmission line stretching 330 miles from the Canadian border
to Astoria, Queens, primarily through Lake Champlain and the
Hudson River, with some segments on land, primarily in railroad
or state highway rights-of-way. 
The line would terminate at a converter station located in
Consolidated Edison’s Astoria annex.  From there, one high
voltage, alternating current (HVAC) circuit will connect, via
underground conduit, to the nearby substation of the New York
Power Authority (NYPA).  From the NYPA substation, another set
of HVAC cables would be located under the streets for about
three miles to Con Edison’s Rainey substation. 
The transmission line, estimated by the developer to cost $2
billion, would be built either underwater or underground along
the entire length of the route, avoiding or minimizing visual
and other potential environmental impacts. 
“With this order, we grant the developer a certificate to
construct and operate a transmission project known as the
Champlain Hudson Power Express Project,” said Commission
Chairman Garry Brown. “The certificate will adopt most of the
terms and conditions presented to us in a joint proposal and in
stipulations that have the full or partial support of a wide
range of parties to this case.” 
A critical factor in the Commission’s decision to approve the
project is the fact that the financial risk to ratepayers is
minimized since ratepayers will not be required to assume the
financial risks to build the project; ratepayers will be
protected from construction and operation costs. 
While the Commission’s decision represents a major step to build
the privately funded transmission line, it is not the final
step; project developers still need to obtain several Federal
permits, as well as secure private financing. The project
owners, Champlain Hudson Power Express, Inc. and CHPE
Properties, Inc., applied for a certificate of environmental
compatibility and public need for the siting of major utility
transmission facilities to construct and operate the high
voltage, direct current transmission line under Article VII of
the Public Service Law. The regulatory review of the project
under Article VII was rigorous and complete. 
In addition to providing renewable energy and shielding
ratepayers, the project offers other significant benefits: 
-The facility would provide substantial annual air pollutant
emissions benefits;
-Bringing hydroelectric power to New York City would enhance
fuel diversity as New York City currently relies significantly
on gas- and oil-fired generation, which raises both fuel
diversity and electric reliability concerns. The energy imported
could amount to more than 10 percent of the energy consumption
in the city, a significant amount of added capability that would
enhance energy security by providing another source of power;
-The interconnection with the Quebec, Canada regional
transmission system would provide stronger transmission ties
into New York City, one of the most congested load pockets in
the state;
-The new power line would help reduce strain on the gas
transportation system by allowing imports of electricity from
outside the city. Demand for natural gas use is increasing in
New York City due to increased use of gas for electric
generation and the gas conversion needs resulting from New York
City’s phase out of use of #4 and #6 oils for home and business
heating purposes.  The increase in gas demand could strain the
gas transportation system into and within New York City;
-The addition of a major new supplier would help reduce the
ability of various players to exercise market power. New York
City is an area with pivotal suppliers having the ability to
exercise market power, but suppliers are constrained by federal
market rules.; and
-There would be significant environmental enhancements. While
negative environmental impacts are minimal, the applicants have
agreed to create and fund a $117.15 million trust for the
enhancement of aquatic habitats and fisheries resources in Lake
Champlain and the Hudson, Harlem, and East rivers and their
tributaries. 
The proceeding began with an application filed March 30, 2010
and, after several supplements, ultimately deemed compliant as
of August 11, 2010. Negotiations among the parties resulted in
the joint proposal filed in February 2012 and further
stipulations in June, July and October 2012. 
The joint proposal used as the basis for the Commission’s
decision was supported by several state agencies, the cities of
New York and Yonkers, Consolidated Edison, and several
environmental organizations, including Riverkeeper, Inc. and
Scenic Hudson, Inc. Changes in the route from what was initially
proposed helped reduce environmental impact. 
Full evidentiary hearings were conducted on the joint proposal
in July 2012, followed by post-hearing briefs. There were two
rounds of public statement hearings conducted along the route of
the project, both early in the case and following the submission
of the joint proposal, and members of the public have submitted
written comments as well. 
The Commission’s decision today, when issued, may be obtained by
going to the Commission Documents section of the Commission’s
Web site at www.dps.ny.gov and entering Case Number 10-T-0139 in
the input box labeled “Search for Case/Matter Number.” Many
libraries offer free Internet access. Commission orders may also
be obtained from the Commission’s Files Office, 14th floor,
Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223 (518-474-2500).  If
you have difficulty understanding English, please call us at 1-800-342-3377 for free language assistance services regarding
this press release. 
Further Details:
James Denn
James.denn@dps.ny.gov | 518.474.7080
http://www.dps.ny.gov
http://twitter.com/NYSDPS 
(sgp) NY 
#<278855.14078.3.4.1.0.76>#
 
 
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