CHENANGO COUNTY – Forty-seven counties in New York state – including all eight that could play host to the New York Regional Interconnect Inc. power line – have been tagged to shoulder what the federal government hopes will be on-rushing upgrades in the nation’s electricity grid.
In a draft report issued by the U.S. Department of Energy Thursday, Chenango County has been listed as part of a preliminary Mid-Alantic National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor that covers all or part of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington D.C. The DOE hopes to accelerate construction of new transmission facilities in this region in order to relieve electricity constraints in metropolitan areas surrounding New York City, eastern Pennsylvania and Washington.
One other potential corridor was announced that covers parts of California, Arizona, and Nevada.
“These draft designations set us on the path to modernize our constrained and congested electric power infrastructure,” said DOE Secretary Samuel Bodman Thursday. “I am confident the Department’s actions will help facilitate the infrastructure growth necessary to meet the demands of our growing economy.”
However, some local citizens and officials fear the federal government has opened the door for projects like NYRI’s to continually pursue upstate – because of its open space and resources – as their solution to downstate energy and infrastructure problems.