WASHINGTON – Most of the state and the entire length of New York Regional Interconnect Inc.’s proposed power line now rests in one of the two “National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor” designations announced by the U.S. Department of Energy Tuesday.
The designations were guided by the 2005 Energy Policy Act and finalized without much change after draft versions were created in April.
The energy department created a “Southwest” and “Mid-Atlantic” corridor, both encompassing two of country’s most populated and energy constrained areas, its report states.
Inside the corridors – which cover all or part of 10 states in total – the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will have unprecedented authority to review power line projects that a state has either denied or failed to review within one year.
The “Mid-Atlantic” corridor stretches from northern Virginia to northern New York state, where it covers 47 of 62 counties. www.evesun.com/topics/news/NYRI/">NYRI’s project would run through eight of those 47 counties, including Chenango. While most of those counties are not constrained, they can aid in energy being brought to the places that are, the department says.
NYRI opponents fear the corridors unnecessarily undermine state authority and open a door for NYRI to slip through if it’s denied.
“It undermines our state’s existing, forward thinking energy philosophy by imposing the federal government’s view of what should be done upon us,” said Hubbardsville resident Chris Rossi, the co-chair of the citizens group Stop NYRI. “It’s really frightening.”
NYRI’s project was deemed unnecessary in September by the state’s electricity grid operator, which claimed in an annual report that there were more than enough solutions to meet New York’s energy needs.