WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Energy announced Tuesday that it will re-open the debate on a controversial energy policy that could fast-track power line projects like NYRI in areas the feds have deemed as “critically” in need of electricity.
The policy, which created two “National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors” where the department claims more power lines are needed, went into effect in October and will remain on the books while critics again voice their opposition to the designations.
Most of New York state, and all of Chenango County, are included as part of the “critical” energy congestion areas, which cover a total of 10 states on the east and west coast.
Chenango is also home to 44 miles of New York Regional Interconnect’s proposed 190-mile-long power line project. If approved at the state or federal level, the line would deliver power from Utica through eight counties to the New York City area. The company claims it would relieve congestion, although several recent reports have stated the line isn’t needed and that it has not proven it would relieve energy constraints downstate.
Currently, under the corridor policy, the federal government could approve NYRI if the state denies the project.
DOE officials would not comment on what possible impact the rehearings will have or how long they will take...