NYRI re-files application studies today, opponents say ‘bring it on’

NORWICH – So far, only one project has ever been denied by the state under the Article VII power line review process.

NYSEG’s Brothertown Road power line was denied in the mid-1990s by the state Public Service Commission after cost-benefit studies showed the line wasn’t needed, a PSC official confirmed Thursday.

The 115 kilo-volt facility was planned to run through the Upper Unadilla Valley from Richfield Springs to Waterville along 28 miles of state Route 20. Citizens who opposed the project said strong local opposition for nearly five years played a key role in the final decision. In the end, NYSEG was offered a chance to conduct a further study, but instead withdrew its application.

New York Regional Interconnect Inc., the company proposing a 190-mile-long, 400 kilo-volt transmission line from Oneida to Orange County, will file the remainder of its long-awaited Article VII application today, company officials said.

With the official fight all but set to begin, NYRI opponents are confident the PSC will eventually hand out its second denial.

“We feel like we’re ready for (NYRI),” said NYRI opponent Chris Rossi, a Hubbardsville resident. “We’re ready to meet them head on.”

In July 2006, NYRI’s first application was deemed incomplete by the state’s Public Service Commission.

Ordered to conduct an alternative route and environmental and economic impact studies, NYRI officials claimed this morning that studies in the new filing completed by their consultants show the power line will lower wholesale energy prices – which are third worst in the country – 5.7 percent by 2018 and stimulate investment in renewable energy resources.

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