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NEW YORK REGIONAL INTERCONNECT made an announcement last week that it would be dropping its bid for permission from the New York Public Service Commission for its project.
NYRI pulls plug
By Jeanne Sager
NEW YORK STATE The plan to run high transmission power lines through Sullivan County on a path between Utica and Rock Tavern might be dead.
Then again, maybe not.
Steve DiMeo of Communities Against Regional Interconnect (CARI) says his lawyers were in court last week when New York Regional Interconnect (NYRI) made an announcement that it would be dropping its bid for permission from the New York Public Service Commission for its project.
But then NYRI put up a press release on its Website, noting it was “suspending” its participation in the New York State transmission siting process stating “it remains committed to transmission development in New York State.”
So is it done? Or not?
“We were a little bit puzzled by the term suspension,” DiMeo said. “Although we’ve always been suspicious of anything NYRI says.”
A non-profit, CARI represents seven New York counties and five community interest organizations in the fight against NYRI. That includes Sullivan County, which stood to have high-voltage power lines strung straight through the Delaware River corridor.
NYRI’s plan was dealt a hefty blow on March 31 with a decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denying NYRI’s request to review the recently approved rules of the New York State Independent System Operator for transmission tariffs.
According to NYRI, the decision would represent an “unacceptable financial risk” for investors in the company.
“Even if the NYRI project were to be sited by the PSC, NYRI would face the prospect of being unable to recover transmission costs from the ratepayers who would benefit from the project,” according to its official release.
NYRI was supposed to have an official letter in to the judge yesterday afternoon to pull itself out of the Public Service Commission siting process.
According to Anne Dalton of the PSC, the parties to the case will then have one week to respond before the case is closed. Evidentiary hearings into the matter were suspended last week only because of NYRI’s announcement that it would withdraw its application.
If it were to reapply, the process would start all the way back at the beginning.
So its opponents are cautiously optimistic.
“We have to see if NYRI is picking up all its chess pieces and going home,” DiMeo said, “or if they think there are a couple of plays left.”
Calls to NYRI’s press officials were not returned.