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Galloo line path remains in limbo; Developer awaiting purchase agreement

The route for the transmission line from Galloo Island Wind Farm to the power grid still hangs in limbo.

In a conference call Wednesday, project developer Upstate NY Power Corp. told the Public Service Commission and other interested parties that it has not secured a power purchase agreement, which would allow the developer to pursue a locally supported underwater route.

Such an agreement secures a price for power generated by a plant.

“The message they articulated was that without a PPA, they cannot move forward with a subaquatic path,” said Barry M. Ormsby, Jefferson County legislator.

The developer has applied to the New York Power Authority for an agreement under the Great Lakes Offshore Wind project.

But NYPA isn’t ready yet to announce who will receive contracts to sell power through the offshore wind program. And NYPA President and CEO Richard M. Kessel said Feb. 9 that the authority wasn’t negotiating a power contract with Upstate NY Power. But he also said he wasn’t involved in the authority’s procurement process for the offshore wind project.

Mr. Kessel said in May that wind power projects in Jefferson County wouldn’t get power purchase agreements after the county’s Board of Legislators voted in March to oppose the offshore wind project, which possibly included some off Jefferson County’s shores.

“NYPA’s procurement staff is in the final phase of completing an extensive review and evaluation of the GLOW RFP responses and supplemental information gathered in order to make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees for its review and assessment,” spokesman Michael Saltzman said in an email Friday.

The commission will host the next call Aug. 4, said Mr. Ormsby, R-Belleville.

“If they hear between now and then, they’ll send out a message and the PSC will reconvene the parties for a conference call,” he said.

Oswego County Legislator Shawn P. Doyle, R-Pulaski, is more skeptical that a contract and the underwater route will happen.

“I really want it to go under the lake, but they’re putting all their energy into getting a PPA with the Power Authority,” he said. “I don’t see it happening and I really hope it happens, but it puts us in limbo.”

The counties aren’t getting too impatient yet.

“It would be nice to have some kind of conclusion, but we’re still awaiting a PPA because we’d prefer that instead of just moving ahead over land,” Mr. Ormsby said. “We will discuss it in greater detail if August comes and goes and there’s still no agreement by then.”

He said Jefferson County and Oswego County interests will “remain vigilant,” a vow joined by Mr. Doyle.

“We remain very grateful to Barry Ormsby and Jefferson County legislators, who have kept their promise to help us on this,” he said. “They continue to advocate to alleviate the line’s effect on us.”