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State regulators issue final major approvals for power transmission line

ALBANY – State regulators have formally approved a new power transmission line designed to transport clean energy to downstate consumers.

The Public Service Commission on Thursday announced its approval of the 54-mile, 345-kilovolt transmission line running from Rensselaer County to Dutchess County, a project designed to relieve electricity bottlenecks.

The line, part of the New York Energy Solution Project owned by utility consortium New York Transco, is valued at an estimated $530 million.

The state agency on Thursday also granted approval for the municipal agreements necessary to construct a second 20-mile, 345-kilovolt electric transmission line in Niagara and Erie counties in western New York.

Regulators also approved the environmental management and construction plan for the 93-mile electric transmission line being built from Oneida to the town of New Scotland in Albany County.

The $854 million project, being financed by the New York Power Authority and a transmission line developer called LS Power, will replace an existing line by 2023, and will enable more power produced at upstate wind farms to make its way to Albany and downstate.

Each of the efforts are designed as part of the state’s push to bolster renewable energy, lower carbon emissions and combat climate change.

The approvals mark the final set of major regulatory hurdles required to commence construction on 250 miles of a “green energy transmission superhighway” this year as outlined as priorities by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“New York is leading the nation in developing a green economy with key investments to enhance the reliability and resiliency of the State’s energy infrastructure,” Cuomo said in a released statement.

The line running from Rensselaer County to Dutchess County will upgrade and replace existing 80-year-old structures on existing electric transmission corridors or on adjacent utility-owned land with about 230 fewer, more modern structures, according to materials provided by the governor’s office.

The project will be operational by the end of 2023, and is part of broader state efforts to bring its electricity sector to zero emissions by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030.