Saturday, April 11, 2009

FERC Decision Kills NY Regional Interconnect (NYRI)

In a decision that runs counter to nearly every Federal Energy Regularory Commission (FERC) cost recovery decision of the recent past, the Commission voted to block a request from the New York Regional Interconnect (NYRI) for 13.5% return on equity. The decision forced NYRI to withdraw its application before the NYPSC for the 190-mile power line would have carried renewable power from upstate to just north of New York City. The project was previously dealt a blow when the 4th Circuit ruled FERC did not have federal backstop authority to authorize the line if local regulators blocked the project.

Developers said denying NYRI's request created an unacceptable financial risk for NYRI's investors. 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. This is really a blow for not only New York City power customers and city leaders who are demanding renewable power, but also for renewable energy in general – which now has no way to get from source to consumer. So much for the entire message of green transmission and building out the grid to meet the significant renewable power needs of our cleantech economy. (Source: Frank Maisano)

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