Thursday, January 2, 2014
Boundless Energy Wants Lines Under Hudson River
Connecticut-based Boundless Energy is proposing to fix the energy bottleneck preventing power from coming to the Hudson Valley by upgrading existing transmission lines and burying a new one as deep as 40 feet under the Hudson River from the Town of Newburgh to Dutchess County. According to Boundless Energy, the entire project would cost less than $300 million.
The project is one of four vying to be part of New York state's Energy Highway Initiative. The other three projects seek to fix the same bottleneck, but would have more limited effects on the region because they would connect from areas farther upstate to a substation in Pleasant Valley. The state Public Service Commission will likely select only one project of the four.
Community groups have opposed some of those projects because they include the installation of new transmission poles and lines. The Dutchess County Legislature last month passed a resolution opposing the construction of new, above-ground transmission lines.
Boundless' project sticks primarily to the western shore of the Hudson River, running from Greene County down through Ulster and the very northern tip of Orange to the Roseton power plant in the Town of Newburgh. The engineers behind Boundless tout that their project does not involve the installation of any additional lines or poles. Instead, it would replace older utility cables with new, higher-capacity ones and upgrade technology in substations. From Roseton, the line would travel under the Hudson River to an East Fishkill substation.
The PSC is accepting public comment on the projects until March, and then will begin another round of more specific applications and public comments. That phase will take an additional 18 to 30 months, meaning work on any of the projects may not start until 2016. The PSC believes the transmission projects will make the designation of a new power zone in the Hudson Valley, which will increase electricity rates by as much as 10 percent, unnecessary. The zone is meant to attract new generation projects. (Times Herald Record, 1/2/2014)