Herkimer County lawmakers last week said a proposal that includes the construction of additional above ground high voltage transmission lines through the county would cause economic and aesthetic harm to residents, would be destructive to the local landscape and could have an impact on local energy rates.
In response, the Legislature passed a resolution in opposition to the proposal, as well as others, currently under review by the state Public Service Commission.
“We’re all in opposition to this. We’ve been through this fight before, and we’re ready to fight again,” said Legislature Chairman Vincent Bono, R - Schuyler.
Legislator Peter Manno, R - Frankfort, received a letter from the state Department of Public Service in June informing him of the possibility of developers reaching out to inform affected communities of their intentions as they look to relieve congestion along transmission lines that begin in Marcy and head downstate.
“All of the routes that are being talked about go through Herkimer County,” said Manno. He added the purpose of the resolution was to let the PSC “know our feelings about this.”
“It’s not just Herkimer County as a whole. This affects the town and village of Frankfort, the town of German Flatts, the town of Schuyler and others individually,” said Manno.
North America Transmission, an affiliate of LS Power, is one of at least three developers on New York Independent System Operator’s interconnection queue that have requested a system reliability impact study for proposals concerning the Marcy system.
The others are New York Power Authority, which proposed a Marcy South reinforcement that would do work on substations in Marcy and Fraser and would not include new power lines; and NextEra Energy Transmission, which proposed two projects with different voltage that would go east to New Scotland, then south to Leeds and Pleasant Valley, running along the existing right-of-way through Deerfield and Marcy and then on to Schuyler, Frankfort, German Flats, Little Falls, Danube and Stark.
State Department of Public Service officials said the process is ongoing, and developers must submit proposals by Oct. 1. The proposals are part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Energy Highway initiative, and are particularly geared toward relieving congestion in two corridors between upstate and southeast New York from the Marcy substation.
LS Power Senior Vice President Lawrence Willick said while an exact path has yet to be determined, North America Transmission’s project would follow the existing right-of-way running east toward Albany from Marcy, then south to Delaware County.
He added the company wants to “stay away from Frankfort” and is “finding a place to head south while minimizing our impact.” Willick also said he was unsure if the company would submit a proposal to the PSC by the Oct. 1 deadline.
Page 2 of 2 - NextEra spokesman Steven Stengel said his company intends to submit its proposal, which would “follow as closely as possible the existing right-of-way.”
“Once we see what’s being proposed we’ll be able to take further action,” said Bono.
The resolution that was unanimously adopted last week also states the construction of additional above ground power lines through Herkimer County would have a dramatic impact on upstate residents who would not benefit from the projects.
In other business last week, the Legislature passed a resolution requesting the state complete a comprehensive plan to evaluate creeks, streams and waterways throughout the county and develop a mitigation program to clean them, remove debris and restore them, if they have been altered by the late June and early July flooding.
The Legislature also asked the state to provide funding to implement a stream and waterway restoration program in accordance with the comprehensive plan.
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