Sunday, July 26, 2015

Update on the "Energy Highway"

Last Tuesday and Wednesday--July 21 and 22--the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) held a two-day Technical Conference to evaluate the proposed high-voltage power lines that would run through a major swath of the Hudson Valley, including Columbia and Dutchess counties. At that conference, expert consultants for the Hudson Valley Smart Energy Coalition (HVSEC) outlined "the unique importance of the Hudson Valley's environmental and scenic resources as well as a host of federal and state public policies and investments aimed at protecting this valuable 'green infrastructure.'" 

Ian Solomon of coalition member group Farmers and Families for Claverack is quoted in a press release issued by HVSEV on Thursday as saying:
Although we find that we are largely in agreement with the PSC staff regarding the relative impact of the various proposals, it's important to understand the process is far from over. In Claverack, we are concerned that two of the proposals recommended to move forward would increase the height of local towers by as much as 20 feet, while removing the forested buffer that shields historic residential neighborhoods from the power lines. We are also concerned that the process is moving forward with the actual need still not having been proven, despite ample evidence calling need into question. If one of these proposals is approved, the ratepayer and property owner will see largely risk with little to no reward, while the opposite is true for the developers. Because of this, it is crucial to establish need before substantially moving forward. We look forward to having this discussion when the PSC is ready.
The entire press release can be read here. The part of the Technical Conference that will focus on need has been postponed so that PSC staff can evaluate new power generation capacity expected to come on line, further reducing the rationale for the currently proposed transmission solutions.


  1. Is it true that we taxpayers of Columbia County will be billed for this project that destroys the very reason we live here ???

    1. Is that any different than suing the city for its unlawfulness against us, and against the environment, when the city will use our money to defend the indefensible?