New York regulators approve transmission plans as Indian Point closure contingency plan

The New York Public Service Commission approved a group of projects that would help maintain grid reliability if the Indian Point nuclear power plant is taken offline because of the expiration of its federal licenses in 2015.

The commission approved three transmission projects capable of reducing capacity needs by more than 600 MW as well as the extension of existing programs and creation of new programs designed to reduce downstate electricity use by 180 MW by energy efficiency and demand response.

The three approved transmission projects would create a second 27-mile 345 kV transmission line from Central Hudson’s Rock Tavern substation to Con Edison’s Ramapo substation in Rockland County; improve the efficiency of the Marcy South power lines and reconductor a 22-mile of the existing NYSEG 345 kV transmission line between Fraser substation to Coopers Corners substation; and reconfigure transmission substations in Linden, N.J. and Goethals in Staten Island to mitigate system contingencies and provide enhanced cooling of underground transmission circuits running between Con Edison’s Goethals, Gowanus and Farragut transmission substations.

According to the commission, the transmission lines will provide customers statewide with an estimated benefit of approximately $260 million over the first 15 years, with additional net benefits continuing to accrue over the life of the assets.

The energy efficiency and demand response programs will focus on large customers located within Con Edison’s service territory and target specific customers. The commission stated the programs will provide estimated net savings to customers of around $182 million over a 15-year period.

The approval is based on recommendations set forth by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Energy Highway Blueprint. Cuomo has been an opponent to relicensing the Indian Point Energy Center because of its proximity to New York City.

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