Power Sources

Developer says N.Y. 1,000-MW line draws strong interest

A proposed 1,000-megawatt transmission line that will deliver energy from upstate New York to New York City has received supply and transmission reserve offers that are “well in excess” of the line’s capacity, said Empire State Connector, a transmission company.

The $1.5 billion Empire State Connector project is slated to run about 260 miles underground from a planned converter station near Utica, New York, to New York City.

Empire State Connector on Jan. 10 announced what it said was the successful completion of stage one of a two-stage open solicitation process for interested parties to reserve space on the proposed 265-mile, fully buried Empire State Connector high voltage direct current electric transmission line.

Most of the project's high-voltage direct current cables would be underwater in the Erie Canal and Hudson River and underground, according to the project developer, which is jointly owned by OneGrid, a Toronto-based transmission company, and Forum Equity Partners, an investment firm.

Empire State Connector says on its website that the project will allow New York City to tap into low-cost renewable, hydro and nuclear generators upstate.

Stage one of the process, which ran during November and December, involved identifying transmission service customers as well as power suppliers interested in utilizing the line to transport their energy from Upstate New York, into the heart of New York City.

Stage two, which will take place during the first quarter of 2018, will solicit interest from companies serving energy consumers in New York City, to purchase this electrical power being offered through the line.

Empire State Connector expects that bilateral negotiations involving the company, power suppliers and load serving entities will start in February, with the signing of precedent agreements following in April. Transmission service agreements and power purchase agreements could be finalized in the summer, according to the company.

“Securing a reliable long term supply of clean energy for New York City at low prices represents a tremendous business opportunity for load serving entities, energy service companies, community choice aggregators and their customers," John Douglas, Empire State Connector Corp. chief executive officer, said Jan. 10.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the solicitation process in June 2016. London Economics International is managing the solicitation.

The New York Independent System Operator finished a project feasibility study in August 2016, clearing the way for the grid operator to perform a system impact study, according to the company.

Empire State Connector expects to file a permit application for the project by the end of the year with the New York Public Service Commission.

The company expects to start building the transmission line in late 2019 and bring the project into service in 2022.

The project developer said the power line will help New York meet its goal of getting half its electricity from renewable resources by 2030 while cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels.

Information about the solicitation is online at https://www.escsolicitation.com/.

Empire State Connector participated in a renewable request for proposals the New York Power Authority issued in June, according to the company.

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