CG/LA Infrastructure's InfraBlog
Jun. 16, 2013
STONY POINT — The developer for the 1,000-megawatt transmission line from the Canadian border to Astoria, Queens, will return to the town Tuesday.
The public meeting for the Champlain Hudson Power Express project is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Rho building, 5 Clubhouse Lane. A similar meeting was held February in Stony Point.
Donald Jessome, president and CEO of Transmission Developers Inc., developer of the power-line project, said the upcoming meeting was scheduled at the request of the Town of Stony Point to give residents updates.
“We will be certainly talking about where we are, particularly with the state regulatory process,” Jessome said, adding that the meeting is part of the developer’s community outreach.
The state Public Service Commission has approved the construction and operation of the proposed 333-mile transmission line to bring Canadian clean energy — hydro and wind — to power homes and businesses in the New York metropolitan area.
The developer is seeking two federal permits that are key for the project to proceed. One is the presidential permit from the Department of Energy and the other from the Army Corps of Engineers.
“We’ve been engaged with the federal agencies since 2010, and we expect those permits to be issued later this year or early next year,” Jessome said.
A group of Stony Point residents has expressed opposition to the project because, although most of the transmission line would be buried under the Hudson River, the cables would emerge in Stony Point to run underground along the CSX railroad right of way before re-entering the Hudson River.
The residents fear that if the project is approved, their homesmight be condemned and opportunities to develop their riverfront property would disappear. In response, Jessome wrote in his Feb. 21 letter to Stony Point that the developer has no intention of using eminent domain for residential property in Stony Point.
Susan Filgueras, founder of Just Say No! to the Champlain Hudson Power Express, said she had visited Albany recently to speak with state representatives in an attempt to halt the project.
“We want jobs, financial security and the opportunity to grow, and we don’t need them,” Filgueras said of the project, which, she said, would not create jobs in Rockland County. She said the existing local power plants at Bowline generating station as well as the former Lovett generating station site should be the place to generate power, not Canada. “Why aren’t we building in New York state?”
Officials in northern Rockland also have commented that allowing the transmission line would have no benefit to local communities.
The developer has said the project will pay $800,000 in annual property taxes to Rockland and create hundreds of jobs during the 3½years of construction.