Wednesday, October 20, 2010

NYPI pulls the plug on power project

ALBANY – After three years of trying to gain approval for their $2.1 billion electric transmission line project, New York Regional Interconnect is calling it quits.

Citing investor concerns over a recent Federal Regulatory Commission ruling, the group’s general counsel informed the administrative law judges assigned to oversee the project’s Article VII review process on Friday that they were pulling their application.

“The investors have decided that the financial risks of cost recovery are too great at this time and as a result they are withdrawing their Article VII application,” said general counsel Len Singer, addressing Administrative Law Judge Jeffrey Stockholm during evidentiary hearing proceedings on Friday.

Stockholm asked Singer to file a letter with the secretary of the Public Service Commission formally withdrawing the case by Monday, April 6. He also directed Singer to circulate copies of the letter to the other active parties in the case. Once the parties have received NYRI’s letter, they will have one week to advise the PSC if they see a need for the case to remain open.

“Unless someone argues this case should be continued, we fully expect to close this case and will do so in a ruling or a secretary notice … a week from Monday,” Stockholm said.

The timing of NYRI’s announcement has come as something of a shock, even to the project’s staunchest critics.

“I’ve been more and more convinced that NYRI would withdraw at some point,” said Eve Ann Shwartz, co-chair of the grassroots opposition group Stop NYRI. “The writing has been on the wall.”

But even she wasn’t expecting it to occur so soon. “I’m shocked,” she said.

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