Member organizations of the Hudson Valley Smart Energy Coalition and the public participated for two years in a public process the NYS Public Service Commission (PSC) conducted as it considered the need for new high-voltage transmission lines that would cut through a major swath of the Hudson Valley.
The Hudson Valley Smart Energy Coalition and citizens who joined its campaign won a commitment that the project will be built within existing rights of way and not cross the Hudson River and its sensitive ecosystem. The chosen project route also will not destroy world-class views and natural surroundings at historic sites and destinations such as the Olana State Historic Site, FDR Home and Library, and Omega Institute. Using independent science and economic research, the coalition achieved modifications in the project and its route that will reduce potential damage to a host of community resources.
Despite evidence that the $1.2-billion, rate-payer-financed initiative is unnecessary, unfair to ratepayers and predicted to increase pollution—on Dec. 17, 2015, the PSC announced it would move ahead with the project.
Member organizations of the Hudson Valley Smart Energy Coalition will continue to play a role in the process as it moves forward to ensure the gains made are implemented and to push for the most environmentally sound energy system for the state. We will press for projects that will minimize negative impacts to communities, property owners and natural resources.
During the next year New York State entities will require the competing power lines developers to submit refined proposals that comply with parameters—shaped by hard-won concessions brought about by the Hudson Valley Smart Energy Coalition and citizens—the PSC outlined in its decision.
What can concerned citizens do now? Be assured that the legal team of the Hudson Valley Smart Energy Coalition will stay engaged on this issue and alert you when it’s time again for citizens to get involved. To stay informed, be sure to sign up for email updates and, from time to time, visit this website and our Facebook page. We’ll keep you in the loop and let you know when the moment is right to mobilize once more.