This is an interesting news report because it points out both how fragile our electrical grid is and it illustrates just what electricity is expected to be worth in the years ahead. New York is running out of power and there are plans afoot to run 190 miles of new transmission lines at $1M per mile to ease the congestion on the old lines.

The new filing supplements NYRI’s original Article VII application submitted in May 2006. The filing indicates that the transmission line would result in lower wholesale electricity pricing across the state.

The Supplemental Filing is part of NYRI’s bid to secure approval from the State of New York to build, at no cost to taxpayers, a 190-mile transmission line to bring electrical energy from upstate New York to meet the growing demand in the southeastern part of the state. The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), the U.S. Department of Energy and the private sector have documented the critical need for upgrading transmission in this corridor to relieve system congestion and increase reliability. Without new transmission, and even with conservation measures, the region risks potentially devastating blackouts and brownouts that would impact individuals, businesses, hospitals, schools — virtually every aspect of modern life.

“New, efficient transmission lines would improve the reliability of the transmission system, providing safe and reliable power while protecting our national security,” said Chris Thompson, president of New York Regional
Interconnect, Inc. “NYRI will be the first major transmission upgrade from upstate to downstate New York in more than 20 years.”

Note the claim that it will reduce ‘wholesale costs’ and later suggests that it is possible that consumers might save also. Even here on the South Coast the transmission lines terminating on the coast are congested and it would require an investment of $1M per mile to change that. Consequently, if private power generation and transmission companies are offering to absorb this expense at no cost to the tax payer then you can be certain that the profits down the road will be huge.

New Yorkers will be at the mercy of these investor owned utilities, (actually they are already) unless they learn to decentralize and move toward public ownership of their generation facilities. I also note during this report that they play the ‘Homeland Security’ card. Centralized power and expensive transmission does not provide national security.