Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How much will this project cost? Who’s paying for it?
A. Transmission projects like this are paid for by all ratepayers throughout the State of New York based on a zone formula set by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. We have done a high-level estimate of what an average residential ratepayer (500 kWh) would pay annually based on the zone formula. Using the project’s estimated capital costs, we estimate an increase of $1 to $9 per year on an average residential bill depending on where you live in the State. For the 11 project host communities, we estimate the increase would range from an additional $1 to $2.75 per year on an average residential bill. These rate impact estimates are not inclusive of other project benefits, including savings associated with expanded transmission capacity and displacing fossil fuel generation with renewables.
Q. Who will review/approve the project?
A. The project must go through multiple levels of state, local, and federal review. Ultimately, the state and federal permitting processes provide the mechanisms for approvals to construct the project. For more information on our permitting process, please click here.
Q. I’ve seen differing information about the number of structures and other project details in the months leading up to the Article VII submittal. Why is that?
A. We are still in what is considered a preliminary engineering and design phase, but in the interest of transparency and out of respect for our stakeholders, we have been sharing as much detail as possible at the time the information becomes available. Final design and engineering specifications will be incorporated in the PSC’s final order for construction of the project. We will continue to keep stakeholders updated on any future changes.
Q. When will you start construction?
A. Pending approvals, we plan to begin construction in 2021 and have the project in-service at the end of 2023.
Q. Will there be any power interruptions during construction?
A. No, this project will not require us to interrupt your electrical service.
Q. What if I have questions or concerns?
A. New York Transco is committed to doing all we can to work with landowners, residents, and communities to mitigate impacts on our neighbors and the environment before, during and after construction. Anyone with questions or concerns is encouraged to contact us at email@example.com or toll-free at 1-855-433-3611. The State’s Article VII process also provides avenues for public involvement. Information on participating in the State’s Article VII process will be found here once a docket for the project is established.
Q. How will you accommodate the needs of the agriculture community?
A. The New York Transco team is working with farmers and agricultural interests to understand and incorporate feedback into our project execution plan. In the summer of 2019, project representatives began to collect data to better understand agricultural activities and operations in and around the utility-owned rights-of-way where the project will occur. If you have information to share, please complete our survey or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll-free at 1-855-433-3611.
Q. Does New York Transco pay property taxes?
A. Yes. We pay annual municipal taxes on each transmission asset (switching stations, transmission conductors, transmission structures, etc.) in a given town. The utilities also pay property tax.
Q. Where will this work take place?
A: The NYES transmission and station work will take place on an existing utility-owned transmission corridor and land through 11 communities in Rensselaer, Columbia and Dutchess counties. Visit the In Your Community section for more information town-by-town.
Q. Who will perform the construction work?
A. We are in the early stages of the project and have not yet selected a contractor.
Q. Will jobs be set aside for union labor?
A. In 2016 we signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) District 3, which commits us to using union labor where possible.
Q. Can I get a job working on the project? Can my business supply products or services?
A. If you are interested in providing your or your company’s information, feel free to contact a project representative at email@example.com or toll-free at 1-855-433-3611. The project will go through a detailed and comprehensive effort for hiring qualified vendors/suppliers.
Q. Are there health risks from this project?
A. Our team commissioned an Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF) study for the project and submitted it to the New York State Public Service Commission as part of our Article VII application. A summary of the study can be found here. The study found EMF levels after the upgrade will be below New York State standards in all route sections. Thousands of studies have been conducted on the possible health effects of EMF exposure and, to date, none have concluded that EMF from transmission lines or other EMF sources is a cause of any adverse effects on health in humans or animals. More information is available from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Q. Why aren’t you burying the lines?
A. It is more cost effective and efficient in this instance to maintain overhead transmission lines.
Q. Why was the NYES project selected?
A. The New York Independent System Operator cited a number of factors in its decision to choose NYES over competing proposals, including having the lowest cost per megawatt generated, the greatest reductions in carbon dioxide generation, and the “most resilient foundation and structure design, resulting in significant benefits to the operability of the transmission system during extreme weather events.” Click here to read the NYSIO’s full decision.
Q. Isn’t this project really meant to serve the needs of New York City?
A. The electricity flowing through these lines today and in the future is distributed to Capital Region, Hudson Valley, and New York City users. The improvements in carrying capacity and reliability will benefit everyone served by these lines.