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news release

Statewide Transmission Study Identifies Projects to Improve Electric System Reliability, Lower Costs
and Support Renewable Generation

The Phase II Study Report of the New York State Transmission Assessment and Reliability Study (STARS) group was released today, outlining specific and practical electric transmission projects that can bolster the power grid, provide economic benefits, support development of renewable resources and ensure a robust power system for all New Yorkers.

STARS is an initiative by New York’s electric transmission owners to develop a thorough assessment of the state’s transmission system and create a long-range plan for coordinated infrastructure investment in the state’s power grid. While the initiative began in 2008, it is consistent with and supports the Energy Highway initiative announced by Governor Cuomo.

“The aim of the joint study is to help meet future electricity needs, ensure the long term reliability of the power system, reduce congestion in the electric transmission system and support the state’s public policy goals, including the growth of renewable energy sources,” said James P. Laurito, STARS Chair and President of STARS member company Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation. “The study identifies needs and specific projects to upgrade, refurbish and/or build new transmission, primarily along existing rights of way. These projects support the study’s objectives and do so in a cost effective manner for customers.”

The state’s interconnected bulk power system is owned by six separate transmission owners, all participants in the STARS initiative:
• Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation
• Consolidated Edison Company of NY, Inc. / Orange & Rockland Utilities Inc.
• Long Island Power Authority
• National Grid
• New York Power Authority
• New York State Electric & Gas Corporation / Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation

This study complements the standard New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) planning process by incorporating both a physical condition and system capacity assessment of the state’s power grid, and extends the evaluation horizon to 20 years and more. The integration of physical and capacity needs on a statewide basis over this extended period provides a cost efficient blueprint for the future development of the grid.

In evaluating the transmission system over the next 20-plus years, the study has determined that the transmission system will likely require significant replacement of existing assets. “Rather than each company replacing their individual assets to maintain reliability, we’re looking collectively at where it makes sense to coordinate upgrading or expanding those assets to create long-term benefits for customers throughout the state,” Laurito said. Those benefits include reliability, capacity for growth, and public policy initiatives such as renewables and cost efficiency.

Among the conclusions and recommendations of the Phase II Study are:
• Bottlenecks in the state’s transmission system impacted consumers by $1.1 billion in 2010 alone;
• 85 percent of New York’s major transmission lines were built before 1980;
• Of the 12,000 miles of transmission lines in New York State, 4,700 miles should be replaced during the next 30 years;
• Approximately $25 billion must be spent during the next 30 years to replace portions of the existing bulk power system throughout the state;
• Approximately $2.5 billion in incremental upgrades and new projects were identified which could be constructed on or with minor expansion of existing rights of way; and
• Of that $2.5 billion, an initial group of $400 million in new projects clearly provide economic benefits and continued reliable service as existing sources of energy phase out due to physical condition, economics or public policy, including a contingency plan for the potential retirement of the Indian Point nuclear plant.

“These projects will provide real benefits to New York electricity consumers, including improved reliability; reduced congestion to allow for greater electricity transfer capability across the state; increased deliverability of wind generation from upstate; environmental benefits; and increased economic development in the form of thousands of jobs created, property tax revenue, and increased regional gross domestic product,” Laurito said.

“A reliable and robust transmission grid is vital to New York and is essential to its future. Through implementation of the STARS recommendations, the state will continue to be a leader in clean, safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy solutions that will benefit all New Yorkers,” Laurito said.

To view a copy of the STARS Phase II Study report, log onto:

To view attachments to the report, log onto: