CHPE to go back before NYPSC to address seven contested issues

Developers and opponents of the proposed Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE) will go back to the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) to resolve seven contested issues about the high-voltage DC (HVDC) project that will bring power from Ontario to the New York City area (Case 10-T-0139).

On February 24, following more than a year of closed-door negotiations, developers of the CHPE filed with the PSC an 89-page joint proposal (JP) along with 125 exhibits, which was developed at more than 50 settlement conferences with 29 interested parties, known as “settlement negotiations.”

The document purportedly resolved all issues in the proceeding. Since its filing, however, five parties that did not support the JP have filed statements in opposition.

The PSC issued a ruling May 8 that identifies the seven “disputed issues of material fact to be addressed at evidentiary hearing.”

Consolidated Edison (Con Ed; NYSE:ED) and Central Hudson Gas & Electric question whether the project can actually deliver 1,000 MW to a converter station proposed for Astoria, N.Y., and whether the power, when converted to high-voltage AC, can then be delivered to the Rainey substation.

Con Ed, Entergy Nuclear Marketing and Entergy Nuclear FitzPatrick (Entergy), and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 97 (IBEW), raised questions about the site proposed for the applicant’s planned Luyster Creek converter station.

Independent Power Producers of New York (IPPNY) charge that the project is uneconomic. It proposes to submit expert testimony concerning purported errors in the assumptions used in the developer’s production cost savings and ratepayer savings analyses, according to the order.

The parties also raise other issues that the PSC ruling termed “legal issues, policy issues, or mixed issues of law and policy that are properly addressed in briefs.”

Those questions, which the PSC said bear further scrutiny, are whether the “need requirement” has been met, whether the proposed project is in the public interest, whether it conforms to a long-range plan for expansion of the state’s electric system, and whether ratepayers will be adequately protected if the applicants change their business model.

Pre-filed testimony regarding the contested points is due at the PSC by June 7; rebuttals must be filed by June 28. Evidentiary hearings are scheduled to begin July 16.

Calls seeking comment from the project’s developer, Transmission Developers, Inc., were not returned by press time.

Entergy Nuclear Marketing and Entergy Nuclear FitzPatrick are subsidiaries of Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR).