JUNE 6, 2000
' 2000 FT ENERGY
One Plus One Equals Profits
Merchant Transmission Line Wins Approval
New England-New York Power Prices a Draw
Concept May Work in the Southwest and Florida
By Rick Stouffer
Merchant power plants, constructed to fill an electricity need-at a price-soon could
be joined by another offshoot of industry deregulation: the merchant transmission
TransEnergie U.S. Ltd., the Westborough, MA-based unit of Canada’s power behe-
moth Hydro-Quebec, has received conditional approval from the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission to build a 26-mile underwater transmission line between
New Haven, CT, and Shoreham, NY, on Long Island.
If TransEnergie complies with FERC’s requests, including detailing how it will offer
service over the 600 MW transfer capacity line and agreeing to join a regional trans-
mission organization once available, environmental permits from New York and Con-
necticut soon will be sought. The high-voltage, direct-current line is expected to be
serviceable by May 2002.
As currently designed, costs for the underwater cable will be borne by TransEn-
ergie, which will recoup its costs-and make money, it hopes-by serving as a conduit.
That means funneling power from New England to Long Island, or vice versa,
depending on who’s willing to rent the space.
"We’ve been looking at this project, doing analysis and looking at various routing
options for the last three years," said James Nash, TransEnergie’s Cross Sound
Cable project manager.
FEEDING THE ISLAND
TransEnergie’s efforts, which will serve as another link between the New England
and New York State control areas, were prompted by the Long Island Power
Authority’s desire to provide "the Island" with badly needed, additional power.