New York approves Con Edison's proposed $800 mln power line projects

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A logo of New York power utility Consolidated Edison Inc is seen in New York July 1, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer/File Photo

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April 15 (Reuters) - New York state utility regulators on Thursday approved Consolidated Edison Co of New York Inc's (Con Edison) request to recover costs for three transmission projects in its New York City service area.

The projects, which the state Public Service Commission said represent an $800 million investment, would maintain and improve reliability and allow several fossil fuel-fired power plants to retire.

The projects include transmission from New York neighborhoods Rainey to Corona, Gowanus to Greenwood and Goethals to Greenwood. Con Edison is a unit of New York energy company Consolidated Edison Inc (ED.N).

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"It is clear that New York State is in the middle of a fundamental change in the generation and delivery of electricity,” Commission Chair John Howard said in a statement. “Priority has shifted to ensuring renewable, clean sources are integrated into the grid while polluting sources are being phased out."

The commission said work will commence immediately, with the first project, known as Rainey, operational by the start of summer 2023 and the Gowanus and Goethals projects operational by the start of summer 2025.

The commission said it will evaluate the allocation and sharing of these projects’ costs in the future because the transmission will provide climate benefits statewide.

The commission said the projects are needed for reliability in 2023 and 2025 and to address deficiencies in two of Con Edison’s transmission load areas because of the retirement or unavailability of older peaking power plants.

The plants being retired include Con Edison's 17.1-megawatt (MW) 59th Street GT1 and 74th Street gas turbine units 1 and 2 (37 MW) in Manhattan, Con Edison’s Hudson Ave unit 5 (16.3 MW) in Brooklyn, the Helix Ravenswood units 1, 10 and 11 (68.6 MW) in Queens, NRG Energy Inc's (NRG.N) Astoria gas turbines (240 MW) in Queens and NRG's Arthur Kill GT1 unit (20 MW) in Staten Island.

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Reporting by Scott DiSavino; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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