Saturday, July 11 – Event at Pleasant Valley Town Hall
HUDSON VALLEY—Following rave reviews—from the public and press—at presentations in Columbia and Dutchess counties last fall, an independent research physicist will come to Pleasant Valley to showcase his findings that existing power lines can meet our region’s peak electricity-demand needs well into the future. The presentation will be hosted by members of the Hudson Valley Smart Energy Coalition, a broad-based collaboration of community groups and officials partnered with Scenic Hudson in working to protect Hudson Valley communities from potential negative impacts of new high-voltage power lines. The coalition is interested in innovative energy systems that don’t damage community assets. The state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) is seeking to expand 150 miles of transmission lines that would pass through 7 counties and 25 towns in the Hudson Valley, ultimately reaching their destination in Dutchess County.
The upcoming presentation will be held Saturday, July 11, from 10:30 a.m. – 12 noon in the Pleasant Valley Town Hall, 1554 Main St., Pleasant Valley, Dutchess County.
The presentation—to feature supplemental findings not included in the fall presentations—will be by Bard College Research Professor of Environmental Science and Physics Gidon Eshel, Ph.D., a geophysicist with expertise in data analysis and efficiency metrics. As a credentialed, professional researcher, Dr. Eshel has prepared a scientific analysis of the consumer-demand issue related to the proposed transmission lines. Members of the Hudson Valley Smart Energy coalition will be in attendance and able to provide information about the proposed high-voltage power lines and how citizens can be involved in the regulatory review process being managed by the PSC.
All interested parties are invited to attend to learn about the only independent model to date created to assess electricity-demand need before potentially locking ratepayers into a long-term obligation. Among the attendees sought are state and local representatives, municipal officials, members of the state PSC and New York Independent System Operator, ratepayers concerned with implications of a $1-billion project, and citizens concerned with potential impacts to scenic, historic, farming and general economic assets of the region.
Town of Milan Town Board Member Marion Mathison stated, “Dr. Eshel and the coalition seek scientific review and discussion with the PSC, NYISO, state energy officials, FERC and any and all responsible agencies and scientists. The time to discuss and debate need is now.”
“The Energy Highway threatens the beauty and farmland of the Hudson Valley with towering new transmission lines,” said Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan. “Governor Cuomo has launched another initiative to reform New York’s power grid through innovation and conservation. Gidon Eshel’s compelling presentation demonstrates new transmission lines are not needed. As a result we can immediately begin the transition to a 21st-century energy system, putting New York in the national vanguard and saving the beauty and economy of the Hudson Valley.”
“Dr. Eshel’s analysis is a game changer. This countywide presentation at Pleasant Valley Town Hall on July 11 is a must for anyone living in, and concerned about, the Hudson River Valley,” said Town of Clinton Supervisor Ray Oberly.
Greg Quinn of Walnut Grove Farm said, “Before entering into a potentially billion-dollar project, we as ratepayers and communities deserve a hard look at whether it’s necessary. We are fortunate to have such an accomplished scientist willing to take on a study such as this, and it will be good to let people know the issue hasn’t gone away, but has perhaps become even more urgent.”
The Hudson Valley Smart Energy Coalition includes municipal officials; environmental, cultural, historic and land preservation organizations; businesses; and residents who support creation of a modern, comprehensive energy plan for the Hudson Valley and New York State. More information available at www.hvsec.org.