Officials with National Grid are seeking state approval to build a new 33-mile transmission line in Saratoga County that they say is needed to meet growing energy demands in the region.
National Grid officials filed an application on Feb. 12 with the state Public Service Commission seeking approval of the plan, and the commission is conducting an initial review of the proposal.
If approved, the utility would build the transmission line adjacent to a power line that runs from a substation on Spier Falls Road in Moreau to Rotterdam.
Plans submitted to the state suggest the line would run through the towns of Moreau, Corinth, Greenfield, Milton, Charlton, Glenville and Rotterdam and would be built largely within a 100-feet-wide right of way the utility already owns.
James Denn, a spokesman for the Public Service Commission, said on Thursday that the state review, which will include public hearings, could take months.
"This is a brand new filing, and our staff is just beginning to take a look at it," he said. "There are a lot of steps in this process."
The project's environmental impact, necessity and costs - which would ultimately be paid by users - will be considered as part of the review, Denn said.
Documents provided by National Grid state the utility would like to have the line in service by the summer of 2012.
The project, estimated to cost around $66.1 million, is part of a planned $1.4 billion upgrade to National Grid's transmission infrastructure across upstate New York.
Patrick Stella, a company spokesman, said the upgrades are being done to enhance the reliability and capacity of the region's electrical transmission system.
The line is also being sought to help provide energy to GlobalFoundries, the computer chip maker building a new plant on the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Malta and Stillwater. The factory is scheduled to be finished by 2012.
"We expect to see an increased demand in the region going forward," Stella said.
National Grid's application comes after the Department of Energy denied a request by the company to install smart-grid technology in the region with the help of stimulus money.
That effort could have brought new energy-saving and monitoring technology to around 42,000 homes and businesses in Saratoga County.
National Grid has submitted an amended application to build a smart grid in the Syracuse area but will no longer seek support for the plans in the Saratoga region, Stella said.
A separate proposal by a different company to build a 355-mile transmission line to serve users in New York and Connecticut was also floated this week.
Plans call for the line to stretch from Quebec to New York City, running along the bottoms of Lake Champlain and the Hudson River to "minimize the impact to local communities." Plans call for the transmission line to run through northern Washington County and central Saratoga County.
The company behind the idea, Transmission Developers Inc., said the project, dubbed the "Champlain-Hudson Power Express," could cost as much as $3.8 billion and potentially tap into hydroelectric and wind power sources.
Officials with Transmission Developers have yet to file a formal application with the state and are still looking to secure financing but have begun to reach out to state and local officials to see if there is support for the plan.
The company is also planning to hold a series of public meetings in communities along the planned route in the coming months. Information on those meetings and the project is available at www.CHPExpress.com.