August 15, 2002
State approves power plant strongly supported by The Council
The state board that oversees siting of new power plants has approved a Business Council-backed proposal to build a new 580-megawatt electricity-generating plant in Brookhaven, Suffolk County.
The Business Council successfully sought status as an intervenor in the Siting Board's proposal-review process.
As an intervenor, The Council became an official party in the proceedings and offered powerful arguments throughout the proposal-review process documenting the need for additional electricity capacity across New York State to sustain economic growth, foster competition to drive prices down, and keep New York's electricity system reliable.
In a August 14 release announcing the decision, the state Public Service Commission specifically cited New York's need for more power as a factor in the approval.
"On July 29, Long Island's demand for electricity reached a new all-time peak of 5,059 megawatts, and Long Islanders used more energy in July as a whole than in any other month in history," said PSC member Neal N. Galvin.
"The Brookhaven Energy facility will incorporate new clean, efficient state-of-the-art technology for generating electricity that will benefit competition in the wholesale market and help meet the public's growing demand for energy."
To support The Council's efforts in these cases, The Council's research affiliate, The Public Policy Institute, published a February report entitled The Power to Grow. The Council has included that report in its comments in several recent power-plant proposal cases.
Historically, most intervenors in power-plant siting cases have been local parties advancing mainly local issues about the effects of proposed plants on such issues as temporary and long-term employment, tax-base enhancement, and environmental effects.
Until The Council did so last year, no organization has intervened to advance broad arguments about statewide issues and the economics-based case for increasing generating capacity, said Johnny Evers, The Business Council's legislative analyst specializing in energy.
Article X of the state Public Service Law, which outlines how the state will approve or reject proposals to build new plants, allows interested parties to seek status as intevenors. Intervenors become official parties in the Article X hearing process, and can submit testimony, analysis, and research in support of, or in opposition to, the proposed plants.