On April 11, 2012, the New York Energy Highway Task Force issued a Request for Information (“RFI”) regarding ideas for developing New York State’s “aging energy infrastructure” and promoting clean energy supplies, jobs and economic growth.  Responses to the RFI are due on May 30, 2012, and a conference will be held for respondents and interested parties on April 19th in Tarrytown, New York.

The RFI asks that interested parties give details concerning: (1) the type of proposed project (generation, transmission or combination) and related information; (2) financial information, including financial structure and funding options; and (3) regulatory hurdles faced by any such project, including the Federal, State and local permits needed to develop and operate the project and “key uncertainties” in these permitting processes.

The RFI is part of New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s plan to develop an “Energy Highway” in New York.  The Energy Highway is a $2 billion private sector initiative to promote job creation and capital investment in New York State’s electric system by private companies, together with New York State.  Governor Cuomo established the Energy Highway Task Force to review responses to the RFI and issue an Energy Highway Action Plan in the summer of 2012, including recommendations and an action plan available to the public.  As part of an April 4th summit of the Energy Highway Task Force, Governor Cuomo issued a statement, indicating that the Energy Highway initiative “will ensure that New Yorkers have reliable, affordable clean power to meet the electricity needs of a strong and growing economy.”

According to the Energy Highway Task Force, the Energy Highway’s goal is to ensure that cost-efficient, reliable and environmentally sustainable power is available to fuel the state’s economic growth and meet residents’ demands for energy.  A part of this goal includes: (1) modernizing existing transmission lines to improve efficiency of grid operation; (2) building new transmission lines in existing right-of-ways to carry excess power from upstate sources to the downstate area; and (3) repowering existing urban power plants to make them more clean and efficient.

The Energy Task Force is led by co-chairs Gil C. Quiniones, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Power Authority, and Joseph Martens, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The RFI is available here.