Hydro-Québec and Transmission Developers propose renewables solution for New York

14 May 2021

Hydro-Québec has partnered with Transmission Developers Inc. to develop the Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE), which would link Hydro-Québec's existing hydropower facilities as well as upstate renewable generation to New York City, helping New York State meet its renewable energy and climate emissions reduction goals under its Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).

The companies teamed up in response to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's (NYSERDA) Tier 4 renewable energy procurement process. The proposals submitted to NYSERDA – which would supply New York City with up to 1250 MW of renewable power – offer the following two alternatives:

  • 100% clean hydropower deliveries from Québec over the new direct transmission line;
  • A combination of New York renewable energy and Québec clean hydroelectricity via an additional converter station, or on-ramp, to be constructed in New Scotland, NY.

In a statement the companies said the permitted CHPE transmission line is the only project sufficiently advanced to begin construction in 2021 and commence operations and begin reducing generation from downstate fossil fuel plants by 2025. The new transmission line is entirely underground or underwater, originating in southern Québec, and making its way under Lake Champlain and the Hudson and Harlem rivers to a substation in Astoria, Queens. Construction specialists have recently signed exclusive contracts with CHPE.

CHPE will be constructed using union labor and has committed to hiring from local workforces with a focus on a diversity and expanded recruitment from disadvantaged communities. 

The proposal also includes the creation of the Green Economy Fund (GEF). The GEF will help create a new green-energy workforce by funding clean-energy jobs-training programs for disadvantaged and frontline communities and those currently underrepresented in the construction industry, including BIPOC and women, as well as provide access to retraining for those currently employed in the fossil fuel industry.

"Hydro-Québec has supplied New York State with clean, always-on, affordable hydropower for decades,” said Sophie Brochu, president and CEO of Hydro-Québec. “The CHPE proposal can expand this relationship to help the state and city meet their world-leading climate goals, all the while supporting the coordinated US-Canada approach to encourage the development of cross-border clean electricity transmission."

"Our permitted, fully buried, construction-ready transmission project is certainly the most viable option for New York. CHPE provides a vital link to unleash low-carbon, cost-effective electricity from the Québec system and Upstate to decarbonize New York City," added Don Jessome, CEO of Transmission Developers Inc.

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