ABOVE: A person holds a cross-section of the cable.
BY JENNIFER LAIRD-WHITE
There is an exciting new renewable energy project coming to Queens that will provide enough clean energy to power a million New York City homes while reducing air pollution and helping the city and state meet their impressive clean energy goals.
The project is the Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE), and it is a clean energy game changer. This innovative energy transmission line is being developed by Transmission Developers Inc. (TDI), a company that builds unique energy transmission projects in an environmentally responsible manner.
So, what is the CPHE? It is a $3 billion, private-sector infrastructure project that will bring thousands of new jobs, millions in new tax revenue, and cleaner air to Queens. The project uses safe, proven technology to create a 333-mile, buried electric transmission line that will connect clean and renewable Canadian hydropower directly to New York City.
Starting at the U.S.–Canadian border, the project will use waterways and existing rights of way like roads and railroad tracks to safely bury the line until it connects to the New York grid at a new, $200 million emission free converter station that will be built in Astoria on the site of a former fossil fuel plant. Simply put, it is the most powerful project you will never see.
On a statewide level, the economic impact is enormous. According to an economic impact study completed by the PA Group, a leading international consulting group, from the beginning of construction through the first 30 years of operation, CHPE will deliver $28.6 billion in economic benefits to New York State.
This includes economic activities generated through construction, taxes paid to local municipalities, a decrease in wholesale electricity costs, and benefits related to greenhouse gas emissions and increased economic output.
Specifically, the project will contribute to communities that host the project $1.7 billion in taxes over the first 30 years of the project. In New York City alone, the annual estimated tax revenue provided by the CHPE will be in the millions.
Building this clean energy project will create thousands of construction jobs, many of them in Queens, and provide an immediate benefit to neighborhood shops, restaurants, and other retail establishments along the entire project route.
TDI will be using hundreds of local skilled trade workers to construct the completely buried line and the converter station. TDI has committed to using union labor, and the project is being funded by the private sector.
In addition to the economic benefits, CHPE will also improve the quality of life in Queens and beyond by reducing harmful emissions from five major groups of harmful pollutants by an impressive 33 percent in its first year of service.
This will result in cleaner air for the entire region and provide relief to the neighborhoods and communities that currently host fossil fuel plants. The CHPE is fully permitted and TDI aims to start construction next year and be in operation by 2025, delivering low-cost renewable power directly to New York.
Jennifer Laird-White is vice president of External Affairs for Transmission Developers, Inc.