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Companies detail effort to bring hydropower from Quebec to NYC

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Transmission Developers Inc.
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Champlain Hudson Power Express project brochure

New York recently awarded two contracts to bring renewable power to New York City. One of them will bring hydropower from Quebec.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced the state has awarded two contracts to bring renewable power to New York City. One of them will bring hydropower from Quebec.

During climate week the Democratic governor stressed the need to bring new sources of clean renewable energy to the state and in particular change New York City’s long reliance on fossil fuels. She announced two contracts to accomplish that. One funds a transmission project from Delaware County to a substation in Queens.

“And secondly a 339-mile new transmission project that will extend from Quebec in Canada all the way to the Astoria substation in Queens. This is a major, major initiative to deliver clean, healthier air and more electricity to New York City.”

“It’s huge. Actually this project is one of the largest decarbonization projects in North America right now," says HydroQuebec CEO Sophie Brochu. She adds the company is proud to be part of what she calls a pioneering initiative. “From the environmental standpoint it’s like erasing GHG emissions of 44 percent of the auto part of New York City. Of all the cars. You take 44 percent of all the cars within New York City, you take the emissions of those cars, and that’s what the project will erase.”

While HydroQuebec will provide the power, Champlain Hudson Power Express is building the transmission line to get it from the Canadian province to New York City. The plan is to place cables in Lake Champlain and the Hudson River and be buried when the lines cannot be placed within a waterway. CEO Don Jessome has been working on the project to power nearly million homes in New York City for over a decade.

“This is a technically complicated project to develop and permit. It’s going to be a very long term legacy project for the state of New York. You know the contract is 25 years but this piece of infrastructure is going to be in the state of New York for decades and decades beyond that, you know 60 – 70 years this project will still be available for energy transmission between the state of New York and Quebec.”

Jessome adds that over the years of project development, the reasons to implement it have not changed.

“It was all about bringing green energy to the state of New York. The state of New York has been very much in the forefront of you know its climate initiatives and all the programs that it’s been trying to achieve. And we just could not be happier to be part of the green transition that New York state is going to be going through over the next ten plus years.”

While this is the first time HydroQuebec will supply its green energy to New York City, CEO Brochu says the utility has provided its energy to other areas of the state.

“HydroQuebec has been supplying New York state for over 100 years. And actually HydroQuebec supplies about five percent of the overall supply of the state. We’ve been partners and working together for many, many decades," says Brochu. "What the CHP project allows specifically is to get into New York City where until those transmission lines were approved there was no good way to transmit electricity from the north to the City.”

HydroQuebec produces about 200 terawatt hours of electricity per year and the Champlain Hudson Power Express project will carry 1,250 megawatts of that power.

Construction of the transmission line is expected to begin early next year and electric service is expected to begin at the end of 2025.

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