The U.S. Department of Energy, in cooperation with other federal and state agencies, has issued a final environmental impact statement allowing a $2.2 billion plan to bring low-cost Canadian hydroelectric power to New York City to move forward.
The Champlain Hudson Power Express, a underground and underwater 333-mile power line extending from Quebec to the New York metropolitan area, is being developed by Albany, NY-based Transmission Developers Inc.
The successful completion of the environmental review clears the way for final permitting of the project.
When the project is completed, it is anticipated to carry up to 1,000 MW of wind and hydropower to America's most populous city.
According to the project's developers, the initiative is one of the largest investments in New York State history and create an average of more than 300 jobs during the 3½-year construction period, while increasing the security of the state's electric grid, reducing emissions and lowering energy costs for consumers.
The developers say the project will generate in excess of $20 million a year in tax revenue to upland areas where the line is buried along railroad tracks and public roads. In addition, a one-time payment will be made to the State of New York for easements once the project is completed.
The permitting process got underway in January 2010, and the first regulatory approval was secured seven months later.
With that approval, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authorized the company to enter into negotiated pre-subscription agreements with one or more "anchor" customers for up to 75 percent of the facility's throughput.
The remaining 25 percent of the line's capacity to be available to all bidders through an upcoming open season auction process.
At the state level, the project received its Coastal Zone Management Consistency Certification Conditional Concurrence from the NYS Department of State less than a year later.
The Champlain Hudson Power Express is expected to be fully permitted, and all conditions met, before the end of 2014.