A New Opportunity to Expand Hydropower in New York

This past June, New York passed historic legislation to address climate change and set strict clean energy standards. New York must achieve 100% clean energy by 2040, which means we’ll need more renewable energy projects on the ground. To achieve these ambitious energy goals, New York will need significant offshore and land based wind, large scale and distributed solar installations, and hydropower. A new project to transmit hydropower can help us reach this goal.

The Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE) is a planned transmission cable connecting hydro energy sources to residents in the downstate region. This project will reduce New York’s dependence on fossil fuels and provide a projected 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy

Planned energy converter stations in Montreal and New York City will process and transmit the energy through a long-distance cable. At the Hydro-Québec plant, a new station will be built to convert the electricity into a transmittable form that can travel through the cable. In Queens, NY, another converter station will be built to access the transmitted electricity and ConEd will disperse the energy through its electric grid. 

The 333 miles of cable will run underground. Using submarine cables, the portions crossing Lake Champlain and the Hudson River will also be buried below the riverbed. Only five inches in diameter, this cable will ensure safe and reliable energy transmission, without the obstruction of the viewshed.  

The CHPE project completed the required regulatory reviews by federal, state, and local authorities and will move forward once contracts for its energy are in place. 

Starting more than a century ago, with the opening of the Niagara Falls hydropower dam, New York has relied on hydroelectricity. East of the Rockies, New York is the largest hydroelectric power producer, taking full advantage of this plentiful and renewable resource. Hydropower is still the largest source of renewable energy in New York. 

For years, the state has faced challenges transporting energy from where it is produced, in upstate New York, to the more populated metropolitan area. By tapping into an already-existing hydropower source with a new direct transmission line, we will soon be able to increase clean energy access in the downstate region. 

The completion of this project will help the State achieve 100% clean energy. Along with helping New York advance its clean energy goals, this project will also provide significant economic benefits to the state. It is estimated that with construction and operational work, the project will create 3,400 jobs and add $28.6 billion in economic benefits to the state. 

NYLCV supports the Champlain Hudson Power Express and the development of renewable energy sources to power the New York electric grid. By investing in this green resource, we can reduce emissions and fossil fuel use.