FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 14, 2022
Environmental, Labor, and Business Coalition Applauds Approval of Tier 4 Renewable Energy Projects
NEW YORK, NY – The Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved the two Tier 4 programs, the Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE) and Clean Path New York (CPNY) projects, following an April 6th press conference at City Hall conducted by environmental, labor, business, and community leaders urging action on these programs. These projects are critical to accomplishing the goals set forth in the nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), and will introduce renewable, carbon-free power to New York City and create thousands of good-paying union jobs.
These groundbreaking renewable energy and transmission projects are expected to deliver up to $7.4 billion in overall societal benefits statewide, including greenhouse gas reductions and air quality improvements, in-line with the standards outlined in New York’s emission goals. By extension, these projects are expected to deliver $8.2 billion in economic development across the state, specifically by investing in disadvantaged communities.
“This is a historic milestone in our mobilization against climate change and fight for environmental justice,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “Today, we begin dismantling the disparate access to renewable energy that has plagued our city for far too long, especially those communities that reside in the shadow of some of the oldest, most polluting power plants in the state. Not one but two new transmission lines will be built to bring clean renewable energy from the north into New York City — a feat that has not occurred at this scale in decades. I’m proud of the city’s commitment to purchase 100% of its electrical need from these lines, catalyzing others to do the same. I want to applaud the commission, NYSERDA, and Governor Hochul for taking this bold action and I look forward to continued partnership with the governor to tackle climate change.”
“New York City and State have made significant commitments to reduce emissions and transition to clean energy but to meet these goals, we must deliver real clean energy projects. Almost all of New York City’s power comes from fossil fuels now. The Tier 4 program is an incredible opportunity for New York to deliver a cleaner future built on renewable energy, and we applaud the PSC for approving these projects,” Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters said.
“I thank and congratulate the Public Service Commission for taking this bold and important step forward. This is an important step forward on greening New York City’s electricity and is a critical step towards realizing the City’s greenhouse gas reductions required by Local Law 97. It is a great reminder that the city and state must work together on each other’s climate actions,” said Rit Aggarwala, New York City Chief Climate Officer.
“New York is at a turning point in environmental policy. The steps we take now will have a colossal impact on our environment for generations to come,” said Council Member James F. Gennaro, Chair of the New York City Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection. “We have the unique opportunity to significantly reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, reduce harmful carbon pollution, and help mitigate the impacts of climate change. I urge the New York State Public Service Commission to approve both of these projects. By investing in clean energy, creating new green jobs in our communities, and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, these projects represent a crucial step towards meeting New York’s energy goals.”
“Today is a victory for those communities who for too long have had to bear the burden of fossil fuel generation and the pollution that has accompanied it. The approval of both Tier 4 projects are a down payment on the renewal energy future we have been promised and keeps us on track to hit 70% percent renewable grid by 2030. Excited for Clean Path and CHPE to get started here in Western Queens,” said former NYC Council Environmental Protection Chair Costa Constantinides.
“It is critical that we advance our renewable energy sources to achieve our carbon reduction goals. These projects will diversify our renewable energy portfolio and bring renewable power to where we need it the most – New York City. We can obtain 1250 MW of power by simply approving a cable connection from Quebec to NYC. That’s a significant and meaningful amount of power for minimal impact. Waiting is no longer an option, we must utilize the significant resources that can easily be provided by hydropower and Tier 4 projects,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment.
“The approval of the Tier 4 projects is an important step toward realizing New York’s ambitious climate and clean energy goals in a way that protects and creates middle-class careers for the state’s working people. The billions of dollars in investment and thousands of family-sustaining jobs these projects stand to create will serve as a vital economic stimulus in helping New York turn the corner on this economic crisis. We applaud Governor Hochul and NYSERDA for their leadership in advancing these critical projects and look forward to getting to work on building these pathways to a clean energy future,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council.
“From hurricanes to tropical storms, workers in New York have been on the front lines of climate change. These projects show that we can move away from fossil fuels, reduce pollution in our communities, and provide well-paying jobs all at the same time. We applaud the Public Service Commission’s approval of these two projects as an important step in realizing the targets in New York’s nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act,” said Kyle Bragg, President, 32BJ SEIU.
New York State Laborers Organizing Fund Director John Hutchings said, “Our members are currently working on projects that represent thousands of megawatts of clean, renewable energy throughout New York State. Today represents the critical next step forward ensuring that energy can be transported and used in load-pockets throughout the state. Projects like CHPE and Clean Path NY will help accomplish that while also creating thousands of construction jobs that pay workers a prevailing wage. We applaud the Public Service Commission for approving both of these projects and paving the way for workers and energy customers to share in the new clean energy economy.”
“Today’s decision will advance New York’s leadership in the transition to clean energy. Clean Path NY and CHPE will create thousands of good paying jobs and add resiliency to our energy network,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City.
“RPA is sincerely grateful to the Public Service Commission for today’s vote advancing Tier 4,” said Dale Bryk, Senior Fellow at Regional Plan Association. “Tier 4 is absolutely essential for transitioning New York to clean energy, improving public health, stabilizing energy prices and attracting federal investment. While there is more work to be done, this decision puts New York further along the path toward meeting 70% of its electricity needs with renewables by 2030 and 100% with zero-carbon sources by 2040, as mandated by the state’s landmark climate law. We look forward to working with New York to fully meet these goals in a just and orderly way.”
“The Public Service Commission’s approval of these two projects is a significant step forward in reducing carbon emissions, creating good jobs, and addressing long-standing environmental injustices. The clean power delivered by these projects will help the public and private sector continue working together to comprehensively address our shared climate goals. We applaud Governor Hochul and her Administration’s commitment to this critical initiative,” Real Estate Board of New York President James Whelan said.
“We applaud the PSC’s approval of two impressive projects that will deliver renewable power for more than one-third of NYC’s electricity by 2027,” said John Mandyck, CEO of Urban Green Council. “We can’t afford to wait to act on the climate and approving both projects now is crucial to getting clean electricity to NYC’s buildings as soon as possible.”
As the largest transmission projects contracted for New York State in the last 50 years, these projects will reduce the city’s dependence on fossil fuel by more than 80 percent in 2030 when combined with the state’s deployment of clean energy and offshore wind. Further, the current electricity generation facilities located in the city are particularly inefficient and contribute heavily to pollution, leading to public health inequities in environmental justice neighborhoods. The approval of these two projects will directly lessen the reliance on such generation and improve air quality and public health in the affected communities.
The Clean Path New York (CPNY) project is an $11 billion investment that will support over 20 wind and solar generation projects in New York State, as well as a new 175-mile underground transmission line to deliver more than 7.6 million megawatt-hours of emissions-free energy to New York City every year. CPNY will create more than 8,300 good-paying jobs in construction, engineering, and operations—providing further benefits to neighboring communities and businesses. CPNY has also committed to a $270 million community benefits fund to support job training, education, apprenticeships and other opportunities to facilitate a transition to the green economy for this generation and the next.
The Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE) project involves the construction of an entirely underground and underwater transmission line spanning approximately 339 miles between the Canada–U.S. border and New York City. Once built CHPE will deliver clean hydropower. The permitted CHPE is estimated to create more than 1,400 jobs during construction, with a commitment to use union labor.
The approval of the Tier 4 projects is a strong step forward in New York’s journey towards adhering to its emission and energy goals, while also investing in local communities and prioritizing economic development across the state, as supported by this broad coalition of New Yorkers.