Plan approved to import hydroelectric power from Quebec to New York City

The New York State Public Service Commission approved a plan on April 18 that will bring 1,000 MW of hydroelectric power from the Canadian province of Quebec to New York City.

The $2 billion project — owned by Champlain Hudson Power Express Inc. and CHPA Properties Inc. — involves the construction and operation of the Champlain Hudson Power Express, which would consist of two wires stretched mostly underwater beneath Lake Champlain and the Hudson, Harlem and East rivers. The direct current line would run 333 miles to Queens, where it would be converted to alternating current.

Supporters say the plan will bring clean, cheaper hydropower to the region, reducing reliance on coal and other generating technologies. Critics say importing power from Canada will reduce local power sales and thus jobs in the area.

A critical factor in the commission’s decision to approve the project is the fact that the financial risk to ratepayers is minimized because ratepayers will not be required to assume the financial risks to build the project, according to a press release.

Project developers still need to obtain several federal permits and secure private financing.

Connecticut is another state considering importing hydropower from Canada.

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