U.S. Energy Department approves transmission line to deliver Quebec hydropower to New York

The U.S. Department of Energy issued a presidential permit approving construction and operation of a 1,000-MW transmission line to carry Quebec hydroelectric power to customers in New York City.

The proposed Champlain Hudson Power Express transmission line would carry hydropower and some wind power from Canada’s Quebec Province, across the border at Champlain, N.Y., to Astoria, Queens, New York. DOE issued a final environmental impact statement in August, endorsing the 336-mile transmission line’s route in the U.S., while Quebec and Canadian agencies reviewed environmental effects in that country.

A record of decision, signed Sept. 24 by Assistant DOE Secretary Patricia Hoffman, granted the presidential permit necessary for the project to proceed in the U.S.

“All practicable means to avoid or minimize environmental harm from the alternative selected have been, or will be, adopted,” the order said.

The New York Public Service Commission approved the proposal in April. Supporters say the plan will bring clean, cheaper hydropower to the region, reducing reliance on coal and other generating technologies, and reducing electricity prices and greenhouse gases. Critics say importing power from Canada would reduce local power sales and jobs in the area.

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 EIS may be obtained from the Energy Department’s Internet site under http://www.chpexpresseis.org/index.php.


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