3:30pm

Fri April 19, 2013
Energy

Champlain Hudson Power Express project moves a step forward with state approval

The Champlain Hudson Power Express, or CHPE, is the name of a proposed underground transmission line that would bring hydropower generated in Canada under both Lake Champlain and the Hudson River, and into New York City. Now, the project is one step closer to becoming a reality, following approval by the New York State Public Service Commission Thursday.

The Public Service Commission concluded that the transmission line would help supply the congested New York City energy load. They also found that ratepayers wouldn’t have to assume the cost of line construction and that the environmental repercussions of the project are “relatively modest.”

Donald Jessome is president of Transmission Developers, Incorporated, the company that would build the 330 mile line.

"This is a very, very significant milestone for us – this is the most important state permit we need for building this project," he said.

But project critics aren’t happy with the new development.

Jerry Kremer is chair of the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance. He says that communities along the route should be able to tie in and use the power, too.

"Here’s a line that’s going to run from Canada down to New York City.  And if I’m a major industry in the North Country or down towards mid-Westchester region, I can’t tap into that line. All it is, is a way to move power down from there to the city and then probably on to other states." 

TDI now needs to acquire a federal permit, and permits from the Army Corps of Engineers.

The company expects that the Department of Energy will issue a draft environmental impact statement about the project in June.

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The Innovation Trail is a collaboration between six upstate New York public media outlets. The initiative, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), helps the public gain a better understanding of the connection between technological breakthroughs and the revitalization of the upstate New York economy.