Governor Kathy Hochul celebrated the start of construction of the 339-mile Champlain Hudson Power Express transmission line, being developed by Transmission Developers Inc, to deliver reliable clean energy from Hydro-Québec in Canada directly to New York City. The construction of this green infrastructure project, which begins following the execution of a major union labor agreement between the developer and New York State Building and Construction Trades, is expected to bring $3.5 billion in economic benefits to New Yorkers while creating nearly 1,400 family-sustaining union jobs during construction.
The announcement accelerates progress to achieve New York's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goal to obtain 70 percent of electricity statewide from renewable sources by 2030 on the path to a zero-emission grid.
"As construction begins on this project to help deliver clean energy to New York City, our state is setting yet another example of what climate action looks like," Governor Hochul said. "The Champlain Hudson Power Express transmission line is a monumental step toward protecting our environment and creating family-sustaining, green jobs in both upstate and downstate New York. In partnership with union labor, this green infrastructure project will bring billions of dollars in economic benefits to our state and will pave the way for cleaner air and a healthier future for all New Yorkers."
Ensuring the project results in quality, family-sustaining jobs for New Yorkers, Champlain Hudson Power Express's contractors, Kiewit, NKT and Hitachi are executing project labor agreements with electrical and building trade unions for the line's construction by union workers. Covering more than 15 different local union chapters across 22 separate trade disciplines, the project labor agreements are expected to total more than three million work hours combined.
In October, the unions and the Champlain Hudson Power Express project team agreed to the first PLA, reflecting almost two million of those labor work hours with work expected to begin in late 2022. Among the trades participating in the 147-mile upstate underground portions of the project are Operating Engineers, Laborers and Teamsters. During the project construction, the contractors have committed to making efforts to employ Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises and use Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses including focused efforts to include members of disadvantaged communities in the labor force throughout the project areas.
Additional project labor agreements are expected to be executed in the coming months for the submarine portion of the transmission line, as well as the construction of Champlain Hudson Power Express's converter station in Astoria, Queens. Champlain Hudson Power Express continues to conduct stakeholder and community engagement meetings to inform the public about its construction and operational activities. As the project progresses, Champlain Hudson Power Express will work with the unions and training programs to promote training and apprenticeship opportunities for workers in underserved communities. In addition to these efforts, the Champlain Hudson Power Express Green Economy Fund has been established to provide $40 million for climate industry training programs, designed to further stimulate new career opportunities for local and underserved communities along the planned route with a focus on building skills to succeed in the evolving green economy.
Opportunities for secondary jobs becoming available as a direct result of this project will be advertised on the Champlain Hudson Power Express website and promoted through partnerships with local community leaders and civic organizations.
The Champlain Hudson Power Express and Clean Path NY contracts were approved by the Public Service Commission in April 2022, making them the largest transmission infrastructure developments in New York State in the last 50 years. Together, these projects are capable of generating an expected 18 million megawatt-hours of clean energy per year, or more than a third of New York City's annual electric consumption, while delivering up to $5.8 billion in net societal benefits statewide, inclusive of greenhouse gas reductions and air quality improvements and 10,000 family-sustaining jobs statewide with $8.2 billion in economic development investments, including in disadvantaged communities.