Berezhnoy/Getty Images
Hudson Power Lanes 61a783630684a

NY Governor Announces Final Contracts for Clean Path NY, Champlain Hudson Power Express

Dec. 1, 2021
The state's first-of-its-kind renewable energy and transmission projects are expected to deliver up to US$7.4 billion in overall societal benefits statewide.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has finalized contracts with Clean Path New York LLC for its Clean Path NY (CPNY) project and H.Q. Energy Services (U.S.) Inc. (HQUS) for its Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE) project to deliver clean, renewable solar, wind and hydroelectric power from upstate New York and Canada to New York City.

The state's first-of-its-kind renewable energy and transmission projects are expected to deliver up to US$7.4 billion in overall societal benefits statewide, inclusive of greenhouse gas reductions and air quality improvements, and US$8.2 billion in economic development across the state, including investments in disadvantaged communities.

As the largest transmission projects contracted for New York State in the last 50 years, these projects will reduce the city's fossil fuel use for electricity by more than 80% in 2030 when combined with the state's deployment of clean energy and offshore wind. The announcement accelerates progress to exceed New York State's goal for 70% of the state's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 on the path to a zero-emission grid as outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. It will also help the city of New York achieve its ambitious climate goals.

"The stakes have never been higher for New York as we confront the effects of climate change and the economic and environmental destruction that extreme weather events leave behind," NY Governor Kathy Hochul said. "This announcement not only accelerates our pace to achieving the goal for having 70% of New York State's energy to come from renewable resources, we're also creating sustainable jobs, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, and paving the way for cleaner air and a healthier future for all New Yorkers. I'm proud that New York continues to lead the nation with innovative green energy initiatives and has set a global example of what must be done to take on climate change."

The announcement is bolstered by the City of New York's confirmation that it will join in these landmark awards, helping to make the scale of these projects possible while creating the opportunity to reduce the cost impact of these projects by approximately US$1 billion. NYSERDA will also offer renewable attributes from these projects for voluntary purchase, finally enabling the many New York City organizations with interest in switching to clean energy, but who have been unable to do so on-site due to practical constraints, to go one 100% renewable with confidence.  

In January, as directed by New York State Public Service Commission's (PSC) October 2020 Order, NYSERDA issued a renewable energy solicitation, known as Tier 4, seeking projects that can cost effectively and responsibly deliver renewable energy to New York City, an area of the state that relies on aging fossil fuel-fired generation. If approved by the PSC, the selected projects are expected to deliver 18 million MWh of clean energy per year, or more than a third of New York City's annual electric consumption, from a diverse and resilient clean generation portfolio including onshore wind, solar, and hydroelectric power, backed by energy storage, from upstate New York and Quebec. Combining these projects with the existing contracted portfolio of offshore wind projects connecting directly into New York City turns the page on the city's energy history, increasing resiliency and reliability while significantly improving air quality.

These contracts have been submitted to the PSC for approval, and are subject to a public comment period that will run through Feb. 7, 2022. The petition and contracts are available on the Department of Public Service's website under Case Number 15-E-0302, where comments can be submitted. If the contracts are approved, NYSERDA payments will only commence for each respective project once the project has obtained all required permits and approvals, has completed construction, and is delivering power to New York City, which is expected to begin in 2025 for the fully permitted CHPE project and 2027 for the CPNY project.

In addition, these new underground transmission lines will avoid, minimize and mitigate environmental damages including impacts on sensitive species and habitats and be resilient in the face of extreme weather. Both projects are required to go through the PSC's Article VII permitting process, which includes a full review of the need for the project and any environmental impacts of the siting, design, construction, and operation of major transmission facilities in New York State. CHPE has received its Article VII permit, and CPNY intends to file for its permit soon.

If approved, the CPNY and CHPE projects will add to New York's existing robust pipeline of large-scale renewable energy, comprised of nearly 100 solar, land-based wind and offshore wind projects totaling 11,000 megawatts of clean power—enough to power over five million New York homes when completed. The state's commitment to building out new green energy transmission, led by 250 miles of new major upgrades already underway throughout the state and reinforced by this award, will allow the current pipeline of renewables to power more than 60 percent of New York's electricity from renewable energy once operational. 

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of T&D World, create an account today!