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Pair of momentous transmission projects in New York get the green light.

image credit: Courtesy Dreamstime
Christopher Neely's picture
Independent Local News Organization

Journalist for nearly a decade with keen interest in local energy policies for cities and national efforts to facilitate a renewable revolution. 

  • Member since 2017
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  • May 2, 2022
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Former New York City mayor Bill deBlasio once said that if the largest city in the nation can run on clean power, then it was possible for everywhere in the country. I wonder if New York Gov. Kathy Hochul will be singing the same line when it comes to transmission projects, after the New York Public Services Commission passed two of the largest transmission projects in state history last month. 

Clean Path New York—which will carry solar, wind and hydropower across 175 miles from upstate to Queens—and the Champlain Hudson Power Express—a 339-mile line that will bring dam-generated hydropower from Quebec down across the state into the heart of the five boroughs—are estimated to cut New York City's fossil fuel dependence by more than 50% by the start of the next decade. Today, fossil fuels make up around 90% of New York City's energy portfolio. 

The projects represent the largest transmission projects in New York in the last 50 years. The Champlain Hudson Power Express already has its state and federal permits and is slated to come online by 2025. Clean Path New York still needs some permit approvals but is estimated to be operational by 2027. In a statement, the state says the projects will deliver up to $5.8 billion in benefits statewide, create 10,000 jobs, and $8.2 billion in economic development. 

The numbers and statistics are nice flashy details. However, what's critical here is that these projects received its discretionary approvals and now await only administrative processes. This is a giant win and could offer a roadmap for future transmission projects across the country, where it's not uncommon for much smaller projects to be held up by neighborhood and property owner objections. 

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