Esslie-Frenia Law June 2023 Leaderboard

Power line construction begins locally for Canada-to-NYC project

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By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

A map detailing the route the transmission line will follow from Canada to New York City. Courtesy of Champlain Hudson Power Express

COEYMANS — Construction of more than 20 miles of cables in the local area for the Champlain Hudson Power Express Project is getting underway, and it will make its way through Coeymans and Ravena.

The $6 billion project will run from Quebec to New York City, with work on Segment 10 of the massive project — which will run through the town and village — kicking off last week.

“Segment 10 of the CHPE Project includes installation of 20.9 miles of buried overland cable beginning in the Town of Bethlehem (Albany County) and ending in the Town of Catskill (Greene County), primarily along railroad and highway rights-of way,” according to a start-of-construction notice issued by Josh Bagnato, vice president of Development for Champlain Hudson Power Express.

Locally, most of the power line will be installed adjacent to CSX Rail tracks.

“The initial construction work will involve preparation of the site, including clearing of trees and vegetation, followed by installation of the cable and associated work,” according to the notice. “Where possible, construction near residences and sensitive receptors will generally occur during daylight hours, though some limited activities would extend to later hours as needed.”

The project was issued a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need by the state’s Public Service Commission on April 18, 2013, and has undergone numerous state reviews and amendments over the past 10 years.

Once completed, the Champlain Hudson Power Express Project will deliver renewable energy from Quebec in Canada to New York City along a 330-mile stretch. Construction of Segment 10 — running from Bethlehem through Selkirk, Coeymans, Ravena, New Baltimore, Coxsackie, Athens, and ending in Catskill — was approved Dec. 14.

The power line will ultimately end in Astoria, Queens, in New York City. Construction began in November 2022, in Whitehall in Washington County, and work has continued since that time in communities around the state.

The Dec. 14 order issued by the state’s Public Service Commission approving construction of Segment 10 of the power line authorizes the construction, operation and maintenance of a high voltage, direct current transmission line between Bethlehem and Catskill, with most of the power line running within or adjacent to the CSX Rail right-of-way.

The project was contracted under the state’s first-of-its-kind renewable energy and transmission program, known as Tier 4, administered by the New York State Energy Research Development Authority, or NYSERDA, according to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office.

State officials have lauded the project, saying it will help the state provide clean, renewable energy in the years to come.

“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,” Hochul said when construction got underway in November 2022. “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.”

The power line is expected to begin operations in spring 2026.

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