State regulators have given the green light to a $4 billion hydroelectric transmission project that will bring renewable energy from Canada to New York City — and help co-op and condo boards wean their buildings from fossil fuels, a key step toward compliance with the city's Climate Mobilization Act.
In a 5-to-2 vote, the state’s Public Service Commission approved the Champlain Hudson Power Express project, which involves the construction of 339 miles of transmission lines to carry power from hydroelectric dams in Quebec to Queens, Crain's reports. The effort, which is being carried out by Blackstone-owned Transmission Developers and Canadian public utility Hydro-Québec, already has the state and federal permits it needs to begin construction in a few weeks; it is expected to begin operation in 2025.
The good news comes days after the release of a new state budget that earmarks funds to develop the New York State's five wind farm projects, the most of any state in the union and another key source of renewable energy.
The commission also approved the Clean Path New York project, a 175-mile transmission line to carry power from solar and wind farms in Delaware County upstate to Queens. The project is still awaiting permits and is not expected to come online until at least 2027.
The two efforts are major steps toward greening New York’s energy grid. The initiatives are expected to slash the city’s reliance on fossil fuels in half by 2030, and enable the state to hit its legally mandated climate goals of drawing 70% of its power from renewable resources by 2030 and relying entirely on zero-emission electricity by 2040.
Currently, fossil fuels provide roughly 90% of the city’s energy — thanks, in part, to the recent closure of the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Westchester County. Expanding access to renewable energy in the five boroughs is essential to the state’s climate targets.
"New York is at a turning point in environmental policy,” said City Council member James Gennaro, chair of the council’s environmental protection committee. “The steps we take now will have a colossal impact on our environment for generations to come.”
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