Electrification is a word co-op and condo boards hear a lot these days. It refers to getting rid of fossil-fuel-powered boilers and appliances and replacing them with electricity-powered ones. As the electric grids itself shifts from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, co-ops and condos that electrify will take a major stride toward cutting their buildings' carbon emissions and complying with city and state clean-energy laws.
Hydroelectric power is one such renewable energy source, and ground has been broken on a project that will bring a major infusion of it directly to New York City, Crain's reports. The $6 billion underground power cables, known as the Champlain Hudson Power Express, are key to weaning the city’s grid off of fossil fuels. Energy from the project could bring up to 1,250 megawatts of electricity to the city — enough to power about 1 million homes, meeting roughly 20% of the city’s energy needs.
“This Champlain Hudson line is an example of how we confront climate-change challenges and energy challenges together, and in the meantime create great jobs for a cleaner, healthier New York,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said during an event upstate in Whitehall, where the project’s first phase — a 17.6-mile stretch through Washington County, midway between Albany and the Canadian border — is underway.
The transmission line is designed to help New York meet its green-energy and climate-change laws, including a requirement for the state to draw 70% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and to decarbonize its electric grid entirely by 2040.
With state and federal permits in hand, Blackstone-owned Transmission Developers and Canadian public utility Hydro-Québec have been able to quickly move the project forward. A freshly inked agreement between the developers and the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council is expected to lead to about 1,400 union jobs.
A lot is riding on the project being completed by spring 2026, as currently projected. The New York Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s electric grid, warned in a recent report that if the deadline is not met, the city’s residents and businesses could face electricity shortages and other reliability issues, particularly during heat waves and other severe weather events.
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