Press-Republican

Business

October 16, 2013

Underwater cable project progresses

PLATTSBURGH — The Champlain Hudson Power Express continues to make progress toward final approval.

Transmission Developers Inc. began to seek the necessary approvals for the $2.2 billion project in 2008. 



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Plans call for a 333-mile-long, high-voltage, direct-current transmission line to be buried under water and along railroad and highway rights-of-way from the Canadian border to New York City. 

It would bring up to 1,000 megawatts of power from hydro- and wind-power sources in Canada to the greater New York City area.

FEDERAL PERMITS

Transmission Developers Senior Public Affairs Officer Rick Chase recently provided an update to the New York Citizens Advisory Committee of the Lake Champlain Basin Program at the North Country Chamber of Commerce.

“We intend to be in service by 2018,” Chase said.

The project received a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need from the New York State Public Service Commission in April.

That included a Joint Proposal of Settlement signed by Transmission Developers, the State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Public Service Commission, Department of State, Trout Unlimited, Scenic Hudson, the Adirondack Park Agency, Riverkeeper and New York City.

The project still needs a  pair of federal approvals: a Presidential Permit from the U.S. Department of Energy and a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“We hope to get the federal permits early next year,” Chase said.

PRIVATE FINANCING

Chase said the Champlain Hudson Power Express is what is called a merchant facility. That means they must come up with private financing and find their own customers, so ratepayers don’t have to help pay for the transmission system, like they do for traditional networks.

Once all the permits are in place, Transmission Developers can finalize design details and start to make the cable.

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