Astoria
Aug 12, 2014

The Champlain Hudson Power Express is Coming to Astoria

Crain’s reports that US Federal regulators have approved the Champlain Hudson Power Express project, a 330-mile transmission line that will bring hydroelectric power from Canada to NYC. It will supposedly cost (…)

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Photo credit: Champlain Hudson Power Express Project

Crain’s reports that US Federal regulators have approved the Champlain Hudson Power Express project, a 330-mile transmission line that will bring hydroelectric power from Canada to NYC. It will supposedly cost $2.2 billion and is privately financed (rate payers will not foot the bill). The power will be transported from the US-Canada (Québec) border to Astoria in two buried High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cables.

Astoria is, of course, home to the big ConEd power plant site (aka “campus”) in the northwest corner of the neighborhood. A new converter station will be built on that land to acommodate this project. Here’s the route it will take from Canada to Astoria, according to the CHPE brochure:

  • The route begins at the US-Canadian border and travels most of the distance of Lake Champlain, emerging from the water at the south end of the lake.
  • From there the CHPE Project continues along state highway and railroad rights of way, then enters the Hudson River in Catskill.
  • The route then stays in the Hudson until it reaches Rockland County, where it travels on land for nine miles before re-entering the Hudson River.
  • Once back in the Hudson, the route continues down to the junction of the Hudson and Harlem Rivers, follows the Harlem down to the vicinity of the new Willis Avenue Bridge, and finishes its journey with short stretches buried on land in the Bronx and Queens.
  • Finally, it reaches its destination along the East River—a new converter station that will be built in Astoria, Queens.

Apparently this will lower our energy costs, as per Crain’s:

The project is aimed at saving about 2% to 3% on energy bills in New York City, where power is most expensive and urgently needed. Transmission Developers CEO Donald Jessome says ratepayers will also see price breaks from Long Island to Albany.

In a NY Daily News article from last February, State Sen. Michael Gianaris says he supports the project: “Whatever we can do to bring in [power] from outside the area would alleviate the pressure to have generation occur in our neighborhoods.” Local Astorian Tony Gigantiello, president of the Coalition Helping to Organize a Kleaner Environment, also supports it because it means less power will be created in Astoria, which means less pollution. Hydroelectric is renewable energy.

ConEd thinks the cost for the project will be more like $11 billion, but at least it won’t be coming out of the public’s pocketbook. Look for the line to be completed in late 2017 or early 2018.

U.S. regulators approve Canada-NYC power line [Crain’s]
Plans to build $2 billion transmission line from Canada to Queens moving ahead [NYDN]
CHPE Project Brochure [CHPE]

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

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