330 Mile Electric Transmission Line Approved by State Regulators

Apr 19, 2013

Lake Champlain
Credit WAMC/Pat Bradley

New York's Public Service Commission has approved the Champlain Hudson Power Express, a plan to build an 330-mile power line from Quebec to Queens that  would be placed mostly under Lake Champlain and the Hudson River.

The 2 billion dollar project will be built underwater or underground along the length of its route.  The Public Service Commission approved construction and operation of the 1,000-megawatt transmission line on Thursday. The developer, Transmission Developers Inc, will need federal approvals and must secure private financing. President and CEO Donald Jessome says the article 7 approval, which is required to construct and operate a major utility transmission facility in the state, presents a clear path to move forward.

Project developers worked with several environmental organizations to change the initial proposal in order to reduce its environmental impact.  But opponents say they will continue to try to derail the transmission line. Just Say No to the Champlain Hudson Power Express Committee co-founder Susan Filgueras says the permitting process is designed to approve the project without public input.

Sierra Club Conservation Director Roger Downs says New York should not be plugging an extension cord into the Canadian wilderness.
Plattsburgh North Country Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Garry Douglas.

Transmission Developers expects to receive its federal permits by the end of this year. They plan to begin construction in 2014 and provide power by late 2017.