- The U.S. Department of Energy has approved the construction of a 1,000-megawatt, high-voltage transmission line to bring hydroelectric power from Quebec to New York City. The $2.2 billion alternating current (AC) transmission line will be granted a presidential permit today when the DOE publishes a Record of Decision (ROD) in the Federal Register.
- Scheduled to be in service by 2018, the line will deliver much needed supply to the energy-hungry city, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, avoid over-reliance on natural gas, address long-term demand and put downward pressure on electricity market prices. It will also help mitigate for the possible closure of the 2,000 megawatt Indian Point Nuclear Energy Center,
- The New York State Public Service Commission, business and industry stakeholders, and environmentalists support the project, but it still requires approval from authorities in Canada, where there is concern about environmental impacts from over-expansion of hydroelectricity.
The Quebec-to-Queens line would run from Quebec to Champlain, N.Y., then 336 miles under Lake Champlain and the Hudson River to a substation in Astoria, Queens. It will not interconnect locally enroute. All high voltage lines will be undergrounded.
Any project crossing an international border requires a presidential permit. The ROD stipulates that the developer, Blackstone subsidiary Transmission Developers Inc., must do a navigation study with the Coast Guard on potential anchor snags for ships in the Hudson River. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) final EIS also addressed concerns over endangered species and navigation in the Hudson, Harlem and East Rivers.
The DOE says it will review interconnection and reliability studies to see if local interconnection is possible in the future. Transmission Developers argues that such connections could cause bottlenecking, and that the line should be dedicated to supplying New York City alone.