During Climate Week, Governor Hochul Announces Major Green Energy Infrastructure Projects to Power New York City With Wind, Solar and Hydropower From Upstate New York and Canada
New Transmission Lines Will Create Approximately 10,000 Family-Sustaining Jobs Statewide and Bring $8.2 Billion in Economic Development Investments, Including Developer-Committed Investments to Support Disadvantaged Communities
September 20, 2021
During Climate Week, Governor Kathy Hochul today announced two major green energy infrastructure projects to power New York City with wind, solar and hydropower projects from upstate New York and Canada. If approved, these infrastructure projects will create approximately 10,000 family-sustaining jobs statewide and bring $8.2 billion in economic development investments, including developer-committed investment to support disadvantaged communities, once completed, to help accelerate the state's economic recovery from COVID-19. This announcement will help reduce the City's reliance on fossil fuels, lower carbon emissions and significantly improve air quality and public health in disadvantaged communities while accelerating progress to exceed New York's goal for 70 percent of the state's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 on the path to a zero-emission grid as outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act).
"New York's communities are repeatedly facing serious consequences as a result of the devastation caused by the global climate crisis, and the stakes have never been higher as we deal with the economic and environmental destruction these extreme weather events leave behind," Governor Hochul said. "These transformative projects are a win-win—delivering thousands of new good-paying jobs throughout the state and attracting billions of dollars in private investment. They also help us turn the page on New York City's long-standing dependence on fossil fuels and will ensure millions of New Yorkers, especially those living in our most vulnerable communities, can have the promise of cleaner air and a healthier future."
Today's announcement is bolstered by New York City's confirmation they will join in these landmark awards. This makes the scale of these awards possible while creating the opportunity for billions of dollars in savings for customers in New York City and statewide.
"This is a transformative moment for New York City's fight against climate change," said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. "Two new transmission lines connecting New York City to electricity from water, the wind, and solar will create thousands of good union jobs, improve the resilience and reliability of our power supply, and dramatically reduce our reliance on oil and gas electricity that dirties the air in our neighborhoods and endangers our planet. Thank you to Governor Hochul and NYSERDA for their partnership, and we look forward to working closely together to join in this landmark award and fulfill our commitment to power New York City government operations with 100% clean and renewable electricity by 2025."
Combined, the awarded Clean Path NY (CPNY) project, developed by Forward Power (a joint venture of Invenergy and EnergyRe) and the New York Power Authority, and Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE) project, developed by Transmission Developers, Inc. (backed by Blackstone) and Hydro-Québec will:
- Produce approximately 18 million megawatt-hours of upstate and Canadian renewable energy per year, enough to power more than 2.5 million homes;
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 77 million metric tons over the next 15 years, the equivalent of taking one million cars off the road; and
- Provide $2.9 billion in public health benefits over 15 years that will result from reduced exposure to harmful pollutants—including fewer episodes of illness and premature death, fewer days of school or work missed, less disruption of business, and lower health care costs.
Demonstrating the State's commitment to ensuring these projects create quality, family-sustaining jobs for New Yorkers. The awarded contracts will include prevailing wage provisions for all laborers, workers, and mechanics performing construction activities with respect to the construction of the projects. In addition, the project developers will be required to negotiate Project Labor Agreements among their construction contractors and a building and construction trade labor organization representing craft workers for the construction of the new transmission lines as well as for the construction of the new renewable energy generation resources that the developers and its affiliates build for this project in New York State.
CPNY and CHPE will invest approximately $460 million in community benefit funds to create pathways to green energy jobs, support public health, advance capital improvement projects, realize habitat restoration and improve the environmental footprint of buildings in disadvantaged communities.
NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, "Investing now in these major renewable energy infrastructure projects will bolster the state's economic recovery at a time when New Yorkers truly need it and will accelerate our progress in providing clean, resilient, renewable energy to some of the state's most densely-polluted and underserved communities. Under Governor Hochul's leadership, New York is using every tool at its disposal, including this impactful large-scale renewables and infrastructure program, to accelerate our progress towards the State's nation-leading climate and clean energy goals while harnessing the power of the wind, sun and water to spur private investment, economic development and job creation across the state."
Hydro Quebec CEO Sophie Brochu and Transmission Developers CEO Don Jessome said, "We are honored that Quebec hydropower, delivered over our permitted, fully buried, construction-ready transmission project has been chosen to join other important renewable projects as the State and City work toward achieving their climate mandates. We commend Governor Hochul and NYSERDA for their clean energy leadership and we look forward to quickly delivering the project's immense clean energy benefits and new jobs to State. We are deeply grateful for the many labor organizations, environmental stewards and municipalities throughout the state that have supported this project."
Clean Path NY leaders Jeff Blau of energyRe, Michael Polsky of Invenergy, and Gil C. Quiniones of the New York Power Authority said, "Clean Path NY is the most significant U.S. renewable energy infrastructure investment in this century and a defining project for the advancement of clean energy in New York - one that will dramatically reduce carbon emissions, catalyze green jobs across the state, provide crucial environmental justice benefits and fundamentally change the way our State is powered. Pairing innovative wind, solar, and storage projects with state-of-the art transmission to bring clean energy directly to New York City, Clean Path NY will be a truly transformative renewable energy project. We thank Gov. Hochul for her leadership and NYSERDA for their partnership, and we look forward to delivering Clean Path NY for the benefit of all New Yorkers."
The projects were selected for contract negotiation as part of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's (NYSERDA) Tier 4 renewable energy solicitation issued in January. Once finalized, NYSERDA will submit the negotiated contracts for these awarded projects to New York's Public Service Commission for consideration and approval. If the Tier 4 contract is approved, NYSERDA payments under this award will not commence for each respective project until the project has obtained all required permits and local approvals, is constructed and delivers power to New York City, which is expected to begin in 2025 for CHPE and 2027 for CPNY.
Advancing the state's efforts to create a more reliable and resilient electric grid, these projects will also help to create a modern transmission system capable of delivering this additional pipeline of renewable electricity to high-demand areas in downstate New York. CPNY's 174-mile transmission line will run from the Fraser Substation in Delaware County to the Rainey Substation in Queens, utilizing a buried cable using existing rights-of-way, which will mitigate potential local community impacts, avoid sensitive habitats along the Hudson River, and be more resilient than above-ground alternatives in the face of severe weather and security threats. CHPE is a permitted 339-mile buried cable, both underground and underwater, transmission line that runs from Hydro-Quebec's wind and hydropower resources in the Province of Quebec to the Astoria Energy Center in Queens and has adopted best management practices to avoid, minimize and mitigate environmental damages, including impacts on sensitive species and habitats. A map of the transmission lines is available here.
The State will continue to emphasize and enhance engagement with the communities where the project is being developed. NYSERDA offers resources and no-cost technical assistance to help local governments understand how to manage responsible clean energy development in their communities, including step-by-step instructions and tools to guide the implementation of clean energy, including permitting processes, property taxes, siting, zoning, and more.
If approved, the CPNY and CHPE projects will add to New York's existing robust pipeline of large-scale renewable energy, comprised of nearly 100 solar, land-based wind and offshore wind projects totaling 11,000 megawatts of clean power—enough to power over five New York million homes when completed. The State's commitment to building out new green energy transmission, led by 250 miles of new major upgrades already underway throughout the state and reinforced by this award will allow the current pipeline of renewables to power nearly 60 percent of New York's electricity from renewable energy once operational.
Senator Todd Kaminsky said, "Today's announcement by Governor Hochul is yet another game-changing move to ensure New York meets the goals laid out in Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Reducing New York City's reliance on fossil fuels, these projects will be better for our environment and our health. They will also create thousands of sustainable and high-paying jobs — cementing New York as a leader in this new green economy."
Senator Kevin Parker said, "I fully support the two major green energy infrastructure projects being presented by Governor Hochul and NYSERDA. It is important that the State continues to invest in initiatives that will lower carbon emissions, while improving the air quality in disadvantaged communities. This initiative will create access to well-paying jobs while working to reach our clean energy goals. As the Chair of the Energy and Telecommunications Committee I know these projects will continue to help New York State continue to lead in clean energy."
Assemblymember Steve Englebright said, "Today's announcement by Governor Hochul is an important step forward as we address the impacts of climate change. These infrastructure projects will deliver reneawable energy from wind, solar, and hydroelectric generation and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions to achieve the clean energy goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act."
Alliance for Clean Energy New York Executive Director Anne Reynolds said, "Governor Kathy Hochul's exciting announcement about grid investments today, combined with New York commitments to offshore wind and urban solar, will seriously transform how New York City is powered. Renewable energy is the key to climate action, and we especially applaud transmission projects that support the construction of new wind and solar projects in Upstate New York. With actions like these, leadership in New York is showing the rest of the U.S. what climate protection looks like."
New York League of Conservation Voters President Julie Tighe said, "We applaud Governor Kathy Hochul and NYSERDA for kicking off climate week by advancing infrastructure projects that will accelerate the transition to clean energy for New York's greatest energy load pockets. Your actions will accelerate a shift to renewable energy that will not only help fight the climate crisis but also provide much needed relief in areas that do not meet federal Air Quality Standards, and communities overburdened by polluting power sources."
REBNY Chairman Douglas Durst and President James Whelan said, "Addressing our climate crisis takes bold, yet thoughtful, action. Successfully reducing carbon emissions in New York City will not be possible without the aggressive deployment of renewable generation and transmission. Today Governor Hochul and NYSERDA took bold, yet thoughtful, action to make New York a national leader in the fight against climate change."
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) International Representative Edwin Hill, Jr. said, "The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) of New York applaud New York State and NYSERDA's efforts to combat climate change and to protect existing worker standards and to ensure impacted and disadvantaged community engagement with the Tier 4 - New York City Renewables Energy RFP. The Tier 4 will play a critical role in meeting the state's climate legislation, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which requires NY's energy supply to be 70% carbon-free by 2030. The ensuing project(s) will provide thousands of good paying, career level, jobs for NY's residents across the state and inject billions of dollars into NY state's economy while greatly improving the environment for its citizens. The IBEW looks forward to playing a vital role in ensuring success of this world class initiative."
Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York President Gary LaBarbera said, "This is a crucial step forward in bringing necessary clean and renewable energy to the City of New York, while ensuring that good union jobs that lead to middle-class careers with benefits remain central to the way New York generates and delivers its power. We thank Governor Hochul for her focus and commitment to creating family-sustaining jobs as part of the state's comprehensive and ambitious plan to meet its clean energy goals."
New York State Laborers Organizing Fund Director John Hutchings said, "We applaud Governor Kathy Hochul and NYSERDA for continuing to advance critical infrastructure projects. These projects will accelerate the state's shift to renewable energy and lead to hundreds of construction jobs that pay workers a prevailing wage. The New York State Laborers are encouraged by Governor Hochul's continued commitment to ensuring a just transition for our members while the state transitions to an economy wide goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050."
The Nature Conservancy New York Chief Conservation and External Affairs Officer Stuart F. Gruskin said, "The Nature Conservancy applauds Governor Kathy Hochul and NYSERDA on accelerating work to implement New York's pioneering climate law, aimed at achieving a net-zero emissions economy by 2050. These projects will reduce air pollution, bring clean energy to New York City, and build the renewable energy economy. With Governor Hochul's strong leadership, New York can tackle climate change and protect the natural resources we all depend on."
New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan
New York State's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $21 billion in 91 large-scale renewable projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting more than 150,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2019, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.