City and state leaders hope that two green energy infrastructure projects will help decarbonize New York City into a greener future that moves them away from its reliance on fossil fuels, which fuels 85% of the city’s electricity.
The state will partner with two companies, CleanPath NY and Hydro Quebec CEO, to power the Empire State through wind, solar and hydropower energy and also bring $8.2 million in economic development and 10,000 jobs statewide.
The new power sources could begin flowing clean energy in the city as early as 2025.
“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,” Gov. Kathy 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.”
The Empire State is looking to accelerate its goal of being 70% carbon-free throughout the state by 2030, a potential pathway to a zero-emissions grid.
CleanPath NY, includes the buildout of a 1,300-megawatt, 176-mile high voltage direct-current power superhighway from Delaware County to New York City that would run underneath the Hudson and Harlem rivers, but received pushback from Bronx officials in the past.
When CleanPath NY was first pitched in early 2021, the plan was to construct a high-voltage DC to AC converter station and a seven-story containment structure on a one-acre site at Bronx Terminal Market at East 151st Street and Exterior Street.
The project — which boasts $12 billion in savings to New Yorkers and would create more than 10,000 jobs while eliminating 39 million tons of CO2 emissions over the next 25 years — sparked concerns from Bronx residents that an installation of a converter station would be detrimental to the public health of a district that is already considered “asthma valley.”
Hydro Quebec CEO’s plan, Champlain Hudson Power Express, seeks to deliver hydropower into NYC through a 1,250-megawatt line that would supply roughly 1 million homes.
Hydro-Quebec’s wind and hydropower resources will go from the Province of Quebec, Canada, into the Astoria Energy Center in Queens.
Both companies are also expected to invest roughly $460 million in community benefit funds to create pathways to green energy jobs, support public health and provide support for disadvantaged communities.
Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is hopeful that the new renewable energy project can lead to New York City government operations being fueled by 100% renewable electricity by 2025.
“This is a transformative moment for New York City’s fight against climate change,” said 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.”
Reach Robbie Sequeira at [email protected] or (718) 260-4599. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter @bronxtimes and Facebook @bronxtimes.