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By laying new electric cable underwater...
By laying new electric cable underwater...

Company eyes Champlain, Hudson Valleys for Quebec-NYC electric line

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A Canadian company hopes to build a massive new electric transmission line that will use the Champlain and Hudson Valleys to bring power from Quebec to New York City. Transmission Developers Incorporated, based in Toronto, is asking state regulators in New York to approve the use of a type of cable that can be buried underwater. As Brian Mann reports, the technology would mean fewer impacts on communities and landscapes in the North Country.

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TDI could avoid the need for power corridors like this one.

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Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

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Information provided by New York's Department of Environmental Conservation:


Transmission Developers Inc.'s (TDI) proposes a 300-mile, 2,000-MW electric transmission line from Canada to New York City and Connecticut. 

The lines will originate at a substation in La Prairie, Quebec, on the south shore the St. Lawrence River about twenty miles below Montreal. 

Two 1,000-MW high voltage direct current (HVDC) cables will travel approx. 15 miles overland to the Richelieu River, where they will be buried to Lake Champlain. 

The cables will be buried the length of the lake to the Champlain Canal in Whitehall.   They are to be buried in the canal south to Lock C8, north of Ft. Edward, then move upland there to a railroad right-of-way (RR ROW). 

The lines will be directionally drilled in the RR ROW, and will move in a 70-mile arc around the Capital District, then enter the Hudson River at Coeymans.  All underwater cables will be installed by jet-plowing.

From Coeymans the cables will be buried in the Hudson to Yonkers, where one cable will tie into a proposed HVDC converter station near Wells Avenue. 

The remaining cables will continue in the Hudson to the mouth of Spuyten Duyvil Creek, locatd between Manhattan and the Bronx. 

The cables then follow a 65-mile route through Spuyten Duyvil Creek, the Harlem River, and the East River, and into Long Island Sound to a converter station in Bridgeport CT. 

-how long has DEC been reviewing this project?
The only review being done right now is of TDI's proposed sediment and aquatic sampling program, which we received roughly two weeks ago.  Except for some maps of the line's route, we have not seen much other project information.  Staff met with the project sponsor, Transmission Developers Inc (TDI), last July in which they made a brief presentation and sought our assistance in putting together environmental data.  We participated in an Art. VII preapplication meeting with the Dept of Public Service in January.   

-has DEC identified any concerns, environmental or otherwise?
This is still very early in the process so it is too soon to determine DEC's potential jurisdiction and issues that could arise. More specific information would be needed if the project were to continue forward. 

-what other state agencies is DEC partnering with to review this?
See above as to the need for an Art. VII certificate from the Public Service Commission.  DEC will participate in that review.  OGS may be involved since the bottom of the affected waterbodies is state-owned. 

-what will the process be going forward to review this project?
DEC will provide TDI with comments on the proposed sampling plan later this month.  TDI claims it will start field work in March.   TDI is expected to submit an Art. VII application to DPS this spring.

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