WSP USA AND CHPE: Helping New York State advance its climate action and clean energy objectives.
New York State has committed to ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction and clean energy goals. Its landmark 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act mandates the state achieve 70 percent renewable energy by 2030,100 percent zero-emission electricity by 2040, and a reduction in statewide GHG emissions from 1990 levels by 40 percent in 2030 and an 85 percent reduction by 2050. The Act also mandates net-zero emissions statewide by 2050.
New York State Governor Kathy Hochul (center) advancing New York State’s climate action and clean energy objectives by helping kick off construction of the Champlain Hudson Power Express during a groundbreaking ceremony on November 30, 2022.
The State is pursuing multiple alternative energy sourcing and delivery opportunities to achieve these goals. One such opportunity, Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE), will be the largest underground high-voltage transmission project ever developed and constructed in North America. Once completed, CHPE will deliver 1,250 megawatts of clean hydroelectricity, enough to power over one million homes, and will reduce carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons statewide, the equivalent of taking over half a million cars off the road every year.
As a partner to the project developer, CHPE LLC, WSP USA is providing owner’s engineer, environmental compliance, and public outreach services for the U.S. portion of the project, the scope of which was approved through the New York State Public Service Commission and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority Clean Energy Standard.
Comprising a 339-mile, 400-kilovolt, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system, CHPE is capable of transmitting 1,250 megawatts of clean, renewable power from existing hydroelectric facilities and other renewable facilitates. The transmission line will be constructed underwater or underground from Lake Champlain, down the Hudson River to the Harlem River, and into New York City. It will link Hydro-Québec’s Hertel station in La Prairie, Canada, to a converter station in Astoria, Queens, New York.
The project also includes an HVDC-to-HVAC (high-voltage alternating current) transmission line converter station and an approximately 3.5-mile, 345-kilovolt HVAC transmission line that will connect to interconnection points on the existing electric grid in Queens.
In addition to helping New York advance its climate action and clean energy objectives, CHPE provides additional co-benefits. For example, the buried HVDC routing underwater or underground minimizes impacts on the state’s sensitive natural environments and provides a more resilient infrastructure to extreme weather events.
Future Ready: A $6 Billion investment in clean, renewable energy.
The project will also benefit local economies across the state. Over 30 years, the $6 billion project — among the most significant investments in state history — is projected to decrease statewide wholesale electricity costs by $17.3 billion, create $23.2 billion in CO2 emission reduction benefits, result in $23 billion in new economic output, and add 1,400 new construction jobs.
WSP is providing the project team with a program management office, technical and administrative coordination, environmental and design reviews, construction oversight, and public outreach activities to ensure compliance with all environmental permits, specifications, and requirements.