Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE) is a proposed underwater and underground high-voltage direct current (HVDC) power transmission line project to deliver up to 1,000MW of clean and renewable hydroelectric power from Quebec, Canada to New York, US.
The 531km-long, 320kV HVDC cable system is proposed to be developed by Transmission Developers (TDI), a Blackstone portfolio company, with an estimated investment of £2.42bn ($3bn).
The HVDC transmission line project received approval from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Canada-US International Boundary Commission in May 2020.
The construction activities are scheduled to be started in 2021, with the start of commercial operation expected in 2025.
TDI is also evaluating the viability of expanding the transmission of the CHPE capacity by 250MW to 1.25GW.
Champlain Hudson Power Express route details
The CHPE HVDC line starts from the US-Canadian border to Queens in New York, US, within Zone J of the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) electricity system.
The underwater sections of the CHPE will be submerged in the Lake Champlain, the Hudson River, the East River, and the Harlem River for a total route length of approximately 315km. The overland (terrestrial) portion of the CHPE measuring approximately 220km will be buried underground beneath the existing rights-of-way.
In Canada, the HVDC line will start at the Hertel converter station in Quebec and will run through the international border at a point in Champlain, New York. The line will connect to a new converter station in Astoria, Queens, which will convert electrical energy from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).
The line will finally connect to the 345kV Astoria Annex GIS Substation in Bronx County, New York that is owned by NYPA.
Champlain Hudson Power Express cable design
The CHPE HVDC transmission line project will consist of two 5in-diameter 320kV cables.
The overland cable will be buried in excavated trench 4ft wide and 5ft deep. The cables will be installed underneath through a number of joints and a temporary flat pad.
The underwater cables will be bundled together and laid 6ft deep in Hudson and Harlem rivers. It will be submerged 4ft in Lake Champlain.
The infrastructure for the CHPE HVDC power transmission project will include an interconnector at the Hertel converter station in the Province of Quebec.
The transmission line will connect to a 345kV Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) station in Astoria, Bronx County, Queens, via a new DC/AC converter station.
Brattle Group has been appointed as the independent solicitation manager (ISM) by TDI for the management of solicitation process of the CHPE HVDC transmission line project in July 2020.
PA Consulting Group was engaged for the economic and environmental analysis of the CHPE project in August 2017.
AECOM was awarded a contract as owner’s engineer for contractor selection and regulatory permits on behalf of TDI for the Champlain Hudson Power Express Project in January 2013.
Champlain Hudson Power Express project background
The Champlain Hudson Power Express HVDC transmission line project was announced by TDI in February 2010.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) issued a presidential permit for the construction, and operation of the project in October 2014.
The project was initially planned to commence construction by 2015 with a target in-service date in late 2018, but it was delayed due to the modifications in the route.
TDI submitted a petition to the New York Public Service Commission (NYPSC) for approval of route modification in December 2019, and received approval for the same in March 2020.
After receiving Presidential Permit as well as other necessary approvals from NYPSC, the permits under Sections 10 and 404 of the Clean Water Act and Rivers and Harbours Act from the US Army Corps of Engineers, TDI launched an open solicitation process for the CHPE HVDC project in June 2020.