The New York State Public Service Commission, in an order issued and effective on May 14, authorized increasing the Champlain Hudson Power Express project’s nameplate capacity by 250 MW.
As noted in the order, Champlain Hudson Power Express, Inc., (CHPEI) and CHPE Properties, Inc., (CHPE), collectively referred to as the certificate holders, in late January filed with the commission a petition to further amend a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need that the commission issued in April 2013 (Amendment 4 Petition).
That 2013 certificate authorized, subject to conditions, the construction of a high voltage, direct current (HVDC) transmission line extending about 330 miles from the New York/Canada border to a proposed DC-to-Alternating Current (AC) converter station in Astoria, Queens, as well as approximately three-mile, 345-kV AC cable within the streets of Astoria to a point-of-interconnection with the Consolidated Edison Rainey substation (the Astoria-Rainey cable).
The commission also noted that over the past two years, the certificate holders obtained commission-approved certificate amendments related to certain certificate conditions and route modifications.
As TransmissionHub reported, the commission in August 2020, for instance, approved a requested amendment to the originally certificated route of the Champlain Hudson Power Express project, that will result in the addition of about 5.8 linear miles of transmission circuit.
According to the commission’s May 14 order, in their Amendment 4 Petition, the certificate holders noted that the public benefits of the project that were contained in the certificate, including that it would “advance major energy and policy goals” of New York State and New York City, have become stronger since the certificate was granted, given actions taken by the state and city, such as the Clean Energy Standard proceeding.
The commission noted that the Amendment 4 Petition requests approval to increase the project nameplate capacity from 1,000 MW to 1,250 MW with associated modifications to the project’s transmission components.
The certificate holders indicate that the New York ISO’s “Operating Committee approved the System Reliability Interconnection Study for the proposed 250 MW uprate confirming that an additional 250 MW could be reliably added to the grid,” the commission said.
According to the certificate holders, the commission said, increasing the project nameplate capacity rating by 250 MW involves using HVDC cables, which are nearly identical to those previously approved, with no significant increases in construction, operation, or environmental impacts, and no change in location of the project.
The commission said the Amendment 4 Petition also requests approval to increase the footprint of the Astoria converter station from about 4.5 acres to about 5.5 acres.
In addition, the Amendment 4 Petition notes that the design of the high voltage, alternating current (HVAC) system extending from the Astoria East substation to the Rainey substation will use two conductors per phase instead of one conductor per phase, resulting in a narrower but deeper trench configuration, and will be installed in the same location and same manner as currently permitted.
The commission added that it finds that the proposed modifications for the Preferred Transmission System are reasonable; are not expected to result in any significant change in location of the facility or increase in adverse environmental impacts; and may result in reducing some expected environmental impacts.
Among other things, the commission said that the certificate holders are to follow all applicable terms and conditions of the original certificate and subsequent amendments thereto, unless superseded by the May 14 order.