New proposals for high voltage lines under Hudson River to channel renewable power from upstate into NYC

While solar farms and hydro dams are powering New York state, supporting the Big Apple with that same energy is challenging due to location

Kelsie Sandoval
In New York
Tuesday 17 August 2021 22:19 BST

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New York state officials are proposing that New York City be plugged with high-voltage transmission lines underground and underwater in an effort to make the city more environmentally-friendly.

While solar farms and hydro dams are the means by which New York state is using renewable energy, supporting New York City with that same energy is challenging due to the Big Apple’s location.

In order for the energy to reach the city, the proposed high-voltage transmission lines would need to be more than 100 miles long. The proposed lines would be in various places: under the Hudson River, under the state Thruway, or traveling the length of the state.

“We’re going to need more efficiency. We’re going to need more rooftop solar. We’re going to need offshore wind. But we also are likely really going to need power from upstate and north of New York in order to meet our objectives,” Julie Tighe, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters, told the Associated Press.

At the beginning of the year, outgoing Governor Andrew Cuomo created incentives to build lines in order to reach the goal of renewable sources for 70 per cent of state power by 2030.

Several bidders have submitted transmission plans to The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to build the lines. With permits already secured, some lines could be in service as early as 2025.

Although the transmission lines are a tool for a greener New York City future, there are some obstacles and concerns.

Ravenswood, a fossil fuel plant located in Long Island City in Queens, would have to be removed to make room for the transmission lines. But the CEO told the AP that he’s on board with being a part of a greener solution.

People that live in towns near the Hudson River are also concerned if construction would contaminate water or affect marine life.

Rivergroup, an environmental organisation, also says that Canadian hydropower, which would be used to power transmission lines, negatively affects indigenous communities. The First Nations in Alberta have said hydropower has altered wildlife patterns.

The Associated Press contributed to this reporting

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