Building begins on facility linking Canada hydropower to NYC

U.S. President Joe Biden campaigns in New York

(Reuters) -New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced the start of construction on the converter station of the Champlain Hudson Power Express transmission line, a project to bring electricity generated from Canadian hydropower to New York City.

The 340 mile (547 km) transmission line is a proposed underwater and underground high-voltage direct current power transmission line to deliver the power from Quebec, Canada, to Queens, New York City. The project is being developed by Montreal-based public utility Hydro-Quebec and its U.S. partner Transmission Developers.

The converter station for the line will be the first-ever transformation of a fossil fuel site into a grid-scale zero-emission facility in New York City, its backers say.

Workers have already removed six tanks that previously stored 12 million gallons (45.4 million liters) of heavy oil for burning in power plants and nearly four miles (6.44 km) of piping from the site in the Astoria, Queens neighborhood.

The facility is expected to begin operating in 2026. Once the construction is completed, it will convert 1,250 megawatts of energy from direct current to alternating current power that will be fed directly into the state's power grid.

“Renewable energy plays a critical role in the transformation of our power grid while creating a cleaner environment for our future generations,” Hochul said.The converter station is a step towards New York’s target for 70% of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030.

(Reporting by Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru and Timothy Gardner; editing by Timothy Gardner)