Orange County Partnership - News

More Than $1-Billion in Energy Projects in Pipeline in Hudson Valley

The Mid-Hudson Valley region is poised to benefit from more than $1 billion in energy-related projects. In Orange County, alone, two projects—an upgrade of an existing energy plant, and another involving the upgrade of existing transmission lines between Rock Tavern and Sugar Loaf—are estimated to cost $600 million to complete.


Earlier this month, the New York State Public Service Commission deemed Danskammer Energy’s Article 10 application before the State’s Siting Board, which was filed in December 2019, to be complete.


Business leaders and officials with Danskammer Energy now await the ruling from the PSC so that the project can proceed. The $500-million Danskammer Energy project in Newburgh, would convert the aging plant into a 535-megawatt energy facility.


In connection with the project’s milestone involving the Article 10 application being deemed complete by the PSC, Michelle Hook, vice president of public affairs with Danskammer Energy, LLC, said “We at Danskammer Energy look forward to the Siting Board’s review of our application, and engaging with the community and stakeholders through the public comment phase of our review. Our upgrade project has much to offer New York including cleaner air and lower energy prices. Installing this new technology also opens the door for green hydrogen as a future source of power for the Hudson Valley. We want very much to be a part of New York’s clean energy future and this project would allow us to do just that.”


Earlier this year, the project received a major endorsement from organized labor. In a letter to PSC Chairman John B. Rhodes, New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said, “The New York State AFL-CIO believes that the repowering of Danskammer is critical to the future reliability of our energy infrastructure, and in turn essential to our members’ short- and long-term ability to build, serve and fuel the state’s economy.”


Cilento noted that Danskammer entered into a Project Labor Agreement on the construction of the repowered facility and has agreed to union neutrality for the operations of the project. He estimates that the project will generate 450 construction jobs and additional permanent jobs upon completion and operation of the facility.


Meanwhile, a $530-million project called "New York Energy Solution" broke ground in early March. The project, being undertaken by New York Transco, will upgrade energy transmission from Rensselaer County to Dutchess County with a new 345-kilovolt transmission line across 54.5 miles. The first phase of the project, estimated to cost approximately $5 million, will involve construction at the Churchtown Switching Station in Claverack, Columbia County and includes the installation of a temporary bypass electric line and rebuilding of the existing Churchtown Switching Station. Phase II work, which comprises all other aspects of the project, was recently filed for regulatory review.


New York Transco is owned by affiliates of National Grid, Con Edison, AVANGRID, and CH Energy Group.


The New York Energy Solution transmission project will help alleviate electricity bottlenecks that currently exist and allow for greater use of clean energy produced upstate, while also improving grid resiliency and storm hardening. It will upgrade and replace existing 80-year-old structures with about 230 fewer, more modern structures. The project will be in existing electric transmission corridors or on adjacent utility-owned land in the Town of Schodack in Rensselaer County; the towns of Stuyvesant, Stockport, Ghent, Claverack, Livingston, Gallatin, and Clermont in Columbia County; and the towns of Milan, Clinton, and Pleasant Valley in Dutchess County. The project is anticipated to be in-service by the end of 2023.


The New York State Public Service Commission approved a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the project at its Feb. 11, 2021 meeting.


“The development of a clean, reliable transmission system for New York is key to combatting climate change and achieving our nation-leading clean energy goals,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “This project is an integral part of a new energy superhighway that's being built to move electricity across the state more efficiently—while also creating new jobs and opportunities for New Yorkers that will help to reinvigorate our local and statewide economies.”


New York Transco President Victor Mullin said, “We are very excited to begin construction of this historic project and thank Governor Cuomo for his vision and dedication to bolster New York State's transmission network. We also greatly appreciate all the time, effort and coordination with the local communities to get this project to this major milestone.”


$100-Million Transmission Line Upgrade Project in Orange County


New York Transco is also in the approval process on the Rock Tavern to Sugarloaf Upgrade project. The 12-mile electric transmission upgrade will strengthen the grid between the Rock Tavern and Sugarloaf substations by replacing an aging former Central Hudson overhead 115kV (115,000 volts) line on lattice structures with a new 115kV line on monopole structures in an existing transmission corridor.


Paul Haering, vice president of capital investment for New York Transco, estimates the Rock Tavern to Sugar Loaf project at approximately $100 million. According to the project’s website, the permitting and survey process is expected to be complete by 2022 with construction to commence next year and be in service by 2023.