The New York Power Authority (NYPA) produces 25% of New York’s power, and 80% of that is hydropower. 

Hydro is critical to New York’s climate goals because it’s always available to fill in when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.

It’s also a cornerstone of one of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Climate Week announcements: the awarding of two major green energy infrastructure projects to power New York City.

NYPA is involved with the so-called “Clean Path New York” project, which according to Gil Quinones, the president and CEO of NYPA, will harvest renewable energy from wind and solar farms in upstate New York, and carry that energy, via underground transmission lines, through the Hudson Valley and into Astoria, Queens.

“The benefits are significant,” Quinones told Capital Tonight. “It will reduce pollution in New York City. It will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which will then tie to better health outcomes, especially in disadvantaged communities.”

Additionally, the project will help the state meet its climate goals under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). 

Quinones explained the investment in this project is enormous.

“In the late 50s and 60s, NYPA invested $6.5 billion to build two large hydroelectric plants, one in Messina and one in Niagara Falls. The Clean Path New York (transmission line) is $11 billion in investment in transmission and renewable energy,” Quinones said. 

NYPA is not involved in the second transmission investment, which is called the Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE), and which is being developed by Transmission Developers, Inc (Blackstone) and Hydro-Quebec. 

Because CHPE will deliver power via Hydro-Quebec, bypassing New York State’s power producers, there has been pushback against this project from the Independent Power Producers of New York (IPPNY), as well as some other stakeholders.