Rockland County Set to Power Up: Groundbreaking Renewable Energy Project to Electrify Over a Million Homes

Rockland County is on the cusp of a transformative development with the impending groundbreaking of the Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE). This ambitious project aims to deliver a staggering 1,250 megawatts of renewable hydroelectric power directly to New York City, marking a significant step towards sustainable energy utilization.

Originating from the power-rich regions of Quebec, the CHPE will snake its way beneath Lake Champlain, emerge around the capital region, dive under the Hudson River below Greene County, and make its appearance in Rockland County. From there, it will continue its journey to its terminus in Astoria, Queens. Spanning 339 miles and crossing 15 New York counties, this power line is designed to supply energy to over one million households, illustrating a massive leap forward in renewable energy distribution.

Rockland County’s landscape will see sections of Stony Point, the Town of Haverstraw, the villages of Haverstraw and West Haverstraw, and parts of the Town of Clarkstown play host to this groundbreaking infrastructure. While the actual construction has yet to begin in Rockland, the preparatory steps are well underway, with CHPE actively securing easements along the planned route and engaging in pivotal negotiations for Payment in Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) Agreements with local municipalities and school districts.

These PILOT agreements aim to offer a steady stream of tax revenue, reducing the financial unpredictability for both CHPE and the local taxing authorities. Such strategic financial planning is crucial for managing future tax liabilities effectively and ensures a fair distribution of the economic benefits arising from this project. The Rockland County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) greenlit CHPE’s application for a PILOT program back in June 2022, showcasing a community-forward approach to this large-scale development.

Notably, the anticipated annual tax revenue from this project could reach an impressive $4,080,000 across the affected jurisdictions, although the exact distribution will be influenced by the PILOT agreements. Despite the vast scale of this project, CHPE has opted not to seek PILOT agreements in neighboring counties north of Rockland, where the power lines will remain submerged.

In addition to tax arrangements, CHPE has committed to substantial community contributions, including millions in funds dedicated to Community and Streetscape improvements across several towns and villages within Rockland County. These investments underscore CHPE’s commitment to not only enhancing energy infrastructure but also to fostering community development.

The acquisition of easements has been a crucial step forward, with over two dozen properties already integrated into the project’s footprint, paving the way for the imminent start of construction activities expected in the coming months, with a completion target set for the latter half of 2025.

Local workforce engagement is another cornerstone of the CHPE project, with IBEW Local 363 Electrical Workers already laying down electrical conduits in the upstate Albany area, and similar activities planned across Rockland County towns and villages. This initiative not only progresses New York’s renewable energy goals but also boosts local employment and community engagement.

As Rockland County stands on the brink of this significant energy and economic development milestone, the CHPE project promises to weave a new narrative of sustainability, community partnership, and forward-looking infrastructure development that will resonate for years to come.

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