The company proposing to lay a high-voltage transmission line under the length of Lake Champlain and the Hudson River offered a better look at its plan at a meeting in Plattsburgh, Tuesday night.
Transmission Developers Incorporated, or TDI, is a 2-year-old Canadian company working on its first-ever project. The Champlain Hudson Power Express would connect power generation sources in Northern New York and Canada to New York City and the surrounding area.
"There is the need to bring transmission capacity to interconnect the renewables to this marketplace," said Don Jessome, the CEO of TDI.
TDI says four transmission cables will be buried under the waterways. They will be spooled out from ships or barges and a remote-controlled rover will guide the cables around obstacles. Once the cables are laid on the ground another rover will run over them and bury them in a trench using a water-jet system. TDI says burying the lines is more environmentally friendly than putting them up on towers.
While federal law requires the transmission line be open to all kinds of power TDI says it is primarily in negotiation with renewable sources like wind and hydro. It is working with the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum to stay clear of shipwrecks, and plans to avoid environmentally sensitive areas and areas with known pollutants, like Cumberland Bay, which was dredged for PCBs several years ago.
Environmental watch groups say it is too early to know if the project is good or bad.
"We'll certainly be looking at the more detailed information that's filed federally and with New York State and just looking and trying to asses environmental impacts," said Lori Fisher, the executive director of the Lake Champlain Committee.
Safety is also a big concern. TDI says the Champlain Hudson Power Express will be buried at least 3 feet below ground. The biggest threat to the cables will be anchors from ships. Jessome says there are safeguards in place to make sure the entire lake does not become electrified.
"From a safety perspective, extremely safe and this is very proven technology," Jessome says.
Before the company gets the go ahead from regulators and a thumbs up from environmental groups it will have to prove this project will bring big benefits without doing harm.
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:34 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:34:35 GMT
It looks like our region escaped any major flooding resulting from Tuesday's heavy rains. There were localized areas of high water and damage, like a road washout on Mud Hollow Road in Kirby. Water remainsMore >>
It looks like our region escaped any major flooding resulting from Tuesday's heavy rains.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:58 AM EDT2014-04-16 14:58:11 GMT
Teamwork between a Montgomery farmer and a corporal with the Franklin Country sheriff's department may have saved a life when they pulled off a daring rescue. A woman became trapped in her truck tryingMore >>
A Montgomery farmer and a sheriff's deputy joined forces for a daring rescue to help a woman who got trapped in her truck by rising floodwaters.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:02 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:02:05 GMT
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York. The governor made the declaration Tuesday night. It covers six counties in northeastern of New York, including two inMore >>
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:08 AM EDT2014-04-16 15:08:35 GMT
If you thought the weather Tuesday really stunk, you weren't alone. Apparently all the rain and the rushing rivers were too much for even a beaver. WCAX Producer Diane Landry caught video Tuesday in MiltonMore >>
Apparently all the rain and the rushing rivers in our region Tuesday were too much for even a beaver.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:09 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:09:50 GMT
If you think this spring has been filled with strange weather-- cold, then hot, then flooding, then snow-- well, we have a reminder that fluctuating weather is not all that unusual in Vermont. SheldonMore >>
If you think this spring has been filled with strange weather-- cold, then hot, then flooding, then snow-- well, we have a reminder that fluctuating weather is not all that unusual in Vermont.More >>