Final approval for CHPE in place

Blackstone-backed TDI has completed the federal permitting process for the Champlain Hudson Power Express project, a 333 mile-long underwater transmission line.

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has approved the installation of the Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE) project in US waters, clearing the way for its developer, Transmission Developers Inc. (TDI), to proceed with the construction of the project.

TDI, a portfolio company of private equity firm The Blackstone Group, has been developing CHPE since 2008. The project is a completely buried 333-mile high-voltage direct current transmission line that will be installed underground and underwater. It will run the length of Lake Champlain and through parts of the Hudson River to New York City.

“The terms of the permit reaffirm that our project will take appropriate steps to protect New York’s environmental and commercial resources, and we are excited to have moved substantially closer to the moment when we will begin to deliver cleaner, lower-cost power to New York’s residents and businesses,” TDI chief executive Donald Jessome said in a statement.

Once completed, the project is expected to reduce energy costs by $650 million a year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 2.2 million metric tons on an annual basis, according to the company.

In addition to diversifying the state’s energy portfolio, CHPE will also improve the electric grid’s safety and security since the transmission line will be less susceptible to natural disasters.

Completion of the project is expected to take four years with about 300 construction jobs being created during that period.

Headquartered in Albany, New York, TDI also has offices in New York City. In addition to Blackstone, US asset management firm BlackRock is also an investor in the company.