The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke and Hydro Québec have entered into a memorandum of understanding to partner on the Hertel-New York Interconnection Project which could see Hydro Québec transmit green renewable energy to New York City should the company win the supply contract.
The agreement is historic for both Kahnawà:ke and Hydro-Québec and will be the first shared ownership agreement for an export transmission line.
Joe Delaronde, spokesperson for the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke said, “The agreement demonstrates that Kahnawà:ke is open for business and can partner with industry and play an important role in the realization of large projects. Furthermore, this is a great step forward for Hydro-Québec in its relations with the community.”
“We sincerely hope that this will be but the first of many such productive partnerships,” said Sophie Brochu, President and CEO of Hydro-Québec. “Indigenous communities are our partners, and as such, the transmission interconnection project with New York, by virtue of its location and purpose, offers us a special opportunity to fulfill this vision.”
Under the deal, the MCK will become joint owners of a 400-kV underground transmission line that will run from the Hertel substation in La Prairie to the US border where it will connect with the Champlain Hudson Power Express. The Champlain Hudson Power Express line will be built between the Canadian border and Astoria, Queens, New York.
The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke will support the construction of the line and the project and will benefit from revenues over a 40-year term. The two parties say that there remain a number of issues yet to be negotiated and discussed before agreements are signed if Hydro Québec wins the bid.
In a press release issued by the The MCK, the Council says the line is to be built on Seigneury of Sault St. Louis lands, so it was important for the MCK to forge a strategic partnership with Hydro Québec.
In May, Hydro-Québec and its partner Transmission Developers Inc. submitted proposals in response to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Tier 4 renewable energy procurement process.
The Hertel Line will will carry renewable energy to help decarbonize the city of New York and the project meets MCK’s objectives of investing in environmentally sustainable projects. Currently, over 90 per cent of electricity generation in New York City comes from burning fossil fuels.
Once complete, the Hertel Line will supply New York City with up to 1,250 MW of renewable power, which is enough electricity to supply more than 1.2 million homes. This clean power influx will reduce carbon emissions by approximately 3.9 million metric tons annually, equivalent to removing 44 per cent of cars from New York City streets. MCK proudly adds Mohawks ironworkers helped build New York City.
The Hertel–New York interconnection project involves the construction of an approximately 60-km long, 400-kV underground direct-current (DC) line between Hertel substation in La Prairie and the Canada–United States border. The new line will connect to the CHPE, an underground and underwater DC line between the Canada–US border and New York City, a distance of roughly 545 km.
The Champlain Hudson Power Express has obtained all the required US approvals. Project selection will be announced in the third quarter 2021.