Developers are seeking public input on the $3 billion energy project in Westchester NY


Two New York energy developers are seeking permits to build an 87-mile electric transmission project that would provide clean energy to Westchester and surrounding areas.

The $3.3 billion project, titled Propel NY Energy, would be developed by New York Power Authority and New York Transco. Propel NY Energy aims to build new underground and submarine transmission lines – the overhead highway of power lines that deliver energy – as well as four substations in Westchester (in New Rochelle), Long Island and New York City.

The 9-mile land cable in Westchester would be built under existing roads through New Rochelle, Pelham, Mount Vernon, Eastchester and Yonkers. The project would create 2,000 jobs annually for four years.

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What is Propel NY Energy?

Shannon Baxevanis, spokesperson for New York Transco, said the Propel NY Energy project aims to reduce congestion and ensure that clean energy – such as offshore wind and solar energy – flows efficiently and effectively, ultimately reducing the cost of energy transmission for New Yorkers goes down.

It would add three new transmission lines connecting Long Island’s offshore wind power to the state’s electric grid, in addition to the existing two lines. Once ready, the energy could also flow inland.

“The project is transformative in terms of improving the transmission network. It will strengthen the area grid to increase resilience that we will benefit from in our daily lives,” Baxevanis said. “This is important to achieve our climate goals and deliver environmental benefits to the state and local communities.”

Energy demand in New York is expected to increase over the next twenty years. The project is part of an effort to achieve the two goals of New York State’s Climate Act of 2019: 70% reliance on renewable energy by 2030 and zero carbon emissions by 2040.

Propel NY Energy was one of four proposals submitted after the state’s 2021 transmission needs were identified. The proposal was selected as an efficient and cost-effective solution to meet those needs, Baxevanis said.

Upgrading transmission lines is also a national trend — driven by President Joe Biden’s climate and environmental agenda. One of the Biden administration’s goals is to upgrade 100,000 miles of transmission lines over the next five years.

Developers are seeking input from Westchester residents

The developers are seeking community input as they apply for a permit through the New York Public Service Commission. More than 10,000 mailers have been sent to residents, landlords and business owners along the route, Baxevanis said.

Two open houses will be held in Westchester: at Trinity St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at 311 Huguenot St. in New Rochelle from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM on Thursday, May 2; and another from 7 to 9 p.m. on May 7 at St. John’s Episcopal Church at 100 Underhill St. in Yonkers.

Baxevanis added that the project would be similar to installing sewer or water lines, and would undergo environmental, engineering and construction reviews. If all goes according to plan, the project is expected to be completed in May 2030.

Although some transmission line projects have been halted due to opposition from counties across the state, Westchester County officials appear to support them.

County Executive George Latimer previously said when the project was selected that it would help the state achieve its national clean energy goals, provide clean energy, stimulate economic activity and create family-sustaining jobs in the green energy sector.

Baxevanis said the project is not tied to offshore wind projects, but aims to strengthen the electricity grid to ensure reliability and resilience and promote a clean energy future.

“This is a big project. We realize the community would be interested. We want to be as transparent as possible,” says Baxevanis. “We greatly value the voices and thoughts of our local neighbors. We hope they will join us in conversations and dialogue as we work to get all components of the project ready for construction.”

Helu Wang covers development and real estate for The Journal News/lohud and USA Today Network. Reach her at [email protected].