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Supercharging the region

Some Washington County communities will receive more than $180 million in tax revenue over the next 30 years from an electrical transmission line project that will bring hydroelectric power to New York City.

Champlain Hudson Power Express is building a 330-mile line from the Hydro-Quebec facility in Canada to New York City. Much of the line will be buried in either Lake Champlain or the Hudson River. However, 47 miles will travel along railroad and highway rights of way in Washington County, according to a memo on the project.

The company has entered into 30-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement and a community host benefit package with the Warren-Washington Industrial Development Agency.

Hampton Supervisor Dave O’Brien, who is chairman of the IDA board, said the agreements are a win-win for both the electricity company and the community.

It gives the company certainty in terms of how much in taxes it will pay and it provides municipalities and school districts a guaranteed source of income, according to O’Brien.

“The communities know exactly what their taxes are going to be over the entire life of the PILOT,” he said.

For example, he said school districts will be able to undertake capital projects and build up reserve funds without increasing local taxes.

There is a 1.45% escalator clause built into the agreement. For example, the payment to Washington County starts at about $766,000 in the first year and will be $1.9 million in the 30th year.

In addition, O’Brien said CHPE has agreed not to challenge the assessment during the life of the agreement — even of the value of their land drops.

Another advantage is that unlike any other commercial and residential development, this project will not put any demand on local services, O’Brien said. There are no utility demands or more students going into the school districts.

The communities that will receive tax revenue are the towns of Dresden, Fort Ann, Fort Edward, Hartford, Kingsbury, Putnam and Whitehall and the villages of Fort Ann, Fort Edward and Whitehall, as well as Washington County itself.

Five school districts will receive payments — Fort Ann, Fort Edward, Hudson Falls, Putnam and Whitehall.

The share of the tax revenue that each town, village or school district receives is determined by the portion of the line that goes through that community.

After construction financing is obtained, CHPE will pay the IDA $2 million. It will make another $2 million payment when the project begins operation.

The IDA has granted a sales tax exemption for CHPE of about $8.18 million.

Logistical hurdles

Transmission Developers Inc. is the developer for the project. Construction is set to begin by the end of the year. The target date to begin transmission is 2025, according to Jennifer Lair-White, vice president of external affairs at TDI.

The project is set to create 1,400 jobs.

“The project is committed to using organized labor and whenever possible will hire locally,” she said in an email.

There will be some disruptions to local traffic as the route travels busy highways throughout the county. The land-based portion of the line begins in Putnam and travels along Route 22 buried in the road right of way until Fort Ann. It then will be buried in the railroad right of way and continue through Washington County in Fort Edward.

It then proceeds through Saratoga, Schenectady and Albany counties before entering the Hudson River in Greene County, according to the project documents.

The memo said Washington County would be most affected since the line is traveling in the right of way and the roads are traveled by farmers and agricultural workers, permanent and seasonal residents and tourists.

Lair-White said TDI would work with communities to ensure that any impacts to traffic are minimal.

State energy goals

The New York State Energy Research Development and Authority had selected this project and CPNY’s 174-transmission line that will run from Delaware County to Queens, during a request for proposals issued in January.

The contracts are being negotiated.

The project will produce about 18 million megawatt-hours per year, which is enough to power more than 2.5 million homes, according to the state.

Gov. Kathy Hochul touted both projects in a news release on Monday, saying they will help reduce New York City’s dependence on fossil fuels and help move the state toward its goal of obtaining 70% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

“New York’s communities are repeatedly facing serious consequences as a result of the devastation caused by the global climate crisis, and the stakes have never been higher as we deal with the economic and environmental destruction these extreme weather events leave behind,” Hochul said in a news release. “These transformative projects are a win-win — delivering thousands of new good-paying jobs throughout the state and attracting billions of dollars in private investment.”

“They also help us turn the page on New York City’s long-standing dependence on fossil fuels and will ensure millions of New Yorkers, especially those living in our most vulnerable communities, can have the promise of cleaner air and a healthier future,” Hochul added.

The following is the total amount of taxes that each Washington County municipality or school will receive over 30 years from the Champlain Hudson Power Express transmission line project.

Community Revenue Field 4 Field 5 Field 6 Field 7 Field 8 Field 9 Field 10 Field 11 Field 12 Field 13 Field 14 Field 15 Field 16 Field 17 Field 18 Field 19

Municipalities

Washington County $37,323,989

Dresden $15,388,862

Fort Ann (Town) $8,712,862

Fort Ann (Village) $780,420

Fort Edward (Town) $2,936,229

Fort Edward (Village) $4,078,794

Hartford $407,411

Kingsbury $11,812,966

Putnam $15,482,238

Whitehall (Town) $9,989,561

Whitehall (Village) $11,100,360

School districts

Fort Ann $14,536,711

Fort Edward $6,387,535

Hudson Falls $11,545,723

Putnam $5,665,135

Whitehall $24,903,782

Total $181,052,578

MICHAEL GOOT

mgoot@poststar.com

8072e1ae-1d44-11ec-966a-00163ec2aa77

Michael Goot covers politics, crime and courts, Warren County, education and business. Reach him at 518-742-3320 or mgoot@poststar.com.

Tax revenue from CHPE transmission line project

The following is the total amount of taxes that each Washington County municipality or school will receive over 30 years from the Champlain Hudson Power Express transmission line project. 

Community Revenue Field 4 Field 5 Field 6 Field 7 Field 8 Field 9 Field 10 Field 11 Field 12 Field 13 Field 14 Field 15 Field 16 Field 17 Field 18 Field 19
Municipalities
Washington County $37,323,989
Dresden $15,388,862
Fort Ann (Town) $8,712,862
Fort Ann (Village) $780,420
Fort Edward (Town) $2,936,229
Fort Edward (Village) $4,078,794
Hartford $407,411
Kingsbury $11,812,966
Putnam $15,482,238
Whitehall (Town) $9,989,561
Whitehall (Village) $11,100,360
School districts
Fort Ann $14,536,711
Fort Edward $6,387,535
Hudson Falls $11,545,723
Putnam $5,665,135
Whitehall $24,903,782
Total $181,052,578
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