Blackstone's TD unveils $3.8bn transmission project

Transmission Developers is planning to build an underwater cable that would carry 2,000-MW of wind and energy power from Canada to New York.

Transmission Developers, a New York-based developer of electric transmission projects, has unveiled a plan to create an underwater electric cable from Canada to New York at a cost of more than $3.8 billion.

The cable, called the Champlain-Hudson Power Express, would run under the Hudson River and Lake Champlain and bring 2,000 megawatts of hydroelectric and wind power from Canada to the New York and New England markets, according to a statement.

If it is ultimately built, the cable could help New York meet its renewable energy goals. New York state hopes to source 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, according to a policy set by the state’s Public Service Commission in December 2009.

The Champlain-Hudson Power Express is expected to be in service by 2015, according to a project website. But state and federal regulators will first have to approve the project, which faces extensive permitting requirements. Transmission Developers said it is “committed to openness and dialogue” throughout the regulatory approval process.

Transmission Developers is backed by The Blackstone Group, which holds an interest in the company through Blackstone Capital Partners IV, a buyout fund which closed on $6.45 billion in 2002.

Pending project approvals, other Blackstone funds will have an opportunity to invest in the project. At this point, however, it is too early to tell which funds would be investing in the project and when, according to a person with knowledge of the process.