Avangrid Inc. recently received 18 letters of intent or support for its clean energy superhighway proposal, Excelsior Connect.

The proposed project is an underground transmission method in response to a call for proposals from New York State’s Energy Research and Development Authority.

“The Excelsior Connect project was developed alongside the communities that will surround it. This community-first approach is reflected in the diversity of support we have received —from labor and economic development groups to leading environmental justice organizations,” said Catherine Stempien, Avangrid Networks’ president and CEO.

Avangrid has gotten 18 letters of intent or support for Excelsior Connect. (Courtesy: Avangrid)

The 18 letters of support came from community groups including A.L. Consulting, The 400 Foundation, and Center for NuLeadership on Human Justice and Healing. Community colleges that sent letters include Bronx Community College, SUNY Ulster, and Sustainable CUNY, and energy generators Baron Winds LLC and Northland Power Inc.

The project will use Avangrid’s global expertise to transmit 1,200 MW of solar energy and renewable wind power that is generated in upstate New York to New York City using High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) line. The line would provide clean, renewable energy generation to Queens, which would improve air quality and help to retire higher-emitting generation.

Other supporters that sent letters are environmental groups Trust for Public Land, West Harlem Environmental Action, and One Tree Planted. Labor organizations also signed on including New York State’s Building and Construction Trades Council and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers locals 3 and 1249.

“Greening our cities with mini-forests will help make summer days less hot and can help lower air conditioning,” said Carter Strickland, New York’s state director for The Trust for Public Land.

“This new collaboration will bring a variety of benefits to increase access and possibilities for disadvantaged students by providing new skills, pre-apprenticeship opportunities and ongoing green jobs training,” said Alan P. Roberts, Ulster County Community College president.

“The partnership will focus on planting trees for environmental impact,” said One Tree Planted founder Matt Hill.

Christopher Erikson, IBEW Local 3’s business manager, said that Avangrid recognizes the Local’s commitment to making sure that renewable energy jobs are also well-paying union jobs.

More info www.avangrid.com