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Transmission Developers Names Justin Sauber As New CEO


Sauber joins TDI as the company pivots to the construction and delivery of Champlain Hudson Power Express following the project’s official groundbreaking last month

Transmission Developers founder and CEO Donald Jessome to remain with TDI and CHPE, with a new primary focus on other TDI projects in the New England region

TDI President Gene Martin will continue his role overseeing construction activities

New York – January 10, 2023 – Transmission Developers (TDI) announced today that the company has named Justin Sauber as its new Chief Executive Officer. Sauber brings nearly 30 years of engineering and construction experience, most recently from Bechtel, and will be well positioned to lead the construction and delivery of Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE) following last month’s groundbreaking for the 339-mile fully-buried transmission line that will deliver 1,250 megawatts (MW) of clean, renewable hydropower to New York City. Donald Jessome, who founded TDI in 2008, will remain with the company as founder and member of the CHPE board of directors, while shifting his focus to developing additional transmission projects across the New England region.

Gene Martin, TDI’s President, will continue in his role managing the construction team overseeing the complex $6 billion megaproject.

“This is one of the most ambitious energy projects in the world, which will impact New Yorkers for generations–I look forward to working with Gene, our entire CHPE team, and our stakeholders to deliver this incredibly important project bringing clean energy to New York.” said Sauber.

“Breaking ground on CHPE was the culmination of a decade and a half of work and I look forward to seeing the project come online as I transition to work on other new and exciting TDI projects,” said Jessome. “Justin and Gene have the best experience to get this done and their decades of managing complex construction projects will serve the project and our partners well.” 

“CHPE will transform New York’s energy landscape and our focus is now entirely on successfully completing this critical project on time–coordinating the work of engineers, labor, our construction contractors, and stakeholders to get the job done,” said Martin.

”We’re delighted to welcome Justin to the TDI team and are confident in his leadership during this next phase of construction and delivery,” said Bilal Khan, Senior Managing Director of Blackstone Energy Transition Partners. “We are incredibly grateful to Don for his partnership on CHPE over the past decade and look forward to working together on future projects.”

Prior to joining TDI, Sauber spent 21 years with the Bechtel group of companies, where he most recently served as a Principal Vice President. At Bechtel, he specialized in the oversight and estimation of direct-hire, union-built projects across the energy, infrastructure and government sectors, working on a diverse range of projects across nine U.S. states and 13 countries internationally.

Martin joined TDI nearly a decade ago, and has played a critical role in CHPE’s development and approval. He draws on his extensive knowledge of the energy industry and experience leading large and complex projects to oversee CHPE’s construction and engineering teams as the project ramps up its various construction phases following the official start last month.

Last month, CHPE celebrated the project’s groundbreaking with an event in Whitehall, New York, where the initial stage of construction activities will begin. In October, CHPE announced contracts with three companies to oversee major construction operations. CHPE selected NKT, Kiewit Power Constructors Co. (Kiewit), and Hitachi Energy to undertake various components of the construction and cable installation processes. The full operational date for the project is anticipated to be Spring of 2026.

Once CHPE begins to deliver its 1,250 megawatts of clean energy – enough to power over one million New York homes – New Yorkers will start to benefit from direct positive health impacts related to reducing fossil fuel generation and harmful pollutants. This reduction in pollutants will result in cleaner air, particularly in disadvantaged communities adjacent to New York City’s fossil-fuel peaker plants.

About TDI

TDI (Transmission Developers), a Blackstone portfolio company, has spent a decade meticulously developing with local stakeholders the N.Y. portion of the project and its 339-mile route. The solid state buried cable will travel a route through Lake Champlain, the Hudson and Harlem Rivers and terrestrially on railroad rights of way and roads until it reaches a converter station in Astoria, Queens where its clean energy will be distributed into New York City.

About the Champlain Hudson Power Express

CHPE involves the construction of an underground and underwater transmission line spanning approximately 339 miles between the Canada–U.S. border and New York City.

CHPE will also provide competitively priced hydropower from Québec that is expected to lower electricity generation costs throughout the state by $17 billion over the first 25 years of operation, all the while providing increased reliability and resiliency for the downstate grid. The project also provides a total of $3.5 billion in economic benefits to New Yorkers and creates approximately 1,400 family-sustaining jobs during construction, with a commitment to use union labor. CHPE will provide an economic boost to 73 municipalities and 59 school districts throughout New York State with an increase in incremental tax revenue of $1.4 billion in funding for local communities over the first 25 years of the project.



Chris Singleton,