Massachusetts utilities conclude contract negotiations to import hydro
- Developers of a transmission line that will bring hydroelectricity from Canada to Massachusetts have completed negotiations with the state's electric utilities, the latest step towards 20-year contracts that will help meet clean energy demand.
- Hydro-Québec and Central Maine Power Company (CMP) announced yesterday they had completed contract negotiation for the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) hydropower project, which was selected in March.
- Eversource Energy's Northern Pass line was selected in January to help Massachusetts meet its energy goals by delivering hydropower from Quebec, but the project was rejected by New Hampshire regulators and was later replaced with NECEC.
It's been two and a half months since Massachusetts opted to replace the Northern Pass transmission line, and project developers say they are making progress after that reset.
The next step will be for Massachusetts utilities to file the agreements with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities.
The NECEC line will deliver approximately 9.45 TWh annually, from Hydro-Québec's vast hydropower generating fleet. The $950 million transmission line would add 1,200 MW of transmission capacity to supply New England. CMP, a subsidiary of Avangrid, submitted applications for state and federal permits in mid-2017 and has said it expects to receive state approvals later this year and final federal permits in early 2019.
Eversource's Northern Pass line was selected by Massachusetts earlier this year but the project was rejected by New Hampshire regulators, leading to NECEC's selection. Part of Eversource's appeal was an expedited timeline for construction but it became doubtful that the project would be operational by 2020 after the rejection.
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