New England Clean Power Link transmission line clears key US permit hurdle
- The U.S. Department of Energy has issued a presidential permit authorizing construction of a 1,000-MW underground and underwater transmission line that will run from eastern Canada to power markets in New England and Vermont, the Associated Press reports.
- TDI New England, owned by Blackstone Portfolio, is privately financing the line and will construct a new converter station in Ludlow, Vermont. According to project backers, there are more than half dozen proposed transmission lines that would move clean Canadian power into New England and only the Clean Power Link has received all necessary siting permits.
- The project has also recently received confirmation from ISO New England that the line can reliably connect to the regional electric grid.
The $1.2 billion line, being developed by TDI New England, will connect Hydro-Québec’s hydro and wind resources to demand centers in the United States.
Blackstone Senior Managing Director Sean Klimczak said in a statement that the line will be "well positioned" to respond to an upcoming clean-energy solicitation for 1,200 MW of carbon-free baseload hydropower and onshore wind. And he added that the project will "provide environmental and economic benefits to New England ratepayers for decades to come."
The project has the backing of Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, who called the New England Clean Power Link is a "well-designed, innovative transmission project" that will reduce emissions and fund state-based programs, including support for the state's Clean Energy Development Fund and the cleanup of Lake Champlain.
The U.S. Department of Energy issued the permit following a concurrence from the U.S. Departments of State and Defense, and after consulting with the several federal agencies. DOE approved the final environmental impact statement for the project about a year ago. The merchant line will 98 miles beneath Lake Champlain and remain underground for almost all of the rest of its route.
Along with the DOE's permit, the project has also secured necessary authorization from ISO-New England, which approved the project’s application and confirmed the line can reliably connect to the regional electric grid.
- AP via Lincoln Journal Star Power line to link Canada, New England gets key US permit
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