Environment
2:48 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

New Hydropower Transmission Line Proposed For Vermont

Credit New England Clean Power Link / www.necplink.com

A developer has proposed another transmission project that would link Canadian hydro-power to consumers in Southern New England. As proposed the project would be 150 miles through Vermont, and be entirely underground and underwater.

The transmission line is called the New England Clean Power Link. It would run from Southern Quebec, buried along the bottom of Lake Champlain before turning east for 50 miles to Ludlow, Vermont, where it would plug into the New England grid.

The route for those final 50 miles has not been set, but a couple of options are available, including “rights of way that are existing roads, we’ll also look at potentially utility rights of way that are already existing,” says Don Jessome, CEO of Transmission Developers Inc. the projects developer.  

The money for the line comes from private investors, and it is not a partnership with HydroQuebec, which is the largest hydopower operator in the province. Such “merchant” power lines make their money by finding “shippers” that pay to sell their power over the wires.

It would deliver 1,000 megawatts of power – a little less than half of what the state of New Hampshire uses on a hot summer day –into the New England Market and TDI estimates that the line will cost $1.2 billion, slightly less than the estimate for the Northern Pass, another transmission project proposed for New Hampshire.

The announcement of the line comes as the developers of Northern Pass are increasingly under scrutiny for claiming that burying more of that line would make it too expensive to turn a profit.