Utility offers energy proposals under state energy law

Paterniano Del Favero
Luglio 28, 2017

Bids are due today for contracts that could provide enough renewable energy to power 180,000 Bay State homes for 20 years.

The Northeast Renewable Link would deliver up to 600 megawatts of new wind, solar and small hydro in NY through a 23-mile, alternating current line from a National Grid substation to an Eversource substation in the Berkshire County town of Hinsdale.

TDI New England submitted two proposals for its proposed New England Clean Power Link, which would travel beneath Lake Champlain. CEO Sara Burns says the line - paid for by power consumers in MA - could unlock the potential for much more energy development in Maine.

TDI-New England said the benefits of their proposals would include $16 billion in energy, capacity and natural gas savings over 20 years, and $4 billion in economic and environmental benefits over 20 years. The NECPL is expected to cut carbon dioxide emissions in MA and New England by almost three million tons per year, TDI-New England said. A high-voltage cable would travel 98 miles underwater and 56 miles underground to deliver 1,000 megawatts from the Canadian border to a transformer in Ludlow, Vermont. Existing infrastructure would supply the power from Ludlow, Vermont, into MA.

"The best part of the New England Clean Power Link project? Your good neighbors to the north, Vermont, want it, support it and will also benefit from it", a narrator reads in a roughly seven-minute video touting the virtues of the NECPL that also featured support from Vermont Gov. Phil Scott and former MA energy secretary Ian Bowles.

National Grid is offering two proposals for increasing the supply of renewable energy in MA.

"With the retirement of much of the region's fossil fuel generating plants, MA customers need a ready path to clean, reliable, diverse power".

"Citizens Energy is proud to work with National Grid on green transmission lines to power our economy with clean renewable energy", said Citizens Energy chairman Joseph P. Kennedy II.

National Grid says one project calls for delivering wind power from Quebec by upgrading its transmission network in Vermont and New Hampshire. It would upgrade 109 miles of existing alternating current lines into Londonderry, New Hampshire.

The race is on for a huge piece of the MA electricity market.

The request for proposals (RFP) issued in March by the Department of Energy Resources calls for distribution companies and bidders to enter "cost-effective long-term contracts" by 2022 and encourages projects that can "commit to begin deliveries prior to the end of 2020 to maximize the Commonwealth's ability to meet its Global Warming Solution Act".

The bids will be evaluated for their potential to help the state meet its emission reduction goals, for their value to consumers, and other criteria. A new transmission line would begin at the Canadian border in western Somerset County and run 145 miles to a new AC/DC converter station in Lewiston. If CMP is selected, he added, negotiations over the now confidential proposal would immediately begin, with the expectation that the project would begin in late 2018 and be completed in 2022.

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