DOE issuing permit for New England transmission project in Vermont

new england transmission elp

The U.S. Department of Energy will announce in the Dec. 12 Federal Register that, following a completed environmental review process, it is issuing a presidential permit to Transmission Developers Inc.-New England (TDI-NE), to construct, operate, maintain, and connect an electric transmission line across the U.S./Canada international border in northern Vermont.

The potential environmental impacts associated with the transmission line are analyzed in the New England Clean Power Link (NECPL) Project Final Environmental Impact Statement. As proposed, the NECPL Transmission Line would extend south from the U.S./ Canada international border about 154 miles to a new converter station in Ludlow, Vermont, and the existing Coolidge Substation in the towns of Ludlow and Cavendish, Vermont. It would be a key corridor for wheeling Canadian hydropower into the northeast U.S. power markets.

In June 2014, TDI-NE applied to DOE for a Presidential permit to construct, operate, maintain, and connect a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line across the U.S./Canada international border. The line would be capable of transmitting up to 1,000 MW.

The line would extend south from the U.S./Canada international border about 154 miles. The transmission line would be located underground in Alburgh, Vermont, for about 0.5 miles and would enter Lake Champlain. The cables would then be installed in Lake Champlain, primarily buried in sediments, for 97.6 miles in a southern direction.

The cables would emerge from Lake Champlain in the town of Benson, Vermont, and would be buried primarily along town roads and state highway rights-of-way for about 55.7 miles in a southeasterly direction until terminating at a proposed converter station in Ludlow, Vermont. The alternating current (AC) system would run about 0.3 miles from the converter station in Ludlow to the Coolidge Substation located in the towns of Ludlow and Cavendish, Vermont.

Said the Dec. 12 notice: "DOE determined that the proposed international electric transmission line would not have an adverse impact on the reliability of the U.S. electric power supply system. In reaching this determination, DOE reviewed the System Impact Study produced by the Independent System Operator New England Inc. (ISO-NE) in October 2016 and a November 1, 2016, letter from ISO-NE. Based on the information available, DOE staff has determined that the 1000 MW of incremental north-to-south transfer, which represents south-bound transmission service requests from Quebec to the United States, will not have a negative impact on the reliability of the United States electric grid if operated consistent with both ISO-New England and North American Electric Reliability Corporation policies and standards, terms and conditions of the Presidential Permit and other regulatory and statutory requirements. Neither DOE nor ISO-NE has studied a south-to-north transfer, so the permit does not authorize such a transfer."

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