Renewable energy generators may have to pay to use transmission

National Grid and Bangor Hydro Electric Co., a unit of Emera Inc., have filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for confirmation that renewable energy generators would be able to pay to use transmission capacity on the Northeast Energy Link (NEL).

The NEL is an underground transmission line that would have a capacity of 1,100 MW and stretch 220 miles from Maine to Massachusetts. Siting and permitting work on the NEL is expected to continue over the next two to three years, followed by a three-year construction period that is expected to be completed in 2016.

Under the proposed project, renewable generators would pay to use NEL's transmission capacity. First Wind Holdings LLC plans to build wind farms in northern and eastern Maine and would purchase the majority of the proposed transmission line's capacity. Any remaining capacity would be sold to other generators.

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