Firm files for power line under lake


MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A company that wants to bring Canadian power to New England through a new line under Lake Champlain formally asked the Vermont Public Service Board on Monday for approval.

TDI New England filed documents at the board promising several benefits to Vermont in exchange for the board's approval for a $1.2 billion project that would run the length of the lake, and then cut east from Benson at the lake's southern end to link to the New England grid at Ludlow, officials told the Associated Press.

Among the company's promises: $136 million in power cost reductions, made through payments to Vermont's high-voltage power system operator over the 40-year life of the project; more than $120 million for environmental improvements on the lake; and $1 million a year for 40 years to the state's Clean Energy Development Fund.

The filing brought immediate questions from a top Vermont energy regulator about whether the promised benefits were generous enough, as well as an environmental group's vow that it would apply tough scrutiny to the 1,000-megawatt line's impacts on the lake bottom, and whether any of the power to move over the line would come from power plants burning fossil fuels.

Chris Recchia, commissioner of the Department of Public Service, said one thing the proposal had going for it was that it would rely on underwater and underground power lines, rather than aerial lines mounted on towers.

"The fact that it is entirely underground and underwater makes it possible to have this discussion about hosting a new transmission line," Recchia said.

But he said his department needs to "kick the tires." Recchia said the benefits are "impressive when you look at it over 40 years, the life of the project." And in choosing Lake Champlain protection and clean energy, "they've identified the right categories of interests that need to be addressed."

But he added, "We'll have to take a closer look at the magnitude to see if the benefits match the value of the project."

Sandra Levine of the Conservation Law Foundation said that group was bothered by the fact that TDI has not identified the source of the electricity, saying that would be crucial for the Public Service Board to approve the deal. She added that CLF wants a close study of the potential impacts of digging a trench for the power line on the lake bottom and on the line's potential to heat the water.

Donald Jessome, TDI's chief executive, said in an interview that the company had not yet identified the source of power, but added that several Canadian power marketers have expressed interest in sending electricity into the New England market. The region already gets significant power supplies from Canada. TDI applied for federal permits earlier this year.

Jessome said he does not expect the line will carry power from power plants fired by fossil fuels. "It's very clear that it's hydro and wind generation that's our primary focus," he said.

2014 Articles

Harvard Law School professor pays Clean Power Plan is unconstitutional


Laurence H. Tribe, professor of constitutional law at Harvard University and former mentor to Barack Obama, said in an article last week that the EPA’s Clean Power Plan is unconstitutional.

3 SKorea workers die at nuke plant construction site


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Three South Korean workers died Friday after apparently inhaling toxic gas at a construction site for a nuclear plant being built by South Korea's monopoly nuclear power company, which has come un...

UMaine in business of certifying turbine blades


ORONO, Maine (AP) — The University of Maine has tested its largest wind turbine blade to date. UMaine's Advanced Structures and Composites Center completed static strength testing this month of a 184-foot-long wind turbine...

Mergers, EPA carbon plan generated much attention during 2014


Mergers, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Power Plan, cheap natural gas and the polar vortex were among the most noteworthy generation stories of 2014.

Developer opens Ohio review for 800-MW, gas-fired project


Clean Energy Future-Lordstown LLC plans an 800-MW, gas-fired power project, and on Dec. 24 applied with the Ohio Power Siting Board for certain routine waivers it needs before filing a full siting application for this proj...

New England utility exec named to Vermont PSB


A woman who worked for Vermont's Department of Public Service for 17 years is going to become the next member of the utility-regulating Public Service Board. The appointment of Sarah Hofmann was announced Monday by Gov. Pe...

Brown picks aide to lead troubled California utility board


Gov. Jerry Brown named a former adviser on Tuesday to be the next head of California's troubled utilities commission, replacing a regulatory chief accused of back-channel dealings with utilities. Michael Picker, a former a...

Washington state carbon emissions dropped in 2011


Greenhouse gas emissions in Washington state dropped by about 4.6 percent between 2010 and 2011, led by reductions in emissions from the electricity sector, according to the latest figures released by the state. The latest...

Group wants state regulators recused from PNM case


State regulators in less than two weeks are to begin deliberating a proposal that calls for shutting down part of an aging coal-fired power plant in northwestern New Mexico that serves more than 2 million customers in the ...

Vermont Yankee plant prepares to shut down


The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant is getting ready to shut down. Its owner, Entergy Corp., says it is closing the plant for economic reasons. The plant in Vernon is expected to disconnect from the regional power grid Monday.

PSEG Solar to acquire Maryland solar project from juwi


PSEG Solar Source will acquire a 12.9-MW solar energy facility near Waldorf, Maryland from juwi solar (JSI). The PSEG Waldorf Solar Energy Center will increase the capacity of PSEG Solar Source's portfolio to 123-MW.

PG&E discloses more emails with state regulators


California's largest power utility released a dozen more emails Monday that it said showed improper back-channel discussions between the utility and top state regulators.

Indianapolis airport solar farm expansion completed


Contractors have finished bringing online dozens of acres of solar panels at Indianapolis International Airport, solidifying its status as the home of the nation's largest airport-based solar farm.

French power company to pay $772M in bribery case


A French power and transportation company has agreed to pay $772 million to resolve allegations that it bribed high-ranking foreign government officials for lucrative projects, the Justice Department said Monday.

Nebraska nuclear plant back online after short outage


The Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant is back online less than a week after its main generator unexpectedly shut down as a precaution.

Ameren Missouri plans $135M in energy efficiency


Missouri's largest electric company said Monday that it plans to invest $135 million in energy efficiency programs for customers over a three-year period.

TEPCO completes nuclear fuel assemblies removal from Fukushima 4


Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said it has safely removed the fuel assemblies from the most damaged nuclear reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

B&W Vølund to build waste-to-energy power plant in Scotland


In a consortium with Interserve, Babcock & Wilcox Co.’s (B&W, NYSE:BWC) subsidiary, Babcock & Wilcox Vølund A/S (B&W Vølund), will engineer, procure and construct (EPC) a waste-to-energy (WTE) power plant f...

SKorea holds N-plant drills against cyber threats


South Korea's monopoly nuclear power company said it began drills Monday against possible cyberattacks after online threats of attack against its plants.

PSC approves solar power project


The Public Service Commission has approved solar power project planned by Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas and Electric in Mercer County.

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now


Logistics Risk Management in the Transformer Industry

Transformers often are shipped thousands of miles, involving multiple handoffs,and more than a do...

Secrets of Barco UniSee Mount Revealed

Last year Barco introduced UniSee, a revolutionary large-scale visualization platform designed to...

The Time is Right for Optimum Reliability: Capital-Intensive Industries and Asset Performance Management

Imagine a plant that is no longer at risk of a random shutdown. Imagine not worrying about losing...

Going Digital: The New Normal in Oil & Gas

In this whitepaper you will learn how Keystone Engineering, ONGC, and Saipem are using software t...