The United States Department of Energy has issued a Presidential Permit for the New England Clean Power Link, a 1,000 MW buried electric transmission line that will connect New England with Eastern Canada.
A Presidential Permit is required for the construction, operation and maintenance of electric facilities connecting at the international borders of the United States. Of the more than half dozen proposed transmission lines aimed at importing renewable electricity into the New England market, the New England Clean Power Link is the only project to have obtained all necessary siting permits.
In addition to the Presidential Permit, the project recently secured critical regulatory authorization from ISO-New England, which approved the project’s I.3.9 application. An I.3.9 authorization confirms the New England Clean Power Link can reliably connect to the regional electric grid. To connect to the New England electric grid, all energy projects must obtain this approval from ISO-New England.
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin stated, "The New England Clean Power Link is a well-designed, innovative transmission project that the Green Mountain State looks forward to hosting. The project will help reduce carbon emissions in our region, provide ratepayer benefits for Vermont, and will fund important Vermont-based programs, including support for our Clean Energy Development Fund and the cleanup of Lake Champlain."
Sandra Levine, senior attorney with the Conservation Law Foundation, said, "TDI-NE's buried, transmission line in Vermont shows that the facilities needed to transport electricity can meet high environmental standards and be developed in a responsible, cooperative manner."
The DOE issued the Presidential Permit after receiving concurrence from the U.S. Departments of State and Defense, and after consulting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fish and Wildlife Service, Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency.
The Vermont Public Service Board previously issued Section 248 and Section 231 permits for the project, and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources and Army Corps of Engineers issued nine other permits confirming that the construction and operation of the Clean Power Link will be in compliance with Water Quality Standards and the federal Clean Water Act.
The New England Clean Power Link is a proposed 154-mile underwater and underground transmission line that will deliver 1,000 MW of clean, lower-cost power to the Vermont and New England market. The line is being developed with private-sector financing by TDI New England and will originate at the U.S.-Canadian border and travel approximately 97 miles underwater down Lake Champlain to Benson, Vermont. The cable will then be buried along town and state road and railroad rights-of-way or on land owned by TDI New England for approximately 57 miles to a new converter station to be built in Ludlow, Vermont. The project is expected to be in service in 2019, at a cost of approximately $1.2 billion.