AVANGRID, Inc. and its subsidiary Central Maine Power Company have confirmed that the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) transmission project will advance as the sole clean energy solution in the Massachusetts Green Communities Act Section 83D RFP for long-term contracts for clean energy projects after the Massachusetts electric distribution companies terminated the conditional selection of the Northern Pass Transmission proposal.
“We are grateful to Governor Baker, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton, DOER Commissioner Judith Judson, and the Massachusetts legislature for their resourcefulness and vision in passing a clean energy law that will allow every resident in the Commonwealth to benefit from clean renewable energy resources,” said James P. Torgerson, chief executive officer of AVANGRID. “The NECEC will supply renewable energy to Massachusetts for twenty years, and it will continue to deliver benefits for New England consumers for decades beyond. It is another example of how the AVANGRID companies are providing effective solutions to the region’s complex energy challenges. We are committed to investing in clean energy infrastructure, and delivering on the promise of the NECEC proposal.”
CMP proposed the $950 million NECEC in a joint bid with Hydro-Québec for a 20-year contract to deliver renewable energy from Québec to the New England grid in response to the 83D Clean Energy RFP. Massachusetts invited CMP to begin negotiations with the electric utilities in February as an alternate selection to ensure the state could meet the schedule in the 83D process. The distribution companies require that all necessary agreements be finalized and executed as soon as possible, and will continue contract negotiations with the NECEC project to achieve this conclusion. If acceptable contract terms for the NECEC proposal are agreed upon, those agreements are anticipated to be filed with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities by the April 25, 2018 date stipulated in the 83D RFP.
"Our applications for state and federal permits continue to move forward with the strong support of communities and stakeholders in Maine,” said Doug Herling, president and chief executive officer of Central Maine Power. “We believe the NECEC is a cost-effective response to Massachusetts’ needs. CMP has successfully built other large scale projects here in our home state, so we’re confident we can meet our commitments to the Commonwealth.”
The New England Clean Energy Connect includes a 1200 MW high-voltage direct current transmission line linking the electrical grids in Québec and New England. Host communities in western Maine will see direct economic gains from the investment and share in the regional benefits of lower energy costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Maine county and municipal officials, business leaders, and policymakers have given strong support for the project. CMP submitted applications for all state and federal permits in mid-2017. The company expects to receive state approvals later this year and final federal permits in early 2019. More information about the NECEC is available on the New England Clean Energy Connect website.
“The NECEC will deliver a reliable, firm supply of clean energy to dampen seasonal price instability when high demand puts pressure on natural gas supplies,” said Bob Kump, president and chief executive officer of Avangrid Networks, Inc., AVANGRID’s utility holding company and parent corporation of CMP. “We appreciate the opportunity to advance cost-effective solutions for the benefit of the Commonwealth’s energy consumers and the region.”