A proposed transmission project in New England could decrease energy costs across the region by $1.1 billion over its first 10 years of operation – and would not be paid for by utility customers, according to a March 28 report by Vermont Business Magazine.
National Grid– Massachusetts has proposed to develop the transmission project, which would bring up to 1,200 MW of clean energy from Canada to the New England power grid. To drive down costs, increase efficiency, and minimize environmental impacts, the proposed Granite State Power Link (GSPL) would be constructed almost entirely along existing transmission corridors and would maximize use of existing infrastructure.
The GSPL would be a commercial project: Its development would be funded by National Grid and its investors – not customers of its regulated companies, Vermont Business said. What’s more, Citizens Energy has pledged to use 50 percent of its own profits from the project to fund energy assistance programs for local families.
Under the National Grid plan, the GSPL would comprise two segments:
- A new high-voltage, direct current (HVDC) overhead line in Vermont, alongside an existing HVDC line in an expanded right-of-way corridor from the Canadian border at Norton, as well as a converter station on National Grid-owned property in Monroe, New Hampshire; and
- An upgrade of an existing National Grid overhead line in New Hampshire to accommodate the additional power flow from the new HVDC line; as well as a new switching station in southern New Hampshire.
“We designed this project to be a win-win-win for New England’s energy consumers, the project host states and communities, and the environment,” John Flynn, SVP of Business Development for National Grid. “When you combine the project’s potential to lower regional electricity rates, economic development investment, environmental benefits, its cost-effectiveness, and the minimal visual and environmental impacts to the host communities, it’s clear that GSPL is uniquely positioned to bring clean energy to life in the region.”
“NVDA is pleased to support and welcome the development of the Granite State Power Link in the Northeast Kingdom,” Dave Snedeker, executive director of the Northeastern Vermont Development Association, told the local business news outlet. “The project, developed next to an existing transmission corridor, will have a limited environmental and visual impact, and will deliver significant economic benefits to an area of Vermont that desperately needs an economic boost. We look forward to working with National Grid to further define what the specific economic benefits will be.”
National Grid has experience in this technical and geographic area. The utility built, co-owns, and operates the nation’s first HVDC system, which interconnects New England and Canada and has delivered up to 2,000 megawatts of clean energy for more than 25 years.
In December, National Grid completed sea2shore: The Renewable Link, a transmission project that interconnected the nation’s first offshore wind farm, located off the Rhode Island coast, to the mainland grid.