Bangor Hydro Electric and National Grid USA have submitted an official letter of interest (LOI) to the Maine Energy Corridor Interagency Review Panel for approval to build the proposed Northeast Energy Link within the Maine Interstate 95/295 Energy Infrastructure Statutory Corridors.
The LOI also initiated development of a long-term occupancy agreement between the companies, the panel, Maine Department of Transportation and the Maine Turnpike Authority.
Bangor Hydro is a subsidiary of Halifax, Nova Scotia-based Emera Inc. (TSX:EMA)
As proposed, the 1,100 MW Northeast Energy Link would connect northern Maine and southern New England via a total of about 227 miles of underground HVDC cables. About 175 miles of the line would be within Maine’s infrastructure corridors. The project is designed to provide the necessary transmission infrastructure to access renewable resources in northern New England and eastern Canada.
FERC granted a petition by the developers in May that allows wind power developer First Wind Holdings to fund the transmission line in return for priority rights to the line’s capacity.
Under the state’s current renewable portfolio standard, Maine seeks to add 10% renewable energy capacity to its existing 30% renewable capacity.
The Northeast Energy Link is scheduled to be placed in service in 2018. The developers anticipate that permitting and construction will take about five years to complete once the occupancy agreement with the panel is finalized, and they are seeking to access the corridor for construction in 2016.