National Grid on March 28 announced its proposal to develop the Granite State Power Link (GSPL) transmission project, which would be built nearly entirely along existing transmission corridors, and is designed to bring up to 1,200 MW of clean energy from Canada to the New England power grid.
A company spokesperson on March 28 told TransmissionHub that, if approved, construction on the approximately $1bn, 170-mile line is expected to begin in mid-2020, and that the project is anticipated to be complete and in service at the end of 2022.
The major permits needed involve the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC), the Vermont Public Service Board, and a presidential permit, the spokesperson said, noting that several other permits are needed as well.
National Grid said that as proposed, the GSPL comprises two segments:
- The first is a new high-voltage, direct current (HVDC) overhead line located in Vermont alongside the existing HVDC Phase 1 interconnector line in an expanded right of way corridor from the international border at Norton, Vt., to a proposed 400-kV converter station on National Grid-owned property in Monroe, N.H. The spokesperson said that the 400-kV HVDC segment would be about 60 miles long
- The second segment is an upgrade of an existing National Grid overhead line in New Hampshire to accommodate the additional power flow from the new HVDC line; that line runs from Monroe to southern New Hampshire, where a proposed 345-kV switching station would be built. The spokesperson said that the AC segment would be about 110 miles long
National Grid said in its statement that the GSPL is a commercial project and its development would be funded by the company as well as its investors, not customers of its regulated companies. One investor is the Massachusetts-based Citizens Energy, which National Grid noted is a non-profit energy company that works with utilities and developers across the country to develop clean transmission projects and uses revenues from those ventures to finance new charitable programs to help low-income working families with their energy needs. Citizens Energy has pledged to use 50% of its own profits from the project to fund energy assistance programs for local families living in New Hampshire and Vermont, National Grid said.
The company also noted that more than an estimated 2,000 jobs would be created during construction, and that the project host communities, as well as key state programs, would receive significant new tax revenues and direct benefits. The project, National Grid said, is expected to lower energy costs across New England by $1.1bn over its first 10 years of operation.
“We believe this proposed project reflects the priorities we’ve heard from state and local communities on their need for lower cost, energy efficient and environmentally sound solutions,” John Flynn, National Grid senior vice president of Business Development, said in the statement. “The GSPL meets these tests; our stakeholder engagement and outreach is underway and we look forward to continuing our work with communities of all types to earn their support. Community dialogue and engagement will be a hallmark of GSPL.”
Dave Snedeker, executive director of the Northeastern Vermont Development Association (NVDA), said in the statement that NVDA supports the project, and added, in part, “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.”
Another HVDC line looking to bring clean energy from Canada to New England is Eversource’s (NYSE:ES) Northern Plan, which, as TransmissionHub reported, would extend about 192 miles from the Canadian border through New Hampshire to southern New England, and is comprised of a single circuit 320-kV HVDC transmission line linked to a 345-kV AC transmission line via an HVDC/AC converter terminal located in Franklin, N.H.
Lee Olivier, Eversource executive vice president – Enterprise Energy Strategy and Business Development, during the company’s 4Q16 earnings call in February noted that the SEC has set evidentiary hearing dates for the project beginning in April and continuing through July.