Project would carry NY power to Mass. via Vt
COLCHESTER — A Massachusetts developer is hoping to carry renewable electricity from northern New York to the New England power grid via a power line that would run under Lake Champlain.
The proposal by the company called Anbaric Transmission would carry 400 megawatts of electricity from Plattsburgh, N.Y., under the lake to Vermont.
Utilities in Massachusetts and Connecticut need more renewable power in their mix to meet clean-energy mandates, said Anbaric CEO Ed Krapels.
The project is called the Grand Isle Intertie, and the goal is to carry power from wind and hydro projects in upstate New York to customers in southern New England, Krapels said.
The power line route has not been determined, Krapels said. The cost of the project would be borne by the users, not Vermont ratepayers.
“What that means is that we build the line only if we can find customers that are willing to pay for it,” Krapels said. “So this is not something that every ratepayer will have to pay for. This is something that only the customers that we find that are willing to pay our tariff will finance.”
Krapels is negotiating with the operators of the Vermont transmission network about how the power line would mesh with the local power grid, Vermont Public Radio reported.
The Vermont Electric Power Co. is figuring out its role in the possible project, said Kerrick Johnson, VELCO’s vice president.
“What we’re trying to understand is: What’s the benefit for Vermont? What value can we say this project brings to the state?” he said. “Perhaps it’s simply utilization of our existing right of way. Perhaps it’s for our distribution utility owners and their customers. Perhaps they’d like to take energy off of this line.”
Under federal rules, VELCO cannot deny access to its lines or rights of way to independent developers, Johnson said.
If the line is built, VELCO would operate and maintain the Vermont section, he said.
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