National Grid commits $20 million for economic development in NH

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National Grid commits $20 million for economic development in NH

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 11:54am -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine National Grid's Granite State Power Link (GSPL) and the Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC) in Littleton, NH, today announced a partnership and $20 million to support economic growth and opportunities along the project’s route in New Hampshire. GSPL in December also committed $20 million to the Northeast Kingdom, as part of the transmission line will run through Vermont. Several energy firms are competing for a massive request for proposal issued by Massachusetts for 1,200 megawatts of new renewable energy.

Canada is a power source for several of the bids and Vermont will get at least some financial benefit from three of them.

GSPL is in a bitter fight with competitor Eversource that intends to run a 1,000 MW line parallel to its existing line that runs from Hydro Quebec, through a sliver of Vermont and down through New Hampshire. A third bidder, TDI, also intends to use Canadian hydro and run a 1,000 MW line down Lake Champlain nearly 100 miles before cutting over to Ludlow. TDI has promised Vermont over $100 million to host the project and is favored by Governor Phil Scott.

Meanwhile, GSPL, a renewable energy transmission project co-developed by GridAmerica Holdings Inc, an affiliate of National Grid and Citizens Energy, will deliver 1,200 MW of Canadian wind power to New England. Staying adjacent to existing transmission corridors, GSPL will build approximately 59 miles of new overhead HVDC (direct current) transmission line from a new converter station in northern Vermont to a new converter station in Monroe, NH. From Monroe, the existing AC transmission corridor will undergo an interconnection upgrade for 109 miles to Londonderry, New Hampshire, utilizing existing structures and staying within the existing right-of-way for over 97 percent of the route. 

The benefits package will total $20 million over 40 years and be administered by the NCIC to support and promote economic and community development and employment opportunities through a revolving loan fund and economic and community development grants to route host communities. 

Other firms are bidding to run lines from Canada down through Maine or even under the Atlantic Ocean from Canada directly to Massachusetts.

“NCIC is excited to partner with the GSPL to bring new and expanded opportunity New Hampshire businesses and communities,” said Jon Freeman, NCIC President. “This new infusion of capital means our programs can support more growing businesses and employment initiatives in communities across the region ranging from workforce development to small business capital investments. It’s a win-win for New Hampshire, and we’re proud to be a part of it.”

Since its announcement in March, GSPL has executed a fulsome outreach and education program, which included briefings to local select boards, a series of information sessions in host communities, and meetings with landowners and other key stakeholders throughout the route in New Hampshire. GSPL is focused on facilitating a dialogue with those impacted to gain critical feedback that improves the overall project. In December 2017, GSPL entered into a similar partnership and funding program with the Northeastern Vermont Development Association (NVDA) to benefit residents and businesses of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.

“The work NCIC does has tremendous impact on the North Country of New Hampshire and throughout the state, and we are proud that the Granite State Power Link can support this outstanding organization by bolstering local and regional economic development,” said Will Hazelip, Vice President of Business Development, National Grid. “When we set out to plan, permit and build Granite State Power Link, we were excited about becoming a fabric of the community and partnering with institutions like NCIC as they are driving economic progress for the region. We are honored to know GSPL can provide an infusion to continue this into the future.”

GSPL is under consideration in Massachusetts for a competitive commercialization contract. The project is scheduled to begin construction in mid-2020 with an end of year 2022 in-service date.

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About Granite State Power Link

The Granite State Power Link (GSPL), a project co-developed by National Grid and Citizens Energy, will deliver 1,200 MW of clean, affordable Canadian wind power to New England. Staying within or adjacent to existing transmission corridors, GSPL will build approximately 59 miles of new HVDC (direct current) transmission line from a new converter station in northern Vermont to a new converter station in Monroe, New Hampshire. From Monroe, the interconnection point, approximately 109 miles of existing AC (alternating current) transmission line will be upgraded to a new switching station in Londonderry, New Hampshire. Visit www.GraniteStatePowerLink.com for more about GSPL.

About NCIC

Established in 1975, NCIC is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation that provides capital and expertise to strengthen businesses, communities and employment opportunities across our service region. NCIC develops lending solutions and coaching services based on individual business needs and supports community leaders with job-based solutions including industrial infrastructure, telecommunications, energy and tourism development. NCIC serves New Hampshire and Vermont.  NCIC offices are located in Lancaster, NH and St. Johnsbury, VT. For more information visit: www.ncic.org.  

About National Grid

National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that connects nearly 7 million customers to vital energy sources through its networks in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates the systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain.

About Citizens Energy Corporation

Citizens Energy Corporation, a Boston-based non-profit founded in 1979 by former Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II, has a long history of using revenues from successful commercial energy ventures to finance charitable programs to help the poor. Starting in the oil and natural gas industries, Citizens also launched innovative businesses in the health care, electricity trading, and energy conservation fields. More recently, the company expanded into the solar, wind and transmission industries – in every case using profits from its ventures to help the poor wherever it operates.

Source: NCIC January 9, 2017