Vermont Business Magazine TDI New England announced today that it has completed an agreement with the Conservation Law Foundation that includes enhanced environmental and public benefits that the project will provide to Vermont as part of the development of the New England Clean Power Link. The NECPL is a proposed underwater and underground electric transmission line. The agreement was filed on June 12, 2015, with the Vermont Public Service Board as part of the project permitting and, in addition to the enhanced benefits, confirms that the parties agree that the PSB has sufficient information to approve the project and issue a Certificate of Public Good.
Map courtesy of TDI. Click for story.
TDI-NE Chief Executive Officer Don Jessome said, “This agreement strengthens the commitment the project has made to delivering substantial environmental and economic benefits to Vermont and the region. We appreciate CLF’s collaborative approach in developing this important agreement and in raising thoughtful issues concerning transmission line projects in New England.”
The Public Service Department issued the following statement in response to the TDI-CLF announcement today:
“I appreciate that CLF, like VELCO before them, has worked constructively with the developers of the NECPL underwater and underground transmission project to enhance public benefits of the project for all Vermonters,” said Christopher Recchia, Commissioner of the Public Service Department. He added: “As our testimony on Friday relays, it is necessary for a project of this sort to demonstrate significant benefits for the State of Vermont, and the Agreement announced today moves this project in the right direction. The Public Service Department will continue to review the project and seek enhanced benefits for Vermonters associated with any agreement to host this project in Vermont, and look forward to doing so in the upcoming months through the Certificate of Public Good process now before the Public Service Board.”
VELCO (the Vermont Electric Power Company), Vermont’s transmission organization, had previously negotiated $2.5 million per year in ratepayer benefits to be paid to Vermont Ratepayers each year over the 40 year life of the project. The CLF Agreement adds additional benefits to ensure the project benefits the public good through, among others, two significant additional provisions: it ensures any power delivered through the project is renewable, and it adds approximately $121.5 Million to the Lake Champlain Clean-up Fund, the Lake Champlain Enhancement and Restoration Trust Fund, and the Clean Energy Development Fund over the 40-year life of the project.
“The agreements secured by both VELCO and CLF help establish a foundation of benefits that the Department will seek to build upon to ensure any project approved provides substantial benefits for all Vermonters, and I acknowledge the effort of TDI-New England and CLF to work together to reach this Agreement” Recchia added.
Highlights from the agreement include the following:
· TDI-NE will increase the combined monetary value of the Lake Champlain Phosphorous Cleanup Fund, Lake Champlain Enhancement and Restoration Trust Fund, and Vermont Renewables Programs Fund from the originally proposed $162 million to a minimum of $283.5 million over the 40-year life of the project.
· TDI-NE will establish a Renewables Integration Advisory Committee, which would include CLF and seek to have representation from regional public, private and nonprofit stakeholders. The goal of the committee would be to optimize and maximize the use of the project for the integration of renewable power in New England.
· CLF will be appointed to the Advisory Board of the Lake Champlain Enhancement and Restoration Trust Fund, along with other governmental and non-governmental organizations.
· TDI-NE will file with the PSB, after approval of the project, all contracts with energy suppliers who utilize the NECPL to confirm that the energy shipped on the NECPL is from hydro, wind or other renewable energy sources.
TDI-NE filed its application for a Certificate of Public Good, along with its direct testimony and supporting exhibits, with the PSB on December 8, 2014. The PSB held a public hearing in Fair Haven, VT, in February, 2015, and a site visit of the overland portions of the project in May, 2015. The PSB is expected to schedule technical hearings on the application this fall.
About the New England Clean Power Link
The New England Clean Power Link is a proposed 154-mile underwater and underground transmission line that would deliver 1,000 MW of clean, lower-cost hydroelectricity to the Vermont and New England market. The line is being developed with private-sector financing by TDI New England and would originate at the U.S.-Canadian border and travel approximately 97.3 miles underwater down Lake Champlain to Benson, Vermont, and then be buried along town and state road and railroad rights-of-way or on land owned by TDI New England for approximately 56.7 miles to a new converter station that would be built in Ludlow, Vermont. The project is expected to be in service in 2019, at a cost of approximately $1.2 billion.
About TDI New England
TDI New England is a Blackstone Portfolio Company. New York–based Blackstone is a global leader in alternative asset management with $284 billion currently under management. The TDI New England team is made up of the same leadership team currently developing the Champlain Hudson Power Express in New York State. That project has received all federal and state permits. The developers have a strong track record of working in partnership with local elected officials, community groups, and other stakeholders to develop projects that meet unique energy needs of growing economies, while minimizing local impacts. More information on the company and the project are available at www.necplink.com.
Source: Burlington, VT (June 15, 2015) — TDI New England