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Massachusetts agrees to go with CMP’s $950m NECEC transmission project

EBR Staff Writer Published 29 March 2018

The US state of Massachusetts has selected the $950m New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) transmission project of Central Maine Power (CMP).

The project has been chosen as the sole clean energy solution in the Massachusetts Green Communities Act Section 83D RFP for long-term contracts for clean energy projects.

It has been selected after the Massachusetts electric distribution companies have terminated the conditional selection of the Northern Pass Transmission proposal. 

NECEC will feature a 1,200MW high-voltage direct current transmission line that will connect the power grids in Québec and New England. The transmission project will be capable of providing clean electricity for up to 1.5 million New England homes.

CMP, a subsidiary of Avangrid, proposed the NECEC project in a joint bid with Hydro-Québec, which has a fleet of 62 hydroelectric generating plants. The transmission project proposes to supply hydropower and wind power from the Canadian province of Québec to the New England grid in the US under a twenty-year contract.

Avangrid CEO James P. Torgerson said: “The NECEC will supply renewable energy to Massachusetts for twenty years, and it will continue to deliver benefits for New England consumers for decades beyond.

“It is another example of how the AVANGRID companies are providing effective solutions to the region’s complex energy challenges. We are committed to investing in clean energy infrastructure, and delivering on the promise of the NECEC proposal.”

CMP said that it had submitted applications seeking all state and federal permits for the NECEC transmission project in mid-2017. The Maine’s electricity transmission and distribution utility expects to get state approvals later this year and final federal permits in early 2019.

CMP president and CEO Doug Herling said: “Our applications for state and federal permits continue to move forward with the strong support of communities and stakeholders in Maine.

“We believe the NECEC is a cost-effective response to Massachusetts’ needs. CMP has successfully built other large scale projects here in our home state, so we’re confident we can meet our commitments to the Commonwealth.”