NEW ENGLAND CLEAN ENERGY CONNECT (NECEC)
NECEC: connecting Canada and the United States to supply renewable energy to New England
The new transmission line between Quebec and Massachusetts, that crosses Maine, will supply 100% hydroelectric energy to 1.2 million homes in the New England region and save customers $190 million a year.
Quebec (Canada), Maine and
Massachusetts (United States)
Length of line
1.2 million households
New England Clean
AVANGRID(1) Nota — Iberdrola group's subholding company in the United States of America — will supply, through Central Maine Power (CMP) and jointly with Hydro-Québec, 100% hydroelectric energy to distribution companies in Massachusetts (United States) as part of the New England Clean Energy Connect project (NECEC), that will start operating in 2022.
With an investment of $950 million, the NECEC project will transport renewable energy from Quebec to Massachusetts through the border state of Maine — both in the New England region —, with the construction of a 233km high-voltage power line with 1,200 MW transmission capacity.
This project, which has the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the Maine Public Utilities Commission, was chosen by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from among 46 candidates submitted in response to its initiative to promote clean energy.
New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC), in detail.
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NEW ENGLAND CLEAN ENERGY CONNECT, IN DETAIL
NECEC is the shortest of all identified paths from Québec and uses an existing transmission corridor for nearly two thirds its length to minimize scenic, community, and environmental impacts.
Full site control
Central Maine Power owns all the property rights to build the project.
NECEC interconnects at one of the newest, most modern and strongest points in the New England energy system.
NECEC's many advantages help keep costs far lower than comparable projects.
Through careful siting and stakeholder engagement, NECEC has earned the support of the Maine governor, business leaders, associations, and communities along the project route.
A commitment to clean
NECEC offers the best solution to move Massachusetts towards its goals for cleaner air, reducing carbon emissions annually by 3.1 million metric tons in the Commonwealth — the equivalent of taking 660,000 cars off the road —.
Stable electric rates
Hydropower provides year-round energy to reduce price spikes when demand for electricity peaks.
The agreements with Massachusetts electricity distributors entail the supply, for 20 years, of approximately 9.45 terawatt/hours (TWh) per annum of clean, reliable, underlying energy. The electricity will be produced by the extensive fleet of Hydro-Québec hydroelectric power plants and will reduce dependence on fossil fuels during the winter when weather conditions are extreme.
NECEC supplies clean energy to 1.2 million New England households. Under this long-term arrangement, customers will benefit from stable prices for the next 20 years, avoiding price rises during peak demand in summer and winter. In fact, NECEC will reduce the spend on electricity by $3,900 million over the next 20 years. Each year, customers in Massachusetts will save $150 million, and those in Maine, $40 million.
SOCIAL CONTRIBUTION OF NECEC
In Maine, NECEC will create an average 1,700 jobs a year during the construction phase and will contribute to the state economy by increasing GDP by $564 million. In Massachusetts, lower energy costs will increase GDP by more than $243 million per annum and will create more than 2,000 jobs.
The NECEC will also reduce annual carbon emissions by 3.1 million metric tons — the equivalent of the emissions released by 660,000 cars — in Massachusetts alone.
In summary, the project will produce nearly $1 billion in economic benefits through construction employment, electricity cost savings, local property taxes, and enhanced economic growth between 2017 and 2027. The 20-year Massachusetts contracts will produce additional economic and environmental benefits through 2043, and separate agreements between CMP and Hydro-Québec could extend the delivery of clean energy benefits to Maine and the region to 2063 or beyond.
Central Maine Power has notified regulators of its intent to amend a key element of the project to avoid building aerial lines over the Kennebec River. The company will submit a plan to cross under the river using Horizontal Directional Drilling technology to preserve the scenic and recreational value of the segment known as the Kennebec Gorge.
OTHER PROJECTS FINALISED
The NECEC project is Iberdrola's second connection between Canada and the United States. The first was performed in the framework of the Maine Power Reliability Project (MPRP), an initiative that involved building and upgrading 800 kilometres of transmission lines and commissioning or improving 13 substations. This project received an investment of $1.4 billion and created an average 2,100 jobs per year until it was completed in 2015.
The MPRP helped to improve service quality and laid the foundations for future inclusion of renewable capacity in the grid, as well as greatly benefiting the community and economy of the state of Maine.
(1) Nota Avangrid, Inc. is 81.50% owned by Iberdrola S.A.
- Another important milestone in a historic agreement to supply Massachusetts with clean energy (Spanish version)