Presidential Permit from the US Department of Energy allows for trans-border crossing of renewable hydropower transmission line from Canada to the US
AVANGRID’S New England Clean Energy Connect Receives Final Major Permit and Announces Start of Construction
AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), a leading sustainable energy company, announced today that it has received the Presidential Permit from the US Department of Energy for its New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) project, thus successfully completing all major permitting. The project also marked the start of construction with the commencement of clearing activities and installation of temporary access roads to prepare for the installation of the monopoles that will carry the transmission line. In partnership with Hydro-Quebec, the NECEC will bring clean hydropower from Quebec, significantly reducing carbon emissions in New England.
“From day one, our focus has been on how we can provide cleaner energy for the region along with lower electric rates, jobs and economic stimulus – all while mitigating the project’s environmental impact,” said AVANGRID President, Robert Kump. “After 33 months, hundreds of hours of public hearings, thousands of pages of evidence, and a comprehensive review by state, federal and regional regulators and agencies, there should be no doubt of the value the Clean Energy Corridor brings to Maine to further clean energy goals, provide cleaner air, and lower energy costs.”
“The NECEC is a strong and swift response to the climate urgency which, as the pandemic, is a challenge that has no borders. It will help bring down harmful emissions, while reliably powering homes and businesses with competitive, renewable energy,” said Hydro-Québec president and CEO Sophie Brochu. “The granting of the Presidential Permit brings us closer to our collective goal – building a clean energy future for us all.”
“We are pleased to be able to start construction so that Mainers can realize the more than $570 million in benefits and more than 1,600 jobs this project will bring to Maine during this time of economic uncertainty,” continued Kump. “Benefits for the state of Maine will come in the form of infrastructure upgrades, rate relief for customers, including a fund for low-income customers, grants for electric vehicle infrastructure, economic development for tourism, education funding, broadband, heat pumps and land conservation.”
Following nearly three years of extremely rigorous and thorough review and approvals for the project which examined environmental, economic and social impacts, the Presidential Permit is the last in a series of permits granted by independent regulatory bodies at the state and federal level. All of the regulatory reviews have concluded that the Clean Energy Corridor is environmentally and economically beneficial and good for Maine and New England. The project previously received permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Maine Public Utilities Commission, the Maine Land Use Planning Commission, and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
About the NECEC project
The New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) is a $950 million investment that will deliver 1,200 megawatts of renewable hydropower to the New England energy grid in Lewiston, Maine. All of the costs will be paid for by Massachusetts electric customers. Once built, the NECEC will be New England’s largest source of renewable energy, representing a fundamental shift away from fossil fuels while simultaneously lowering energy costs in Maine and New England.
The 145-mile transmission line will be built on land owned or controlled by Central Maine Power. The 53 miles of new corridor on working forest land will use a new clearing technique of tapered vegetation; the remaining two-thirds of the project follows existing power lines created for the state’s hydroelectric industry almost a century ago.
The project will create more than 1,600 good-paying jobs during the two-and-a-half-year construction period and provide $200 million in upgrades to Maine’s energy grid, making Maine’s electricity service more reliable. The NECEC will allow more producers of renewable energy in Maine to get their energy on the grid, and because the corridor project will use clean hydropower, it will reduce the use of fossil fuels, cutting three million metric tons of harmful emissions each year.