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National Grid joins hydropower rush

National Grid has partnered with the electricity transmission developer Anbaric Transmission to propose an undersea cable that would bring Maine wind power and Canadian hydroelectricity to Massachusetts.

Anbaric first proposed the 1,000-megawatt transmission line, called the Green Line, several years ago. On Tuesday, it said that it had struck up a business relationship with the electric utility National Grid, which Anbaric chief executive Ed Krapels said would bring “the capital and resources to help us finish it.”

“The need for infrastructure in New England is not something that is years away. It is something we need to build in the very near future,” said Krapels.


The companies, which call themselves the Green Line Infrastructure Alliance, expect to submit their proposal to New England and federal regulators in 2015 and complete the project in 2020. The high-voltage power line would run around 300 miles from Maine, where it would be buried, across the sea floor to the Boston area. The Green Line would deliver enough energy to power around 300,000 homes.

The project still has to clear several important hurdles, however. Regional power authorities still have not solicited a bid for a major transmission project, endorsed by Governor Deval Patrick and his successor Charlie Baker, to import hydro power from Canada. Additionally, the wind turbines that Anbaric and National Grid plan to tap in northern Maine have not yet been built because no transmission project has been approved.

Other companies are also vying for their projects to be approved by electricity regulators. On Monday, TDI New England filed an application with the Vermont Public Service Board to build a 1,000-megawatt transmission line under Lake Champlain that would deliver Canadian hydropower to that state.

Still, Green Line executives said they were optimistic.

“We absolutely hope and we do expect the [New England] states will reconvene in their efforts to have a joint iniative and a joint procurement,” Krapels said on a Tuesday conference call. “The need to do something hasn’t gone away.”


Jack Newsham can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TheNewsHam.