Environmental report suggests approval for power line under Lake Champlain
Federal authorities have recommended approving a high-capacity power line to be buried below Lake Champlain.
TDI-New England, which is financing the project known as the New England Power Link, received a favorable assessment in the final environmental impact statement prepared by federal regulators. The company is currently soliciting buyers for transmission rights on the 1,000 megawatt, 154-mile power line, which it plans to complete by 2019.
About 98 miles of the power line will run under the lake and 56 miles will extend overland to Ludlow, Vt., where it will connect to the regional electric grid.
The developers anticipate that the line will transport Canadian hydropower and wind power into New England. It’s one of at least six proposed transmission projects that could bring massive amounts of renewable energy to the New England electrical grid.
The line still needs approval from other federal and state regulators, however. Legislative efforts to increase hydropower imports to Massachusetts have drawn fierce opposition from electricity generators, who say favoring such imports would increase electricity costs and distort energy markets.
The company has committed to spend $284 million on environmental and renewable-energy causes, eliminating objections from groups like the Conservation Law Foundation. The total cost of the project will be around $1.2 billion, TDI-New England has said.