BOSTON (SHNS) – A major hydropower transmission project that Massachusetts is relying on to diversify its energy mix has completed its major permitting and begun clearing activities in Maine to prepare for the installation of transmission lines that will carry power into New England from Quebec.
After three years of review, AVANGRID announced Friday that it has received the Presidential Permit from the U.S. Department of Energy for its New England Clean Energy Connect project, which is happening in partnership with Hydro-Quebec.
The permit is the last in a series of permits needed for the project. The 145-mile transmission line, to be built on land owned or controlled by Central Maine Power, will eventually deliver 1,200 megawatts of power to the energy grid in Lewiston, Maine, with the $950 million cost of the project paid for by Massachusetts electric customers.
About two thirds of the project area will follow existing power lines while 53 miles of new corridor will be established. Project officials indicated Friday they have begun installing temporary access roads to prepare for the installation of the monopoles, but declined to specify where construction has begun.
“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.