Developer of transmission line under Lake Champlain seeks federal permit


The company proposing to bury a transmission line under Lake Champlain to bring renewable power from Canada to the New England power market filed for a Department of Energy permit Tuesday.

TDI New England announced last year it plans to build a 154-mile, $1.2 billion underground transmission line to import up to 1,000 megawatts of renewable Canadian power into the grid.

The project, called Clean Power Link, would pass a line beneath Lake Champlain and connect with a converter station in Ludlow.

The company does not plan to sell power directly to Vermont, but it estimates $100 million over 10 years in electricity savings for power sent to the region's grid.

The company said the project will lower state property taxes. It is also planning to set up a so-called benefits fund that could be used to help support the Lake Champlain cleanup.

The company said it will meet with state agencies, communities, environmental groups, NGOs and other stakeholders to best decide how the fund should be used.

TDI New England said it will apply for state regulatory approval later this year. It will also file an application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this year.

The presidential permit TDI New England applied for Tuesday is issued by the Department of Energy and is required for projects that cross territorial borders.

TDI New England is a subsidiary of the $272 billion New York-based investment firm Blackstone. It has said it will not seek ratepayer support for the project.


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