TDI New England announced they have reached agreements with four Vermont state agencies, three towns, and an electric utility regarding the proposed New England Clean Power Link project.
The New England Clean Power Link is a proposed 154 mile underwater and underground line that TDI New England says will deliver 1,000 MW of clean, lower-cost hydroelectricity to the Vermont and New England market.
According to TDI New England, the agreements state that, once in service, the project will contribute more than $720 million in direct public benefit payments to Vermont over its 40 year life.
Other key elements of the agreement:
- $202 million paid to the state Clean Water Fund and dedicated to Lake Champlain watershed clean-up, paid at a rate of $5 million annually for the 40-year life of the project after two initial $1 million payments.
- $61 million paid to a newly created Lake Champlain Enhancement and Restoration Trust Fund to support habitat restoration and recreational improvements in the Lake Champlain watershed, paid at a rate of $1.5 million annually for the 40-year life of the project after an initial $1 million payment.
- $109 million paid to Vermont’s Clean Energy Development Fund for the 40-year life of the project to promote renewable generation in Vermont, paid at a rate of $5 million annually during the first 20 years of the life of the project, with the remainder paid out during the subsequent 20 years.
- $212 million in lease payments to VTrans for the 40-year life of the project for use of state highway and railroad rights-of-way paid at a rate starting at $4 million annually and escalating annually starting in year 11 of the lease.
- Transfer of dedicated fiber-optic cable to the State of Vermont to improve telecommunications and broadband in Vermont.
- Approval to bury the Clean Power Link within certain roads in the towns of Alburgh, Benson, and Ludlow.
- Clarification of certain benefits to these host towns such as substantial new property tax revenue and road improvements.
- Funding for a new state-operated boat ramp in Alburgh.
- Important conditions protecting the environment and natural history of Vermont, such as water quality monitoring plans, aquatic invasive species protection plans, habitat protection plans, and a commitment to study and avoid archaeological sites.
The Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) will conduct a thorough review of the project and, if approved, the department will issue a Certificate of Public Good.
The agreements were filed with the PSB on July 17 and were reached the State of Vermont Public Service Department, the Vermont Agency of Transportation, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, and the Vermont Division of Historic Preservation; with the towns of Alburgh, Benson, and Ludlow; and with Green Mountain Power.
The project is expected to be in service in 2019 and cost about $1.2 billion.