In Vt., where’s the electricity?

To the editor:

Where’s the electricity? We have not asked this question, and New England Clean Power Link promoter Transmission Developers Inc. has not answered it.

This proposed 1,000-megawatt, 154-mile, $1.2-billon, merchant transmission line would connect the Hydro-Québec grid at frontier Alburgh, Vermont, to the New England grid at interior Ludlow, Vermont.

Hydro-Québec, owned by the Quebec government, has not granted TDI’s sole interconnection request — 1,000 megawatts from Labrador to New England Clean Power Link beginning Jan. 1, 2019, and has officially stated publicly that it is not involved in this project.

These 1,000 megawatts may become available circa 2025 if TDI ally Nalcor Energy, owned by the government of Newfoundland and Labrador, justifies finances, begins and completes by then its proposed 2,250-megawatt Gull Island hydroelectric development on the Lower Churchill River.

Before then, Nalcor Energy must finally win, after repeated defeats, its decades-long legal battles with competitor Hydro-Québec over Churchill River water rights and hydroelectricity transmission and sales.

Where’s the electricity? Is New England Clean Power Link actually a bargaining chip intended to treat Hydro-Québec as it treats Nalcor Energy?

Without knowing whether and on what terms Hydro-Québec will interconnect, we cannot know New England Clean Power Link’s actual impact on Vermont’s and New England’s public good.

Howard Fairman

Putney, Vt.

Categories: Letters to the Editor