National Grid Announces Controversial New Power Line Route

A proposed electric transmission line from Quebec into New England took a step forward this week, as the developer of the New England Clean Power Link applied to Vermont regulators for key project approvals.

Transmission Developers Inc. subsidiary TDI New England has proposed the New England Clean Power Link to bring Canadian hydropower and other electricity to the renewable-hungry New England market. With an estimated project cost of $1.2 billion, the 1000-megawatt high-voltage direct-current transmission line would run under Lake Champlain and underground to a converter station in Ludlow, Vermont, near where it would connect to the existing electric grid owned by Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO).

Vermont’s electricity grid is learning to talk back, thanks to a partnership between technology giant IBM and the state’s VELCO transmission company that the firms say is a model for smart grid efforts across the US.

A new communications and control network will be stung along more than 1000 miles connecting transmission substations to Vermont’s distribution utilities as part of efforts to improve power grid reliability and security, the companies said in announcing their partnership at the DistribuTECH conference this week. Keep reading →