Power

Avangrid to start New England Clean Energy Connect project

Avangrid NECEC Maine

Avangrid, leader in sustainable energy solutions, is about to start its New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) project, which will create a connection with Canada to bring clean hydro power from Quebec, to Maine and New England.

The company announced last Friday the assurance of all regulatory and federal permits, with the final approval from the Department of Energy. Along with the news, announced the start of construction activities, with the installation of temporary roads to prepare the grounds.

Once ready, Avangrid will begin the installation of the monopoles that will carry the transmission line. The site is located in Lewsiton, Maine, on a land owned and controlled by Central Maine Power. There will rest a 145-mile transmission line which, in partnership with Hydro-Quebec, will deliver up to 1,200 megawatts to Lewiston’s grid.

New England Clean Energy Connect is a $950 million investment that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in New England, as it will be the state’s largest source of renewable energy; “representing a fundamental shift away from fossil fuels while simultaneously lowering energy costs in Maine and New England,” as the company’s statement reads.

The project will be in construction period for two years now; it is intended to create more than 1,600 jobs to the region, and $200 million in upgrades to the state’s grid, as the power lines created for Maine’s hydropower were created almost a 100 years ago.

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Avangrid NECEC map
NECEC map. Source: iberdrola.com

Benefits of NECEC by Avangrid to Maine

NECEC will also allow other renewable energy producers to get their energy on the grid; altogether the project will reduce about three million metric tons of CO2 a year, according the statement by Avangrid.

“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’s CEO, Sophie Brochu.

About the benefits of the project to the state, president of Avangrid, Robert Kump, said: “they will come in the form of infrastructure upgrades, rate relief for customers, including a fund for low-income customers, grants for electric vehicle infrastructure, economic development for tourism, education funding, broadband, heat pumps and land conservation.”

“We are pleased to be able to start construction so that Mainers can realize the more than $570 million in benefits and more than 1,600 jobs this project will bring to Maine during this time of economic uncertainty,” he concluded.

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