Clean Power Northeast Development, a unit of Emera Inc., has applied to the U.S. Department of Energy for a Presidential Permit, requesting authorization to build the Atlantic Link subsea electric transmission project.
The subsea cable would run from Coleson Cove, New Brunswick to Plymouth, Massachusetts, making landfall near the retiring Pilgrim nuclear station. Atlantic Link’s proposed in-service date is late 2022. A Presidential Permit is required to authorize the construction, connection, operation and maintenance of a transmission line between the United States and Canada.
Atlantic Link has been proposed in response to the Massachusetts Clean Energy RFP, a competitive solicitation for clean energy delivery to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Responses to the RFP were submitted in late July.
Atlantic Link’s application for a Presidential Permit initiates a formal review of the project by U.S. federal government agencies. The review process will examine environmental impacts of the project, as well as its impact on electric reliability.
“The request for a Presidential Permit is a significant milestone for Atlantic Link to ensure we continue to stay on track with our project schedule,” said Dan Muldoon, Emera’s Executive Vice-President for Major Renewables and Alternative Energy. “Atlantic Link is a reliable, cost-effective solution to help Massachusetts meet its energy diversity and greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. This transmission line’s direct connection to Massachusetts will ensure benefits such as energy, taxes, construction activity and low income programs all stay with Massachusetts residents and electricity customers.”
Last month, the Atlantic Link project received a certificate from Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs regarding the scope of required environmental assessment under the state’s Environmental Policy Act.
The Atlantic Link is proposing to deliver 5.69 terawatt hours (TWh) of clean energy annually, directly to southeastern Massachusetts, for a delivered price that remains fixed for 20 years. Approximately 70 per cent of the energy would be from seven proposed wind farms to be built in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, with the remaining 30 per cent coming from two hydro suppliers in Atlantic Canada, Nalcor Energy and NB Power.
Energy supply for Atlantic Link resulted from a competitive Open Solicitation process initiated by Clean Power Northeast Development in January 2017. The process was overseen by an independent administrator. Commercial arrangements are in place between Clean Power Northeast and the selected wind and hydro suppliers.
Atlantic Link is owned by Clean Power Northeast Development. NB Power holds an option to participate in the Atlantic Link project as a minority investor.