Conservation Law Foundation Statement Regarding the New England Clean Power Link

CONTACT:
Karen Wood, CLF, (617) 850-1722
N. Jonathan Peress, (603) 443-2719
Christopher Kilian, (802)223-5992

CLF Calls the Proposal, “Especially Promising,” Citing Advanced and Cost-Effective Underground and Underwater Transmission Technology

CONCORD, NH  October 31, 2013 – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) today issued the following statement regarding the New England Clean Power Link, a proposal to develop a new, completely buried transmission project. The proposed project, to be developed by TDI New England, would run from the Canadian border to Ludlow, Vermont and could deliver 1,000 MW of clean hydropower to the New England marketplace, using state-of-the-art High Voltage direct current (HVdc) technology.

“CLF is pleased to see that a new project has been proposed that could help meet New England’s energy needs as obsolete and uneconomic fossil fuel-fired power plants succumb to newer, cleaner technologies,” said N. Jonathan Peress, Director of CLF’s Clean Energy and Climate Change Program. “The New England Clean Power Link provides another potential option for comparison to other transmission proposals to ensure that we replace 20th century energy with innovative 21st century technology. It is especially promising because, unlike overhead transmission projects like Northeast Utilities’ Northern Pass project, it would use advanced and cost-effective underground and underwater transmission technology that helps address legitimate community concerns with new transmission towers and corridors.”

Christopher Kilian, Director of CLF’s Vermont office and of CLF’s Clean Water Healthy Forests  Program, said, “CLF looks forward to participating in the review process for the New England Clean Power Link to ensure that potential adverse impacts to Lake Champlain and Vermont’s environment are avoided and that the project only proceeds in a manner that provides substantial benefits to the environment and public welfare.” He continued, “We have every expectation of a robust environmental review at the state and federal levels and collaboration with the project developers to ensure that our mutual environmental goals are met.”

BACKGROUND ON CLF AND CANADIAN HYDROPOWER

For the past decade, CLF’s advocacy has helped accelerate the transformation of New England’s energy system away from fossil fuels and toward newer, cleaner resources, including zero-emissions domestic renewable energy and energy efficiency to reduce demand. CLF believes that there can be a role for new imports of Canadian hydropower in the mix as long as its greenhouse gas impacts are properly quantified, that it provides substantial and verifiable reductions in climate and other air pollution by replacing energy from the region’s fossil fuel power plants and not New England-based renewable power, and that it is brought to the New England market with transmission that is sensitive to and protective of the communities and resources that make New England a great place to live. These include our protected and scenic natural lands, waterways, and the New England states’ commitment to deploying carbon-free renewable energy sources in the region.

Peress continued, “CLF encourages developers to propose energy projects that represent innovative approaches to meeting our energy needs while minimizing environmental impacts, and anticipating and satisfactorily addressing community concerns. Depending on the sources of power that will be transmitted by the New England Clean Power Link, the project can provide a means to advance the ongoing transition to a cleaner energy system, and to meet legally and scientifically mandated greenhouse gas reduction requirements, especially over the long term.”

Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) protects New England’s environment for the benefit of all people. Using the law, science and the market, CLF creates solutions that preserve natural resources, build healthy communities, and sustain a vibrant economy region-wide. Founded in 1966, CLF is a nonprofit, member-supported organization with offices in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.