Vermont Business Magazine National Grid and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 104 today announced agreement on a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of the Granite State Power Link (GSPL), an electric transmission project that would bring up to 1,200 megawatts of clean energy from Canada to the New England power grid. A small section of the line runs through northeastern Vermont. National Grid, and development partner Citizens Energy, have committed to utilizing IBEW’s skilled local workers to build the project, which is estimated to create up to 2,000 jobs during the construction phase.
“We are extremely pleased to work with the IBEW and its skilled local workers on the construction of the Granite State Power Link,” said Joseph Rossignoli, GSPL project director. “The Granite State Power Link will deliver significant benefits to families and businesses in New Hampshire and throughout New England.”
“We are pleased to have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with National Grid and Citizens Energy on the Granite State Power Link, and represents an important first step toward the development of a comprehensive Project Labor Agreement,” said Tiler Eaton, IBEW’s international representative for Business Development. “For over 117 years, IBEW Local 104 members have provided a well-trained, efficient, and highly productive workforce for utilities, municipalities, and contractors across the region. IBEW sees the need for multiple hydroelectric transmission projects in New England to address our region’s energy shortage, and we strive to work with all transmission developers on the development of these projects. We look forward to working on GSPL to deliver a much-needed source of clean, reliable energy to the region.”
As proposed, the GSPL project is a new, high-voltage, direct current (HVDC) overhead line to be located alongside an existing HVDC line running from the international border at Norton, VT, through Vermont to a proposed converter station on National Grid-owned property in Monroe, New Hampshire. It is expected that the interconnection of GSPL will require upgrade of an existing National Grid overhead line in NH to accommodate the additional power flow from the new HVDC line. That line runs from Monroe to southern NH, where a proposed switching station would be built.
GSPL will provide significant economic benefits in New Hampshire and Vermont. In addition to job creation during construction, the project host communities will receive new property tax revenues. The project is also expected to lower energy costs across New England by an estimated $7.7 billion over its first 10 years of operation. GSPL maximizes the use of existing transmission corridors and assets thereby minimizing visual and environmental impacts to the host communities. National Grid continues to meet with host communities, state and local officials, landowners and abutters, and interest groups to discuss these and other project benefits.
This is one of a few projects that endeavors to bring more hydro power from Canada to New England. The 1,000 MW TDI cable would run about 100 miles down Lake Champlain from the Vermont-Quebec border, before heading across Vermont to a substation in Ludlow. Pending power contracts with New England utilities, the $1.2 billion project would go online in 2019.
National Grid is a world leader in developing large, complex transmission projects, including major HVDC interconnectors. National Grid built, co-owns and operates the nation’s first multi-terminal HVDC system, which interconnects New England and Canada and has delivered up to 2,000 megawatts of clean energy for more than 25 years. In the UK, National Grid co-developed and co-owns interconnectors to France and the Netherlands, with others planned, in development, or being constructed that will connect the UK to Norway and Iceland, and a second link to France.
About National Grid
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that supplies the energy for more than 20 million people through its networks in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain.
About the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) represents approximately 750,000 active members and retirees who work in a wide variety of fields, including utilities, construction, telecommunications, broadcasting, manufacturing, railroads, and government. The IBEW has members in both the United States and Canada and stands out among the American unions in the AFL-CIO because it is among the largest and has members in so many skilled occupations.
IBEW Local 104 represents members throughout the northeastern United States who are thoroughly trained through the state-of-the-art Northeastern Apprenticeship and Training Program (NEAT). This 7,000-hour, earn-while-you-learn educational program includes nine cutting-edge training centers where apprentices and linemen learn the most advanced lineman skills and techniques from the best instructors in the industry.
About Citizens Energy Corporation
Citizens Energy Corporation, a Boston-based non-profit founded in 1979 by former Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II, has a long history of using revenues from successful commercial energy ventures to finance charitable programs to help the poor. Starting in the oil and natural gas industries, Citizens also launched innovative businesses in the health care, electricity trading, and energy conservation fields. More recently, the company expanded into the solar, wind and transmission industries – in every case using profits from its ventures to help the poor wherever it operates.