VELCO
VELCO and National Grid announce key agreements to advance Granite State Power Link
Friday, Feb 16, 2018
Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO) and GridAmerica Holdings, Inc., a part of National Grid Ventures, the non-regulated affiliate of National Grid, announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and a services agreement to support the Granite State Power Link (GSPL) project. GSPL is a proposed clean energy project that will transmit new Canadian wind energy to New England via a new overhead transmission line located in an expanded existing right-of-way owned by, VETCO, a VELCO managed company.

“VELCO is pleased to extend our working relationship with National Grid by joining them on this regional project,” said Tom Dunn, President and CEO of VELCO. “If the Granite State Power Link project is selected for the Massachusetts Clean Energy RFP, our contract ensures that an established Vermont company with a proven track record for completing complex electric transmission projects on time and on budget will be leading the project management and land acquisition effort within Vermont. VELCO’s responsibility is to provide safe, reliable electricity and to serve the public good consistent with Vermont values. This agreement advances VELCO’s vision to help Vermont create a clean energy future.”

By expanding an existing transmission right-of-way, GSPL will construct a new 59-mile overhead transmission line with 53 miles built adjacent to VELCO’s existing transmission line in the Northeast Kingdom. Another six miles will be built in Littleton and Monroe, New Hampshire, with converter stations on each end of the line.

Under the signed agreements, Vermont Transco LLC, acting through VELCO as its manager, will collaborate as a contractor with GridAmerica to permit and construct the Granite State Power Link. This will create economic opportunity, as well as deliver long-term rate relief to Vermont electricity customers of nearly $3 million per year for 40 years.

“This partnership is very important in supporting local Vermont jobs and reducing our electric rates for the foreseeable future,” said State Senator Jane Kitchel, Caledonia District. “Granite State Power Link continues to listen to our needs and develop solutions that will yield positive results for Vermont.”

“VELCO is a trusted name in Vermont and tapping their local expertise furthers our commitment to ensuring a strong result for all Vermonters now and into the future,” said Will Hazelip, Vice President of U.S. Business Development, National Grid Ventures. “We are confident that this collaboration will deliver on our promises to build a clean energy project that minimizes environmental impact, and maximizes economic, wildlife and recreational opportunities, while creating jobs and reducing energy costs in Vermont.”

GSPL offers, at a minimum, the following direct benefits to Vermont as a result of the Granite State Power Link:

  • Over $450 million in local and state property tax revenue.
  • $20 million for job creation and retention, and economic development in the Northeast Kingdom via revolving loan funds and economic and community development grants through a partnership with the Northeastern Vermont Development Association (NVDA).
  • $487 million in rate reductions within the first ten years of the project.
  • $3 million a year for 40 years in rate relief through payments to Vermont Transco LLC, a company structured to return earnings to Vermont.
  • Millions of dollars in low income energy assistance from Citizens Energy.
  • Enhanced wildlife, habitat and recreational opportunities.
GSPL has earned support from nearly 50 percent of the Vermont route communities (with one host community agreement signed), state legislators representing route communities in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, the NVDA, and the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers. The project also has the support of over two dozen New Hampshire state legislators, three New Hampshire towns, a Grafton County Commissioner, the Central New Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 104 and 490, and scores of residents.

The project is currently in permitting and, once approved, is scheduled to begin construction in mid-2020 with an end of year 2022 in-service date.

For more information, please visit: https://www.velco.com

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