PLATTSBURGH — A Massachusetts energy company is proposing a $200 million transmission project for the North Country.
Known as the Vermont Green Line, it would deliver renewable energy from new wind farms in the northern part of Clinton and Franklin counties through an underwater cable on the bottom of Lake Champlain to southern New England.
"This region has great potential for wind farms, and there is a market for this energy in New England, and we want to be part of that," Bryan Sanderson, senior vice president of Anbaric, an energy company out of Wakefield, Mass., told the Press-Republican.
Anbaric, in conjunction with National Grid, plans on building a converter station adjacent to the New York Power Authority substation on Durand Road in Beekmantown.
Energy from wind farms would be sent to the station, where it would be converted to HVDC power.
The power would then be sent through an underground cable that would travel under Lake Champlain, buried 4 feet under the lake bottom sediment.
The cable would stretch about 40 miles south on the lake bottom, emerging in Vermont, near New Haven, where power would be distributed to southern New England communities.
Sanderson said the demand for renewable energy in New England is high due to legislation in those states requiring a switch from fossil fuels to alternative products.
The southern New England states are seeking bids to deliver new alternative energy to communities, and Anbaric is hopeful of landing the job.
Sanderson said they will probably know by next summer if their bid is successful.
MORE WIND FARMS
If approved, the Beekmantown project would enable more wind farms to be built in the North Country, Sanderson said, as the new transmission line would provide more room for energy to be delivered.
He said he knows of several companies that are contemplating establishing new wind farms in the North Country.
In addition to transmitting energy from wind turbines, the Vermont Green Line would also deliver hydropower from Quebec to New England.
The permitting process for the project could take up to two years as they secure property right-of-ways and figure out the exact path of the transmission cable.
Construction could take another two years.
"We would hope to be online, if all goes well, in 2019 or 2020," Sanderson said.
The project is expected to create up to 300 local construction jobs, and the property would be taxable.
Sanderson and his partners met with Clinton County legislators Wednesday night to discuss their plans.
They will meet with Town of Beekmantown and Beekmantown Central School District representatives next month.
"Right now, we want to work with the county and the communities and let everyone know what we are doing and answer any questions they might have," said Mike Relyea, a partner with Amanus, a consulting group that is working with Anbaric on the project.
Legislature Chairman Sam Dyer (D-Area 3, Beekmantown) said the project would benefit the area without being disruptive.
"What I like about this is that it is all underground, and there won't be any aerial transmission lines," he said.
"We learned during the (1998) Ice Storm what problems that can cause."
Dyer said the county would also benefit from the construction jobs and tax revenue generated by the project.
"We think this is a good project and they are a good company that knows what they are doing," he said.
"We all want renewable energy, and they seem to have a way to deliver it that will help everyone."
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