Emera Inc. has formally proposed construction of the Atlantic Link project, a new 1,000 megawatt (MW) subsea transmission line directly connecting Atlantic Canada to the Boston load center. The Atlantic Link will deliver reliable and cost-effective, clean energy to Massachusetts from seven proposed wind farms and two hydro suppliers in Atlantic Canada.
The Atlantic Link is an approximately 375-mile high-voltage direct current (HVDC) interconnection between Coleson Cove, New Brunswick and Plymouth, Massachusetts near the retiring Pilgrim nuclear station. The proposal for Atlantic Link, including the clean energy to be delivered on the transmission line, is in response to the Massachusetts Clean Energy RFP.
The proposal is being made as Emera completes construction this year of a 500 MW subsea cable between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.
With Atlantic Link, Emera is offering to deliver 5.69 terawatt hours (TWh) of clean energy annually, directly to Massachusetts, for a delivered price that remains fixed for 20 years.
“The fixed pricing for the supply of long term clean energy represents compelling value for Massachusetts electricity customers,” said Chris Huskilson, President and CEO of Emera Inc. “We are pleased to bring this opportunity forward to help Massachusetts meet its energy diversity and greenhouse gas emissions reduction objectives. This project also benefits Massachusetts and Atlantic Canada in terms of construction related jobs and increased economic activity.”
Under this proposal Atlantic Link is 65-per-cent utilized, allowing Massachusetts to increase clean energy purchases from the broader region over time. Atlantic Link will allow Massachusetts to optimize power flows between South East Massachusetts (SEMA) and Atlantic Canada, providing reliability and economic advantages.
In addition to the subsea cable, new HVDC converter facilities and substations will be constructed in Plymouth and at Coleson Cove. The project has initiated necessary permit approval processes in the United States and Canada, and is proposed to be in-service by December 2022.
Energy supply for Atlantic Link resulted from a competitive Open Solicitation process initiated by Emera in January 2017. That process was overseen by an independent administrator, Power Advisory LLC. Formal commercial arrangements are now in place between Emera and the selected wind and hydro suppliers. The project’s supply mix is over 70% wind energy from yet to be constructed wind farms in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia; with the balance being hydro, which is being provided by Nalcor Energy and NB Power.
Under the Massachusetts Clean Energy RFP, the state’s electric utilities have called for approximately 9.45 terawatt hours of wind and/or hydro energy. Review of proposals submitted to the Massachusetts electric utilities will occur over the coming months, with a decision expected by January 2018. More information is posted at the RFP Web site.
Atlantic Link is 100% owned by Emera subsidiary Clean Power Northeast Development. NB Power holds an option to participate in the Atlantic Link project as a minority investor.