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Proposed underwater powerline would stretch from Searsport to Boston

The developer of a proposed underwater transmission line from Searsport to Boston is pressing the need for the New England Region to tap the full wind power potential of Northern Maine. The so-called Greenline project would include the installation of a 140 mile undersea cable carrying electricity from Maine down to the high demand markets to the south.

As Congress struggles to craft some form of energy bill, the developer of a proposed underwater transmission line from Searsport to Boston is pressing the need for the New England Region to tap the full wind power potential of Northern Maine.

The so-called Greenline project would include the installation of a 140 mile undersea cable carrying electricity from Maine down to the high demand markets to the south. New England, as a region, has pledged to meet a goal: that 20 percent of its future electricity supply will come from renewables.

"Now we have to make good on that pledge and there are very few places in New England that have an abundance of wind, and Maine is one of them", says Edward Krepals, CEO of Massachusetts-based Anbaric Holding. Krepals says that's why his company is proposing to build a 660-megawatt transmission line from Searsport, Maine, down to Boston. Krapels says it would be a High Voltage Direct Current Line, which he says is much more efficient than conventional overhead transmission lines, and would be routed under the ocean floor, so as to minimize disruption to the local fishing industry:

"The line will be buried deep under the seabed in... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

As Congress struggles to craft some form of energy bill, the developer of a proposed underwater transmission line from Searsport to Boston is pressing the need for the New England Region to tap the full wind power potential of Northern Maine.

The so-called Greenline project would include the installation of a 140 mile undersea cable carrying electricity from Maine down to the high demand markets to the south. New England, as a region, has pledged to meet a goal: that 20 percent of its future electricity supply will come from renewables.

"Now we have to make good on that pledge and there are very few places in New England that have an abundance of wind, and Maine is one of them", says Edward Krepals, CEO of Massachusetts-based Anbaric Holding. Krepals says that's why his company is proposing to build a 660-megawatt transmission line from Searsport, Maine, down to Boston. Krapels says it would be a High Voltage Direct Current Line, which he says is much more efficient than conventional overhead transmission lines, and would be routed under the ocean floor, so as to minimize disruption to the local fishing industry:

"The line will be buried deep under the seabed in shallow water, so to the extent that there is any disruption of commercial activity it will be only during the installation of the line", Krepals said.

" After that it lies there inert transmitting energy without any emissions to speak of, and in a way that really does not cause any further disruption to commercial activity."

Krapels says undersea cables such as the Greenline, which don't have to run through anyone's neighbhorhood, have the support of environmentalists.The New England- based Conservation Law Foundation has not taken a position on undersea cables in particular, but does support improving the regions' renewable infrastructure.

"Well a sub-sea cable or any kind of cable running from the wind resources in Maine down to where electric demand is in southern New England is generally a good idea", says Seth Kaplan, Vice President For Policy and Climate Advocacy at CLF.

" The devil's in the details, you have to do it right and stage it so that you don't disrupt lobster breeding grounds and such. But, at the end of the day in order to meet our climate goals, in order to save ourselves, we need tremendous amounts of clean, renewable energy, and we need the infrastructure to support that energy generation like these kinds of cable projects."

The Greenline project is still in the early stages of the regulatory approval process, and would compete with other transmission proposals, including a 250-mile line proposed by Bangor Hydro to run on land along the I-95 corridor. As to whether one, or both, of the transmission projects will pass regulatory muster, remains to be seen.

"The demand in New England is sufficient to warrant the construction of transmission lines from Maine either offshore, or on land", says John Kerry, who heads the Governor's Office of Energy Independence.

Kerry says that beyond the demonstration of demand for renewable power, the project developers will have to justify the extra cost born by the consumers, particularly in Southern New England, who would likely be required to pay for a larger share of the construction.

"I think the major issue is that the people of Maine and throughout New England have to recognize that we're part of a regional grid and we're in this game together, and when we look at these projects, we have look at whether they're in the long term interests of the consumers", says Kerry.

In the meantime, all of the sources interviewed for this story say they would like Congress to act on a comprehensive energy bill that includes Rewable Energy Standards for the nation as a whole. The Senate could vote on its version of the bill sometime next week.


Source: http://www.mpbn.net/News/MP...

JUL 30 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/27497-proposed-underwater-powerline-would-stretch-from-searsport-to-boston
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