The Clean Power Link is entirely underwater or underground.
The line will originate at the U.S.-Canadian border and travel approximately 97 miles underwater down Lake Champlain to Benson, Vt., and then be buried along town and state roads and railroad rights-of-way or on land owned by TDI New England for approximately 57 miles to a new converter station to be built in Ludlow, Vt.
The Clean Power Link encountered minimal public resistance in Vermont because of the burial of the line.
“It is well recognized in the industry that siting is one of the most difficult facets of building new energy infrastructure,” said Susan Schibanoff with Responsible Energy Action. “NECPL dealt with that issue first by creating solid community and political support with a fully buried line. It has clearly paid off in terms of the record speed with which they have moved ahead.”
When transmission developers design projects to be as unobtrusive and acceptable to landowners as possible, the developer can save millions in expensive advocacy-building and opposition battling tactics, as well as years in its project timeline.
This means burial, especially on public land/water, and along existing roadways or other rights-of-way. No eminent domain is required.
But, but, but... a buried project is so much more expensive than an overhead project, whine the transmission developers.
And they fear adding "unnecessary" cost of burial to an O1000 competitively bid project for fear of not being awarded the project. Let's see these guys start making logical arguments to the RTO about the amount of time and money saved by not having any opposition, not having huge land/eminent domain costs to acquire rights-of-way from private landowners, and general constructability of a buried project vs. any additional cost of burial along public rights-of-way. I think they will pretty much balance themselves out. The more buried projects that get built, the cheaper it will become.
Because NECPL proves that is IS possible get 'er done in a timely fashion while keeping your integrity intact. Even for a merchant project (NECPL is a merchant project).
There's a lesson here for the transmission industry, if you can actually teach some very old dogs a new trick. Can transmission developers shrug off their old dirty tricks that lie to communities? Can they ever be honest with affected communities? Can they develop some integrity? Better ideas are right there for the taking. This is the modern way to get needed transmission built. Anybody who tries to tell you different is a dinosaur who needs to retire.