Plans for a 1000MW transmission line that would deliver hydroelectricity from Vermont to New England in the US have take a step forward with the news that developer TDI-New England (TDI-NE) has reached an agreement with the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) that will see the environmental group support the project.

The agreement includes enhanced environmental and public benefits that the project will provide to Vermont as part of the development of the New England Clean Power Link (NECPL) – a proposed underwater and underground electric transmission line.

The agreement was filed on June 12, 2015, with the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) as part of the project permitting and, in addition to the enhanced benefits, confirms that the parties agree that the PSB has sufficient information to approve the project and issue a Certificate of Public Good.

"This agreement strengthens the commitment the project has made to delivering substantial environmental and economic benefits to Vermont and the region," said TDI-NE Chief Executive Officer Don Jessome. "We appreciate CLF’s collaborative approach in developing this important agreement and in raising thoughtful issues concerning transmission line projects in New England." Highlights from the agreement include the following:

TDI-NE will increase the combined monetary value of the Lake Champlain Phosphorous Cleanup Fund, Lake Champlain Enhancement and Restoration Trust Fund, and Vermont Renewables Programs Fund from the originally proposed $162 million to a minimum of $283.5 million over the 40-year life of the project.

TDI-NE will establish a Renewables Integration Advisory Committee, which would include CLF and seek to have representation from regional public, private and nonprofit stakeholders. The goal of the committee would be to optimize and maximize the use of the project for the integration of renewable power in New England.

CLF will also be appointed to the Advisory Board of the Lake Champlain Enhancement and Restoration Trust Fund, along with other governmental and non-governmental organizations.

The 154 mile long New England Clean Power Link is being developed with private sector financing by TDI New England and would originate at the U.S.-Canadian border and travel approximately 97.3 miles underwater down Lake Champlain to Benson, Vermont, and then be buried along town and state road and railroad rights-of-way or on land owned by TDI New England for approximately 56.7 miles to a new converter station that would be built in Ludlow, Vermont. The project is expected to be in service in 2019, at a cost of approximately $1.2 billion.