New Brunswick Power to seek authorization for 345 kv line

by the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, May 3 — Canada’s New Brunswick Power Corp., Fredericton, NB, submitted a preliminary request to the National Energy Board to build the Canadian portion of a 345 kv international power line from Point Lepreau, NB, to Orrington, Maine.

The Crown utility sought permission from the board to initiate activities under the Canada Environmental Assessment Act for the proposed $25 million Canadian portion of the transmission line before applying for a certificate to begin construction.

New Brunswick Power proposed to apply later this spring for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct and operate a 56-mile (90 km) international transmission line running west from the Point Lepreau Peninsula through the counties of Saint John and Charlotte in New Brunswick to the international boundary near Woodland, Maine. New Brunswick Power expects, subject to NEB approval, to begin construction in the spring of 2002.

Subsequent to the filing of the proposed application for a certificate, the NEB said it will announce the procedures for dealing with the application.

Bangor-Hydro Electric Co. is seeking state and federal approvals for the US portion of the project. The US portion of the project will consist of 87 miles (140 km) of power lines running from Woodland to Orrington and will cost an estimated $55 million.

The New Brunswick provincial government has initiated a restructuring of the electric power industry beginning with competition for wholesale and industrial customers. New Brunswick Power CEO James Harkinson said earlier this year the initiative opens up new export markets for the company, including the potential for a second transmission line into New England.

Separately, BP Canada Energy Co., a unit of BP PLC, filed an application in March with the NEB seeking a 10-year authorization to export up to 1,000 Mw of combined firm power and energy annually. El Paso Merchant Energy LP, a unit of El Paso Corp., earlier filed an application for a 10-year license to export up to 1,000 Mw/year of firm power and up to 5,000 Mw/year of interruptible power.