trending Market Intelligence /marketintelligence/en/news-insights/trending/1wmsvrkzqausrzeaauj9ea2 content
Log in to other products

Login to Market Intelligence Platform

 /


Looking for more?

Contact Us

Request a Demo

You're one step closer to unlocking our suite of comprehensive and robust tools.

Fill out the form so we can connect you to the right person.

If your company has a current subscription with S&P Global Market Intelligence, you can register as a new user for access to the platform(s) covered by your license at Market Intelligence platform or S&P Capital IQ.

  • First Name*
  • Last Name*
  • Business Email *
  • Phone *
  • Company Name *
  • City *
  • We generated a verification code for you

  • Enter verification Code here*

* Required

In This List

Maine generators seek late block of Avangrid's transmission project

Essential Energy Insights - May 14, 2020

Credit Risk: Identifying Early Warning Signals In The Oil And Gas Industry

Stress Testing Energy Companies in the Current Environment

Infographic Solar Power by the Numbers The US Canada and Mexico


Maine generators seek late block of Avangrid's transmission project

Claiming that importing 1,200 MW of subsidized Canadian hydropower will destroy New England's competitive power markets and make some Maine power plants too expensive to run, a trio of merchant generation companies are seeking to block Central Maine Power Co.'s New England Clean Energy Connect, or NECEC, transmission project.

In a March 15 petition to intervene filed with the Maine Public Utilities Commission, following a March 8 deadline for testimony, natural gas-fired plant owners Calpine Corp. and Dynegy Inc. joined with Bucksport Generation LLC to oppose the application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the $950 million power line by Avangrid Inc. subsidiary Central Maine Power.

Selected as an alternative winning bid for a Massachusetts solicitation for cleaner energy, Central Maine Power's proposed 145-mile-long, high-voltage direct current line through Maine is slated to receive a 20-year power supply contract with Massachusetts electric distribution companies if the original winning bid, Eversource Energy's 1,090-MW Northern Pass transmission project, fails to successfully appeal a denial of a siting permit in New Hampshire.

The companies said in their petition that Avangrid's NECEC project would artificially suppress wholesale energy and capacity prices to the point that existing power plants in Maine, including Calpine's 553.5-MW Westbrook Energy Center and Dynegy's 540-MW Maine Independence Station (Casco Bay), would be at risk of retiring prematurely. Bucksport Generation's 243-MW "tri-fueled" natural gas-, diesel- and biomass-fired plant located at the site of the Verso paper mill could also be at risk.

"The forced premature retirement of any existing fossil fuel plant in Maine would directly impact reliability and reduce the diversity of supply, putting Maine at risk should the proposed Canadian hydropower become unavailable," said the filing.

Any benefits of the NECEC transmission project could be offset, the petition warned, if regional grid operator ISO New England is compelled to keep at-risk power plants running through the use of "reliability must run" contracts and other costly out-of-market mechanisms to ensure grid reliability. The transmission project could also impede the development of renewable energy projects in Maine, the companies claimed.

The filing also noted that Hydro-Québec previously acknowledged that the source of the transmission line's hydropower will be from existing dams that currently sell surplus electricity to New York and New England. "In other words, importing 'clean' energy via NECEC may simply result in increased reliance on fossil generation to make up the difference in supply for other markets — and may not reduce overall carbon emissions by a single pound," said the petition.

Central Maine Power, in a March 23 filing, said the merchant generators are seeking to intervene and "restart the clock" on proceedings that are six months into a year-long case. Approving the request to intervene would not only be biased to CMP but would unfairly give the merchant generators another "bite at the apple" as "the opportunity for presenting intervenor testimony has passed, not once, but twice" already.