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Vermont Green Line Looks For Alternate Site For Converter Station

Melody Bodette
The Vermont Green Line had proposed building a converter station in New Haven, but have not yet reached a deal with the town. On Tuesday, they will meet with the Middlebury Select Board about building the project in the town's industrial park.

Representatives of a power line that would run under Lake Champlain are meeting with the Middlebury Selectboard Tuesday night  to discuss the possibility of building a converter station in the town’s industrial park.

The 400-Megawatt Vermont Green Line would bring power from northern New York to Vermont. The cable would run under Lake Champlain to Ferrisburgh, then underground to a converter station. The developers had hoped to build the converter station in New Haven, but have not yet been able to reach a deal with the town.

“We continue to be in negotiations with New Haven but we are concerned about our permitting timeline and how it might affect our commercial operation date, so with that we are looking at some of our other options in neighboring communities,” said Joe Rossignoli of National Grid, one of the utilities behind the $600 million project.

Rossignoli says the industrial zoned property in Middlebury is very attractive, but the developers are also in discussion with two other towns. They would like the support of a host town before they begin the permitting process with the Vermont Public Service Board.

“That’s always been our priority, we’re not mandated strictly speaking to get such an expression of support in order to site electric facilities, our view is that it’s doing the right thing to go to local communities and get support first before going into state permitting,” Rossignoli said.

The Vermont Green Line has offered New Haven payments of up to $1 million per year for 20 years, as well as $3 million for a new fire station. Some in town have expressed concerns about visual and noise impacts from the project.

Melody is the Contributing Editor for But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids and the co-author of two But Why books with Jane Lindholm.
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