Blackstone’s TDI pitches 1GW Massachusetts power plan

The New England Clean Power Link, submitted in response to the state’s clean energy RFP, would transmit power from Quebec.

Blackstone portfolio company TDI New England is looking to build a 1GW clean energy project to provide power to Massachusetts, submitting two bids in response to the state’s clean energy request for proposals. 

The proposals, called the New England Clean Power Link, would see power from the Hydro-Quebec system channelled from the Canadian border through high-voltage direct current cables buried under Vermont. One plan would have the existing Hydro-Quebec system provide the entire 1GW in hydropower, while an alternate plan would transmit 700MW of hydropower while also building a 300MW wind farm. The wind farm would be built by Boralex and Gaz Métro, both Canadian firms.

The RFP was issued in March by the state’s Department of Energy Resources along with several local utilities as part of an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The agency aims to award 15- to 20-year contracts following an evaluation process. TDI was one of five groups to announce submissions in response to the RFP, according to local reports.

TDI said the NECPL proposals are the only projects with permitting completed. The NECPL – which has been in development for about three years – has the backing of Vermont Governor Phil Scott.

“The New England Clean Power Link is a transformative smart grid project that will meaningfully reduce power prices and greenhouse gases in the State of Massachusetts for many future generations,” said Blackstone senior managing director Sean Klimczak.

Klimczak, who has worked on the firm’s energy investments since 2005, is spearheading Blackstone’s new infrastructure division. The latter is eyeing a new open-ended, permanent-capital fund that collects fees based on net asset value. The vehicle is targeting $40 billion, anchored with a $20 billion commitment from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, and is anticipating a first close early next year.