Emera, a Canadian company looking to build a 900 megawatt power cable from New Brunswick, Canada, to Massachusetts told the Board of Selectmen that Plymouth is their choice for a landing spot.
The company had also considered Lynn, but Plymouth’s receptiveness to hosting the cable gave it the edge, Robin McAdam of Emera said at Tuesday night’s meeting. He was there to give the board an update on the project.
Emera would put a substation south of Powerhouse Road on land owned by Entergy, McAdams said. The cable would connect with the existing power lines there. That location is different from a piece of property in the same area that Town Meeting recently voted to transfer from the Town Treasurer to the Board of Selectmen in order to facilitate the project. McAdam expressed appreciation for the town’s efforts.
There will be an effort to reach out to the public about the plan, McAdam said. Site visits and “some kind of event” are possibilities. The substation will be hidden in a building between 45 to 60 feet in height. McAdam described it as a “pretty innocuous kind of facility.” He said the company would cut down as few trees as possible in order to ensure a buffer around the area. The area covers about 52 acres and Emera hopes to use 15 of them for the facility, he said.
McAdam admitted that such facilities tend to make a humming sound, but with enough buffer area that shouldn’t be problem for the nearest neighbors, whom he estimated would be about 900-1,000 feet away.
Emera is competing with several other companies to win the contract, including another one that is also looking at Plymouth as a landing site. They won’t find out if they’re the winning bidder until early next year and if they do win, construction won’t begin until 2020, McAdam said.
In the meantime, the company still has to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning Board to get some zoning changes, he said.