Posted on December 4th, 2017 by

MANCHESTER, N.H. (December 4, 2017) – New Hampshire workers and businesses, including suppliers, subcontractors, and the services and hospitality industries, will have the opportunity to meet with the team leading the construction of Northern Pass at two upcoming Job & Supplier Fairs.  Attendees can discuss the kinds of jobs, subcontractor opportunities, and supplies that are needed to complete Eversource’s 192-mile hydroelectric transmission line, and businesses can learn how to reach the many people who will be working on Northern Pass over the multi-year construction period.  Northern Pass will create or generate 2,600 jobs at the peak of construction.

Details of the Job & Supplier Fairs:

Wednesday, December 13                       Wednesday, January 10

3:00-8:00 p.m.                                            3:00-8:00 p.m.

Mountain View Grand Resort                 Grappone Conference Center

101 Mountain View Road                          70 Constitution Ave.

Whitefield, N.H.                                         Concord, N.H.

“Northern Pass has long been committed to hiring New Hampshire workers first and these fairs are a way for us to follow through on that commitment,” said Eversource New Hampshire President Bill Quinlan.  “We encourage everyone to attend and learn about the many opportunities available for local businesses and workers.”

Some of the opportunities available include:

Construction Jobs – lineworkers, electricians, administrative/office personnel, project managers, traffic control personnel, safety personnel, mechanics, land surveyors, landscapers, laborers, fence installation personnel, building construction personnel, steel erection personnel, fiber-optic splicers, heavy equipment operators, truckers, material managers, welders, testing/commissioning personnel, traffic control, road building personnel, clearing/grubbing contractors, paving contractors, matting contractor, loggers, well/HDD drillers

Logistics/Services Jobs – lodging, campgrounds, restaurants, graphic design, environmental testing, equipment rental and maintenance, printers, office supply, security, photographers, snow removal services, caterers, apartment rentals, Porta-John rentals, portable office rentals, waste disposal, fuel suppliers, gravel/aggregate suppliers, hay suppliers, groundwater consultants, concrete and cement suppliers, asphalt suppliers, sign companies, hardware suppliers, lumber suppliers, street sweeping, material stockpiles and laydown yards

For a full list, go to www.northernpass.us/job-registration.htm.

Participants in the Job & Supplier Fairs include:

  • PAR Electrical Contractors, Inc. the largest outside plant electrical contracting company in North America and is the General Contractor for the Northern Pass construction project with offices located in Bow, N.H.
  • Quanta Services, the leading integrated infrastructure solutions provider for the electric power, oil & gas and telecommunications industries. Quanta Services is the parent company for PAR Electrical Contractors, M.J. Electric, and Realtime Utility Engineers
  • M.J. Electric, LLC, a nationally recognized prime electrical contractor in the electric transmission, substation, distribution, renewable energy, power, industrial, instrumentation, and civil/foundation construction industries. M.J. Electric is tasked with construction of the converter station at Franklin, N.H.
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 104of Barrington, N.H. serving New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine and Vermont
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 490 of Concord, N.H.
  • Coös County Business and Employers Group, an organization of businesses and contractors in northern N.H.
  • Realtime Utility Engineers, Inc., A national recognized utility engineering firm providing engineering services for the project
  • Milwaukee Tools
  • Buckingham Tools
  • Northern Pass project representatives, on hand to discuss the project’s business directory, a list of local services available to the project’s many workers, such as restaurants, gas stations, retail stores, laundromats, auto repairs, hotels and recreational opportunities. A copy of the business directory will be given to everyone working on the Northern Pass project

The U.S. Department of Energy recently issued Northern Pass its Presidential Permit.  The project expects to conclude the federal and state approval process in early 2018, and anticipates construction will begin by mid-April 2018.

For more information call 1-855-NPT-JOBS or email nptjobs@northernpass.us.


Northern Pass is a 192-mile electric transmission line project that will bring to New England 1,090 megawatts of clean hydropower.  This reliable and affordable source of power will also bring a wide range of benefits to the region, including millions of dollars in energy cost savings and a significant reduction in carbon emissions.  To learn more about Northern Pass, go to 
www.northernpass.us.


Posted on December 1st, 2017 by

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ISSUES

Northern Pass Presidential Permit

On November 16, Northern Pass reached its most significant milestone yet. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Record of Decision (ROD) and approved the Presidential Permit for the Northern Pass that will allow the project to construct transmission facilities at the U.S./Canada border in Pittsburg. This approval is the culmination of a thorough review of the project that involved numerous federal agencies, extensive public involvement, and detailed consideration of approximately a dozen different alternatives.

“We are pleased to see the DOE permitting process for Northern Pass draw to a close, and appreciate the years of diligent work done by the federal agencies in reaching this critical project milestone,” said Eversource New Hampshire President Bill Quinlan. “With the New Hampshire and Canadian permitting processes also nearing completion, and considering we have all major contractor, equipment and labor agreements in place, Northern Pass is on track to begin construction by mid-2018. This is good news for customers, and for the broad and diverse group of New Hampshire stakeholders who support this project for the many benefits it will bring to the state and the region.”

In approving the Presidential Permit for Northern Pass, DOE found that the permit was in the public interest and that the project would have no adverse impacts on reliability of the U.S. electric power system, particularly in New England. As required, DOE also obtained favorable recommendations from the U.S. Departments of State and Defense. The extensive review of Northern Pass was led by DOE and involved the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service — White Mountain National Forest, the New England District of the Army Corps of Engineers and the New Hampshire Office of Energy Planning as cooperating agencies. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also participated in the review of potential impacts on threatened and endangered species.

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is expected to issue a separate final ROD soon in response to the project’s application for a special use permit to allow burial of the transmission line through the White Mountain National Forest. In a draft ROD issued in September, the USFS proposed to approve Northern Pass’ application, concluding that the short-term construction impacts of the project are “more than outweighed by the benefits of bringing additional hydropower to the New England grid.”

NORTHERN PASS MILESTONES AND LOOKING AHEAD

Before the Record of Decision and Presidential Permit from the DOE, Northern Pass has already received a number of other key approvals.

The staff of the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (NH PUC), the New Hampshire Office of the Consumer Advocate, Eversource, and Northern Pass reached a settlement in November that will enable Northern Pass to lease transmission rights-of-way from Eversource

The U.S. Forest Service released its draft Record of Decision recommending that the agency issue a special use permit allowing Northern Pass to bury approximately 11 miles of transmission lines in areas along existing roads through the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF)

The DOE finalized a Programmatic Agreement regarding Northern Pass that prescribes the steps necessary to complete the federal and state agency review of historic and archeological resources, including addressing any adverse effect

The DOE issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Northern Pass, concluding that the proposed route is the “preferred alternative,” that the project provides substantial benefits, and will result in minimal impacts

Eversource, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Quanta Services, Inc., and ABB Inc. finalized a comprehensive Project Labor Agreement

In the coming months, Northern Pass will continue the state permitting process before the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC). Looking ahead to the end of 2017 and into 2018, Northern Pass anticipates:

Testimony before the SEC will conclude in December for approximately 70 hearing days on Northern Pass

The SEC will begin deliberations on Northern Pass in January

The U.S. Forest Service will issue its final Record of Decision and Special Use Permit in early 2018, allowing Northern Pass to bury its transmission line in the WMNF

THE CONSTRUCTION PHASE:

Getting Feedback from Businesses

Representatives from Northern Pass are reaching out to businesses along the route, asking for their input on how the project can minimize impact during the construction process. Northern Pass will not begin construction until all necessary approvals are received; however, the project has begun these discussions so we are aware of concerns early in the process and can prepare to address them.

In October, Northern Pass sent more than 300 letters to business owners located along the proposed project route. Since then, representatives have been meeting with businesses and are compiling information about their unique needs, such as access points, hours of service, and delivery times.

Safety is our number one priority

Construction will be performed in a manner that ensures the safety of the public and the workers, and will not interfere with the access and egress of emergency vehicles (police, fire, ambulance, EMS, etc.). Communications and planning with local communities is important to achieving this goal, which is why we are currently consulting with towns along the route and allowing their first responders direct input in the development of emergency response plans.

Driveway Access

Business and property owners will always have access to and from their driveways, as will emergency vehicles. We will work with each business and property owner along the route to maintain continued access.

Minimizing Impact

Communication is key to minimizing impacts. We will continue to meet with municipal officials, businesses, homeowners and other affected stakeholders before and during construction to address any concerns and answer questions. We want to ensure that construction is performed in a way that is as non-intrusive as possible and follows best management practices.

WE VALUE YOUR INPUT

We have hired Concord-based Louis Karno & Company to survey businesses along portions of the route in Concord, Franconia and Plymouth as a way to get feedback from businesses owners from an independent source. Thirty interviews were completed this summer and an additional 30 interviews are now underway. Based on the results received thus far, the project will work with businesses to:

■ Ensure safety of pedestrians

■ Maintain business visibility so people know they are open for business

■ Manage traffic and put up signage important to businesses

■ Ensure that customers and delivery services have access to each business

■ Provide an agreed upon plan if special parking arrangements are needed

■ Minimize noise, dust and dirt piles

■ Ensure safe and efficient entry and exit to and from day care centers and schools affected by construction


Posted on November 22nd, 2017 by

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) has issued a notice of deliberations, signaling the final stage of the state permitting process for Northern Pass.  The 12 public deliberations will begin January 30th and end February 23rd, 2018.  Deliberations follow the conclusion of approximately 70 days of public hearings the SEC has held on Northern Pass.  The public hearings are scheduled to conclude in December.  With the state, federal and Canadian permitting processes nearing completion, Northern Pass is on track to begin construction by mid-2018 and in-service by the end of 2020.  The official notice is below:

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
SITE EVALUATION COMMITTEE
Docket No. 2015-06
Re: Joint Application of Northern Pass Transmission LLC
and Public Service Company of New Hampshire
d/b/a Eversource Energy for a Certificate of Site and Facility

November 21, 2017
NOTICE OF DELIBERATIONS

The hearings in this docket are scheduled to conclude no later than December 22, 2017. A Procedural Order was issued on September 12, 2017, that established the schedule for filing final briefs.

Public deliberations in this docket are hereby scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m., on the following dates: January 30 and 31;  and February 1, 6, 8, 9, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, and 23. The deliberations will be held at 49 Donovan Street, Concord, NH, and are open to the public.

While the deliberations are open to the public, testimony and public comment will not be taken during the meeting.

SO ORDERED this twenty-first day of November, 2017.


Posted on November 20th, 2017 by

People from around New Hampshire are voicing their support of Northern Pass. Whether from the business community, the North Country, the labor community or elected officials, supporters tout the benefits Northern Pass will bring to New Hampshire.

N.H. Gov. Chris Sununu

“Today, New Hampshire is one step closer to lowering energy rates across the Granite State. After years of careful review, the Department of Energy has approved the Presidential Permit for the Northern Pass Transmission Line project, which will deliver 1,100MW of clean, renewable energy to New Hampshire: a home-run for small businesses, rate-payers, and clean energy advocates. Shovel-ready projects like Northern Pass stand ready to deliver the clean, baseload electricity that Massachusetts should be actively pursuing in their Clean Energy RFP.”

Tony Giunta

Mayor-elect, City of Franklin, NH

“Issuance of the Presidential Permit for the Northern Pass project is great news for the City of Franklin and other municipalities that will directly benefit from the millions of new dollars being invested in our communities.  We greatly appreciate the thoroughness and speed at which the U.S. Department of Energy acted on this critical renewable energy project.”

Guy Montminy

Senior Vice President and Deputy General Manager, BAE Systems Electronic Systems, Nashua, NH

“News that the Northern Pass project is now one step closer to providing clean, renewable, reliable, low-cost power to New Hampshire and New England is encouraging.  BAE Systems saw its energy costs in New Hampshire grow by 24 percent per kilowatt hour from 2014 to 2016.  If these cost increases continue, they threaten New Hampshire’s economic growth.  There is no dispute that the best way to definitively lower electricity costs is to bring more reliable, affordable electricity into the New England power market.  The clean, renewable power Northern Pass will bring to the region will help address these cost increases while appropriately protecting environmental resources.  The state Site Evaluation Committee should follow the lead of federal regulators and approve this project without any further delays.”

Brian Murphy

Business Manager of IBEW Local 104 of Barrington, NH

“The issuance of the federal Record of Decision and Presidential Permit by the U.S. Department of Energy represents a major milestone for the Northern Pass project and the thousands of New Hampshire working families that will benefit from this project.  After conducting scores of public hearings and receiving thousands of public comments, the U.S. DOE correctly concluded that this project provides great benefit to the people of New Hampshire and New England.  IBEW applauds the thorough and efficient permitting work of the U.S. Department of Energy, and we look forward to getting to work building this critical energy infrastructure project.”

Tracy Hatch

President & CEO, Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce, Nashua, NH

“As New Hampshire businesses look to expand and grow, and as out-of-state and international companies look to relocate to New Hampshire, one of the biggest challenges they all face is the high and too often volatile cost of energy.  From manufacturing to health care, and from hospitality to retail to high-tech software development, virtually every industry we have and want to attract needs a reliable source of energy at a price they can afford with the capacity to meet their needs. Northern Pass promises to provide all that and more.  Our Chamber strongly supports Northern Pass and applauds this major step forward.”

Michael Skelton

President & CEO, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Manchester, NH

“Growing New Hampshire’s economy is directly tied to availability of low-cost and reliable sources of energy.  The GMCC has supported Northern Pass for years as we know an energy project of this scale will deliver tremendous value to our economy and help attract and retain businesses and jobs to the Granite State, especially from the manufacturing sector. We are pleased to see Northern Pass achieve this important milestone.”


Posted on November 16th, 2017 by

Permit Follows Record of Decision and Concludes Environmental Review of the Most Advanced Clean Energy Project in New England

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) and approved the Presidential Permit for the Northern Pass hydroelectric transmission project (NPT) that will allow NPT to construct transmission facilities at the U.S./Canada border in Pittsburg, New Hampshire.  This approval is the culmination of a thorough review of the project that involved numerous federal agencies, extensive public involvement, and detailed consideration of approximately a dozen different alternatives.

“We are pleased to see the DOE permitting process for Northern Pass draw to a close, and appreciate the years of diligent work done by the federal agencies in reaching this critical project milestone,” said Eversource New Hampshire President Bill Quinlan.  “With the New Hampshire and Canadian permitting processes also nearing completion, and considering we have all major contractor, equipment and labor agreements in place, Northern Pass is on track to begin construction by mid-2018.  This is good news for customers, and for the broad and diverse group of New Hampshire stakeholders who support this project for the many benefits it will bring to the state and the region.”

(See more quotes below.)

In approving the Presidential Permit for NPT, DOE found that the permit was in the public interest and that the project would have no adverse impacts on reliability of the U.S. electric power system, particularly in New England.  As required, DOE also obtained favorable recommendations from the U.S. Departments of State and Defense.  The extensive review of NPT was led by DOE and involved the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service – White Mountain National Forest, the New England District of the Army Corps of Engineers and the New Hampshire Office of Energy Planning as cooperating agencies.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also participated in the review of potential impacts on threatened and endangered species.

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is expected to issue a separate final ROD soon in response to NPT’s application for a special use permit to allow burial of the transmission line through the White Mountain National Forest.  In a draft ROD issued in September, the USFS proposed to approve NPT’s application, concluding that the short-term construction impacts of the project are “more than outweighed by the benefits of bringing additional hydropower to the New England grid.”

Northern Pass will result in up tp 3.2 million metric tons of avoided CO2 emissions per year in New England.  Estimated wholesale electricity market benefits are approximately $600 million annually for New England and $62 million annually for New Hampshire.  Northern Pass will create a significant increase in New Hampshire’s Gross Domestic Product, estimated to be $2.2 billion over the project’s construction period and in the first 10 years of operation, and the project will create 2,600 jobs in New Hampshire during construction.

Beyond its clean energy benefits and energy cost savings, Northern Pass will provide a number of benefits unique to New Hampshire, including about $30 million annually in additional tax revenue to communities along the route; $7.5 million to the North Country Job Creation Fund to develop and retain jobs in the North Country; thousands of acres set aside for conservation, recreation and mixed-use; and the $200 million Forward NH Fund to support clean energy innovations, economic development, community investment, and tourism.

The Northern Pass transmission line begins at the Canadian border in Pittsburg, New Hampshire and extends to Deerfield, New Hampshire where it connects to the New England grid.  More than 80 percent of the line will be located along existing transmission corridors or buried along roadways to eliminate potential view impacts in the White Mountain National Forest area.  Northern Pass will provide a robust, new interconnection path between the Québec and New England electric systems, and will be controlled by the regional system operator, ISO-New England.

Broad Support in New Hampshire

Tony Giunta

Mayor-elect, City of Franklin, NH

“Issuance of the Presidential Permit for the Northern Pass project is great news for the City of Franklin and other municipalities that will directly benefit from the millions of new dollars being invested in our communities.  We greatly appreciate the thoroughness and speed at which the U.S. Department of Energy acted on this critical renewable energy project.”

Guy Montminy

Senior Vice President and Deputy General Manager, BAE Systems Electronic Systems, Nashua, NH

“News that the Northern Pass project is now one step closer to providing clean, renewable, reliable, low-cost power to New Hampshire and New England is encouraging.  BAE Systems saw its energy costs in New Hampshire grow by 24 percent per kilowatt hour from 2014 to 2016.  If these cost increases continue, they threaten New Hampshire’s economic growth.  There is no dispute that the best way to definitively lower electricity costs is to bring more reliable, affordable electricity into the New England power market.  The clean, renewable power Northern Pass will bring to the region will help address these cost increases while appropriately protecting environmental resources.  The state Site Evaluation Committee should follow the lead of federal regulators and approve this project without any further delays.”

Brian Murphy

Business Manager of IBEW Local 104 of Barrington, NH

“The issuance of the federal Record of Decision and Presidential Permit by the U.S. Department of Energy represents a major milestone for the Northern Pass project and the thousands of New Hampshire working families that will benefit from this project.  After conducting scores of public hearings and receiving thousands of public comments, the U.S. DOE correctly concluded that this project provides great benefit to the people of New Hampshire and New England.  IBEW applauds the thorough and efficient permitting work of the U.S. Department of Energy, and we look forward to getting to work building this critical energy infrastructure project.”

Tracy Hatch

President & CEO, Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce, Nashua, NH

“As New Hampshire businesses look to expand and grow, and as out-of-state and international companies look to relocate to New Hampshire, one of the biggest challenges they all face is the high and too often volatile cost of energy.  From manufacturing to health care, and from hospitality to retail to high-tech software development, virtually every industry we have and want to attract needs a reliable source of energy at a price they can afford with the capacity to meet their needs. Northern Pass promises to provide all that and more.  Our Chamber strongly supports Northern Pass and applauds this major step forward.”

Michael Skelton

President & CEO, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Manchester, NH

“Growing New Hampshire’s economy is directly tied to availability of low-cost and reliable sources of energy.  The GMCC has supported Northern Pass for years as we know an energy project of this scale will deliver tremendous value to our economy and help attract and retain businesses and jobs to the Granite State, especially from the manufacturing sector. We are pleased to see Northern Pass achieve this important milestone.”

 

The Northern Pass is a 192-mile electric transmission line project that will bring to New England 1,090 megawatts of clean hydropower.  This reliable and affordable source of power will also bring a wide range of benefits to the region, including millions of dollars in energy cost savings and a significant reduction in carbon emissions.  To learn more about Northern Pass, go to www.northernpass.us.

Eversource (NYSE: ES) transmits and delivers electricity and natural gas to more than 3.7 million electric and natural gas customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Recognized as the top U.S. utility for its energy efficiency programs by the sustainability advocacy organization Ceres, Eversource harnesses the commitment of its approximately 8,000 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of safely delivering reliable energy and superior customer service. For more information, please visit our website at Eversource.com and follow us on Twitter (@eversourceNH) and Facebook (facebook.com/EversourceNH).

###

CONTACT:

Martin Murray

603-634-2228

martin.murray@eversource.com

 

Kaitlyn Woods

603-634-2418

kaitlyn.woods@eversource.com


Posted on November 13th, 2017 by

Northern Pass Reaches Agreement to Lease Rights-of-Way

$15 million in clean energy benefits to New Hampshire customers

The Staff of the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC), the New Hampshire Office of the Consumer Advocate (OCA), Eversource, and Northern Pass have reached a settlement that will enable Northern Pass to lease transmission rights-of-way from Eversource. The agreement, now pending final approval by the NHPUC, will provide significant customer benefits and complete the last of several NHPUC approvals needed for Northern Pass to proceed.

“We appreciate the effort and collaboration the PUC staff and the OCA put into this settlement, which will provide significant benefits to New Hampshire customers and will also move this important clean energy project forward,” said Eversource New Hampshire President Bill Quinlan. “Based on the terms of the agreement, New Hampshire residents will have greater access to clean energy technologies of the future.”

Under the proposed agreement, which the parties agreed is in the public interest, Northern Pass will make annual lease payments to Eversource, which will be used to off-set Eversource’s transmission costs. Additionally, Northern Pass has committed to making annual payments, which will total $15 million over the lifetime of the project. The funds will be under the control and direction of the NHPUC for “programs, projects or other purposes that provide benefits to New Hampshire distribution customers.” These programs may include investments in distributed generation, energy storage, electric vehicles, demand response and other initiatives.

The settlement agreement follows an order in April from the PUC stating Eversource has shown that it has the right to lease the use of its existing rights-of-way to Northern Pass. Hearings on the project are continuing before the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC), with a decision on NPT’s application for a Certificate of Site and Facility expected from the SEC in early 2018.

 

Northern Pass Concludes Its Case-In-Chief Before the SEC

The final witnesses for Northern Pass completed testimony before the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) on October 2, marking the conclusion of Northern Pass’ witness presentation before the SEC. Northern Pass presented 25 witnesses over 43 hearing days, describing in detail the following aspects of the project.

■ Forward NH, Project Route, Clean Energy RFP

■ Financial

■ Public Health & Safety

■ System Reliability

■ Construction

■ Environmental

■ Tourism

■ Property Taxes

■ Property Values

■ Historical/ Archeological

■ Aesthetics

■ Orderly Development

 

What’s Next for Northern Pass

The Counsel for the Public and intervenors will continue presenting witnesses before the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC).

The SEC is expected to issue a decision on Northern Pass in early 2018.

The U.S. Forest Service is expected to issue its final Record of Decision later this year. In September, the Forest Service issued a draft Record of Decision recommending a special use permit to bury transmission lines along existing roads in the White Mountain National Forest.

The Dept. of Energy is expected to issue its Record of Decision and Presidential Permit this year.

Northern Pass representatives continue to meet with business owners along the route to discuss any concerns regarding the construction process.

Partners for NH's Fish and Wildlife Grant Award Ceremony, October 3, 2017

Partners for NH’s Fish and Wildlife Grant Award Ceremony, October 3, 2017

National Fish and Wildlife Grantees Announced at UNH Manchester Event

For the third consecutive year, Eversource’s and Northern Pass’ continued partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is helping environmental grant recipients to restore and preserve New Hampshire’s and New England’s forest and wildlife habitats. On October 3 at the University of New Hampshire Manchester campus, Eversource New Hampshire Operations President Bill Quinlan joined NFWF leaders in awarding four grants totaling nearly $400,000 funded through the Eversource-NFWF “Partners for New Hampshire’s Fish and Wildlife.”

NFWF works with a variety of stakeholders — private landowners, government agencies, academic institutions and conservation groups — to cultivate science-based conservation strategies and cost-effective on-the-ground projects.

“Partners for New Hampshire’s Fish and Wildlife is a proven example of the good that can happen when businesses and nonprofits link arms, and is in perfect step with Eversource’s commitment to environmental sustainability.” — Bill Quinlan

The 2017 Partners for NH’s Fish and Wildlife grant recipients are:

Vermont Center for Ecostudies, Inc. — this project will document how Bicknell’s thrush uses young forest habitat in managed commercial forest stands in Coös County and Maine. The project will use the data collected to revise and update the existing best management practices in timber forests.

University of New Hampshire — this project will develop forest management practices to benefit priority forest birds, including wood thrush and the black-throated blue warbler. The project will enable 82 landowners in the upper Androscoggin and Saco River watersheds to implement the appropriate management practices to improve the care of 1,500 acres of early successional and late successional habitat.

University of New Hampshire — for the first time, this project will document how New England cottontail and other young-forest-dependent species respond to planned early successional forest habitat management activities in Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine. The project will result in the development of a landscape scale model to predict future abundance on 28,800 acres of restored habitat.

Belknap Conservation District — this project will restore instream habitat structure that will create pools and spawning habitat for Eastern brook trout on Poorfarm Brook in the Gunstock Recreation Area. The project will restore two miles of historic habitat to be used as a demonstration of the effectiveness of the technique.


Posted on November 2nd, 2017 by

$15 million in clean energy benefits to New Hampshire customers

MANCHESTER, N.H. (November 2, 2017) – The Staff of the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC), the New Hampshire Office of the Consumer Advocate (OCA), Eversource, and Northern Pass Transmission LLC (NPT) have reached a settlement that will enable Northern Pass to lease transmission rights-of-way from Eversource.  The agreement, now pending final approval by the NHPUC, will provide significant customer benefits and complete the last of several NHPUC approvals needed for NPT to proceed.  Hearings on the project are continuing before the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC), with a decision on NPT’s application for a Certificate of Site and Facility expected from the SEC in early 2018.

“We appreciate the effort and collaboration the PUC staff and the OCA put into this settlement, which will provide significant benefits to New Hampshire customers and will also move this important clean energy project forward,” said Eversource New Hampshire President Bill Quinlan. “Based on the terms of the agreement, New Hampshire residents will have greater access to clean energy technologies of the future.”

Under the proposed agreement, which the parties agreed is in the public interest, NPT will make annual lease payments to Eversource, which will be used to off-set Eversource’s transmission costs.  Additionally, Northern Pass has committed to making annual payments, which will total $15 million over the lifetime of the project.  The funds will be under the control and direction of the PUC for “programs, projects or other purposes that provide benefits to New Hampshire distribution customers.”  These programs may include investments in distributed generation, energy storage, electric vehicles, demand response and other initiatives.

The settlement agreement follows an order in April from the PUC stating Eversource has shown that it has the right to lease the use of its existing rights-of-way to Northern Pass.

In addition to the $15 million in funding for New Hampshire customers included in this agreement, Northern Pass will provide the state with millions annually in additional tax revenue to communities along the route; $7.5 million to the North Country Job Creation Fund to develop and retain jobs in the North Country; thousands of acres set aside for conservation, recreation and mixed-use; reduced CO2 emissions and energy costs; and the $200 million Forward NH Fund to support clean energy innovations, economic development, community investment, and tourism.

The proposed Northern Pass transmission line will begin at the Canadian border in Pittsburg, New Hampshire and run to Deerfield where it connects to the New England grid. More than 80 percent of the line will be located along existing transmission corridors or buried along roadways to eliminate potential view impacts in the White Mountain National Forest area. Northern Pass will provide a robust, new interconnection path between the Québec and New England electric systems, and will be controlled by the regional system operator, ISO-New England.


Posted on October 13th, 2017 by

Document proposes approval of Northern Pass underground route in the White Mountain National Forest

Northern Pass was pleased to get the news in early September that the U.S. Forest Service had released its Draft Record of Decision (ROD) recommending that the agency issue a special use permit allowing the project to bury approximately 11 miles of transmission lines in areas along existing roads through the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF). The Draft ROD is another significant step forward for Northern Pass in the permitting process, and comes on the heels of the Final Environmental Impact Statement released by the U.S. Department of Energy in August — both highlighting the soundness of the proposal and the benefits to New Hampshire and the region.

“This proposed decision by the U.S. Forest Service continues to move Northern Pass forward so that it will have all necessary state and federal permits to begin construction by mid-2018,” Eversource New Hampshire President Bill Quinlan said. “It is consistent with the key findings of other permitting agencies, including the Department of Energy, the NH Department of Environmental Services and the NH Department of Transportation.”

The Draft ROD is the culmination of seven years of review and extensive public input. In 2015, Northern Pass announced an improved route that included 52 additional miles of underground to avoid any potential view impacts in and around the WMNF or along the Appalachian Trail. The Draft ROD supports the project’s conclusion that burial along Interstate 93 is not a reasonable alternative, and states that the improved route “is a reasonable way to transmit electrical power through the WMNF in a minimally impactful way when considering all available alternatives.”

The Forest Service also said that the project will increase the reliability of New England’s power supply by reducing reliance on imported natural gas; helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions consistent with public policy goals and the New Hampshire Climate Action Plan; and, providing “meaningful benefits to air quality” in the White Mountain National Forest.

“Meeting long-term energy needs in a sustainable, secure, and cost-effective manner for this region of the country is certainly in the public’s interest,” the Forest Service states.

The following excerpts are from the U.S. Forest Service Draft Decision

“I fully understand and acknowledge that there will be short-term, construction-related, impacts to natural and cultural resources on the WMNF, visitors to the area, and private lands/properties located along NH Routes 112 and 116. My decision does not ignore or make light of these effects. I believe the intensity and duration of these effects is more than outweighed by the benefits associated with bringing additional hydropower to the New England grid.”

“I believe that the technology is comprehensive, and that the Applicant possesses the ability to effectively construct, operate, and maintain the line underground…since these alternatives bury the line on the WMNF, instead of the initial proposal for overhead lines, I believe the tradeoffs and environmental impacts to the National Forest and connected areas under Alternatives 4c and 7 are reasonable.”

“…the alternatives utilizing I-93 are not consistent with my understanding of NHDOT policies… Therefore, I did not select alternatives that buried the transmission line across the WMNF in the I-93 corridor.”

Important Agreement, Part of Federal Permitting Process Finalized

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has finalized a Programmatic Agreement (PA) regarding Northern Pass, which marks further progress in the federal permitting process for the clean energy project. The PA is a legally binding agreement that prescribes the steps necessary to complete the federal and state agency review of historic and archeological resources, including addressing any adverse effects. The PA is part of a larger process under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, and is separate from the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) environmental review.

The signatories to the PA include officials from DOE, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Department of Interior, the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources, and Northern Pass Transmission.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR NORTHERN PASS

  • The Counsel for the Public and intervenors are set to begin presenting witness testimony in October.
  • The DOE has announced its intention to issue a Presidential Permit for Northern Pass.

Facts ABOUT NORTHERN PASS

  • FACT: Northern Pass will not impact views in the White Mountain National Forest
    • New Hampshire is a beautiful place and our mountains and protected lands are part of the state’s character. That is why more than 80 percent of the project is along existing power line corridors or buried under public roads, including 52 miles in and around the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF). Scenic vistas within the WMNF, from the Appalachian Trail, and Franconia Notch State Park would not be impacted.
    • The U.S. Department of Energy recently released its Environmental Impact Statement, which determined the average scenic impact from the project is “low to very low.” The U.S. Forest Service also reviewed a portion of the underground route in the WMNF and determined it “is a reasonable way to transmit electrical power through the WMNF in a minimally impactful way when considering all available alternatives.”
  • FACT: Northern Pass will provide many benefits to New Hampshire
    • Northern Pass will provide millions of dollars in benefits to New Hampshire. Here are some of the benefits the state will see:
    • $30 million in additional tax revenue for communities along the route.
    • $62 million savings annually in energy costs
    • 2,600 jobs, with a commitment to hire local workers first
    • Reducing CO2 emissions by 3.2 million, or the equivalent of taking 670,000 cars off the road
    • $200 million Forward NH Fund for economic development, community betterment, tourism and clean energy initiatives in communities throughout the state
    • $7.5 million North Country Job Creation Fund, run by and administered to North Country residents to help businesses grow and hire more workers
    • Preserving a 7-acre parcel in Concord to expand the habitat of the Karner blue butterfly, New Hampshire’s state butterfly
    • A $3 million payment to NH’s Aquatic Resource Mitigation Fund (ARM) to address potential impacts from construction
    • $3 million to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to support the Partners for New Hampshire’s Fish and Wildlife grants, which have already funded dozens of conservation and restoration projects in New Hampshire.
  • FACT: N.H. will benefit from Northern Pass’ power
    • Northern Pass will carry clean hydropower from the New Hampshire border with Canada, south to where it will be distributed throughout the regional grid from a substation in Deerfield. A portion of the energy will be used in New Hampshire, as well as the other New England states.
    • In our regional energy system, the price of electricity is based on how much power is available to everyone in all New England states. When a new source of low-cost energy is added, it affects the price of electricity for everyone. An energy market study showed that the added power from Northern Pass will lower energy costs by $600 million regionally and by $62 million annually here in New Hampshire.
  • FACT: Northern Pass has environmental benefits
    • The U.S. Department of Energy recently issued its Final Environmental Impact Statement, which said it intended to issue the project a Presidential Permit. After a multi-year review of the project, the DOE concluded our proposal is the “preferred alternative” and the project will help diversify the electric supply and provide clean hydropower that “can help meet public policy goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” The N.H. Department of Environmental Services has also concluded its technical review and has recommended approval of the project.
    • Northern Pass will have a major impact on the region’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses. The project will reduce CO2 emissions by 3.2 million tons per year, equivalent to taking 670,000 cars off the road. It will make the New England electric grid, which New Hampshire. is a part of, less reliant on natural gas for generating electricity, and provides a clean back-up source of energy for other intermittent sources, like wind and solar.

Posted on October 5th, 2017 by

The final witnesses for Northern Pass completed their testimony before the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) on Monday, marking the conclusion of Northern Pass’ witness presentation before the SEC. Northern Pass presented 25 witnesses over 43 hearing days, describing in detail the following aspects of the project.

Forward NH, Project Route, Clean Energy RFP         Financial 

Public Health & Safety                                                             System Reliability         

Construction                                                                                  Environmental               

Tourism                                                                                             Property Taxes                

Property Values                                                                           Historical/Archeological 

Aesthetics                                                                                       Orderly Development                                                            

The SEC also heard from members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) last week, who testified about the job opportunities available for New Hampshire workers, as well as Allen Bouthillier, Lancaster business owner and member of the Coös County Business and Employers Group, who spoke about the economic opportunities Northern Pass will bring to the North Country.

The Counsel for the Public and intervenors are set to begin presenting their witness testimony later this week.

Other Recent Project Milestones include:

  • The U.S. Forest Service has released its Draft Record of Decision (ROD) recommending that the agency issue a special use permit allowing Northern Pass Transmission to bury approximately eleven miles of transmission lines in areas along existing roads through the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF).
  • The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has finalized a Programmatic Agreement (PA) regarding Northern Pass that prescribes the steps necessary to complete the federal and state agency review of historic and archeological resources, including addressing any adverse effects.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Northern Pass, concluding that the proposed route is the “preferred alternative,” that the project provides substantial benefits, and will result in only minimal impacts
  • Eversource, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Quanta Services, Inc., and ABB Inc. finalized a comprehensive Project Labor Agreement
  • The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (NH PUC) has approved a request by Northern Pass to cross public waters and public lands
  • The NH PUC determined that Eversource has the legal authority to lease its existing rights-of-way to Northern Pass
  • The New Hampshire Department of Transportation issued its final report to the NH SEC saying it will issue a permit for the project
  • The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) issued four key approvals of the project, pertaining to the Wetland, Shoreland and Alteration of Terrain permits, and the 401 Water Quality Certificate.  The approvals are essential components of the state siting process being conducted by the NH SEC and, per DES, mark the conclusion of the agency’s review of the project’s siting application

Posted on October 4th, 2017 by

The following op-ed by Martin Murray, spokesman for Northern Pass, recently appeared in a number of New Hampshire newspapers, including the Laconia Daily Sun

Northern Pass is Committed to Working with Businesses Along the Route

By Martin Murray

Earlier this month, the U.S. Forest Service issued a draft Record of Decision recommending approval of Northern Pass’ underground route within the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF). It said the project is in the public interest because it will meet the region’s “long-term energy needs in a sustainable, secure, and cost-effective manner.” Northern Pass is a clean energy project that will transmit enough hydropower to power 1 million homes. It will reduce CO2 emissions by 3.2 million metric tons a year, the equivalent of taking 670,000 cars off the road. The project is consistent with New Hampshire’s Clean Energy Action Plan and will provide an affordable and reliable baseload source of clean energy as older power plants close and we continue to add more intermittent sources such as solar and wind.

The draft Record of Decision also supports the project’s proposed route, saying it “is a reasonable way to transmit electrical power through the WMNF in a minimally impactful way when considering all available alternatives.”

The decision to bury the project for a total of 60 miles, with 52 of those miles in and around the White Mountain National Forest, came after numerous meetings with New Hampshire residents and stakeholders, who emphasized the importance of avoiding view impacts in that region. The improved route does just that, eliminating view impacts in the Forest, Franconia State Park area, and along the Appalachian Trail.

The improved route is part of our effort to reduce the impact to New Hampshire while also bringing affordably-priced clean energy to the region. We’ve also reached out to each community along the route to discuss how best to avoid impacts during construction. Through mutually agreed upon memorandums of understanding, or MOUs, Northern Pass can address a community’s unique needs, such as consideration of community events and other local and seasonal activities, equipment storage and staging areas, coordination with emergency responders, and establishing responsibility for any damage to roads. We have already signed MOUs with four towns and are in discussions with others.

We appreciate that running a small business can be challenging and that a project of this magnitude may cause concern. We know we must find ways to lessen the impact of construction, and we will work with local chambers and other groups to promote and support uninterrupted commerce throughout construction. Northern Pass has submitted a construction plan to the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee that includes regular communications with business owners, traffic management plans, signage directing customers to temporary parking, outreach to customers through newspapers and other media, and a special “hotline” and online communications for quick response to problems, should they arise.

We have made a pledge to hire New Hampshire workers first. Workers who, as much as any small business owner along the route, want to see this state succeed. Those workers will need to fill up their gas tanks, grab a meal, wash their clothes, spend the night, and make other purchases while on the job. These are purchases that will be made in towns along and around the route, and economic data shows spending associated with Northern Pass will boost New Hampshire’s economy, not diminish it.

Northern Pass has sent letters and updates to landowners and businesses along the route, asking for feedback and inviting anyone with questions or concerns to give us a call. We are a New Hampshire company with many long-time New Hampshire residents working to bring more clean energy to the region. We want to see New Hampshire businesses grow and succeed, and are dedicated to working with local officials, meeting with businesses and communicating to residents and tourists alike that their favorite destinations are open for business.

Any business owner who would like to talk to a Northern Pass representative may do so by calling 1-800-286-7305.