Posted on May 9th, 2017 by

Northern Pass Will Deliver Substantial Economic and Environmental Benefits to NH

(May 9, 2017) – The New Hampshire House Science, Technology and Energy Committee (ST&E) voted today, 20-1, to retain SB 128, a bill aimed at clarifying the authority of the NH Public Utilities Commission (PUC) under New Hampshire’s electric restructuring law to consider opportunities by electric utilities to lower consumers’ energy costs.

Clarifying the authority of the New Hampshire PUC to assess the benefits of such measures would ensure consideration of a power purchase agreement (PPA) between Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) and Hydro-Québec (HQ).  The proposed PPA would provide 100 MW of favorably priced Northern Pass power to PSNH customers for 20 years.

Importantly, the PPA is not a requirement for state siting approval of Northern Pass by the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee.  Rather, it was provided in response to New Hampshire stakeholders’ requests for unique clean energy benefits from Northern Pass, above and beyond those received by other New England states.

“We understand the importance of considering this proposed legislation carefully,” said Bill Quinlan, President of NH Operations at Eversource.  “We are committed to continuing to work intently with the NH Legislature, the PUC, and other parties to identify solutions for delivering much-needed energy rate relief for our customers.”

“We stand by our commitment to our New Hampshire neighbors, and look forward to delivering the benefits of the PPA in the future, should such an opportunity arise” said Steve Demers, Hydro-Québec’s Vice President of Business Development.

The PPA is only one element of Northern Pass’ robust Forward NH Plan, which will provide more than $3 billion in benefits to New Hampshire. A significant component of this plan is an estimated $600 million annually in regional energy cost savings separate and apart from the PSNH-HQ PPA. These savings result by adding a new and substantial supply of reliable power to the region’s electric grid at Deerfield, NH, which results in a more competitive market and lowers wholesale energy power prices for all New England consumers. New Hampshire’s share of this reduction is projected to be more than $60 million a year.

The Forward NH Plan will also provide about $30 million annually in new tax revenues, create about 2,600 construction jobs, and provide $200 million in funding for community betterment, economic development, clean energy and tourism.  Moreover, Northern Pass will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 3 million tons a year.

SB 128 will remain in the House ST&E Committee for further work and consideration this session.  The Committee has until the end of 2017 to vote on the bill.  SB 128 will then move to the full NH House of Representatives for a vote in January, at the start of its 2018 session.

Northern Pass is in the final stages of securing necessary state and federal permits, with decisions expected this year.


Posted on May 5th, 2017 by

Northern Pass Receives Key Approval from NHDOT

Northern Pass reached another significant milestone in April when the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NH DOT) issued its final report to the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (NH SEC) recommending approval of the project. The final report comes after months of review of the application Northern Pass submitted to the state in October 2016.

The NH DOT decision follows the March 1 announcement that the NH Department of Environmental Services also recommends approval of the project following its review of environmental data and studies from along the project route. Both are essential components of the state siting process being conducted by the NH SEC, which is scheduled to render a final decision on the Northern Pass application later this year.

Final Hearings on Northern Pass Underway

Final hearings on the Northern Pass project began on April 13, launching the last phase of the state permitting process before the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) returns its decision on the project.

The final hearings began with testimony from Bill Quinlan, Eversource President of NH Operations, who discussed the benefits Northern Pass will bring to New Hampshire, the Massachusetts Clean Energy request for proposals (RFP), and the transmission service agreement between Northern Pass Transmission LLC and Hydro Renewable Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec.

Hearings have been scheduled through the first week of August, and will continue in May covering topics such as construction, and how the project relates to historical, archeological, and environmental resources.

 

In April, the hearings covered the following topics:

  • A Project Overview, including discussion of the Forward NH Fund, Massachusetts Clean Energy RFP, and benefits for New Hampshire
  • The Technical, Financial and Managerial Capability of the project
  • How the construction and operation of Northern Pass relates to Public Health & Safety
  • System Reliability and how the hydropower delivered by Northern Pass will contribute to the regional electric grid

 

Northern Pass and The Balsams Team Up to Bring Jobs, Tourism to the North Country

The Forward NH Plan, established by Northern Pass, recently committed a $3 million loan to assist The Balsams Resort through its final phases of design, permitting and financing. The funding is in addition to $2 million previously provided by the Forward NH Plan and helped The Balsams Resort complete a Work Force Study and advance its application with the NH Business Finance Administration, bringing this important project a step closer to breaking ground.

The Work Force Study showed that redevelopment of The Balsams will generate 600 construction jobs and at least 400 jobs when Phase 1 of the facility opens. Once the build-out of the entire project is complete, The Balsams could employ up to 1,500 people, in addition to the jobs created indirectly through the investment in the greater community.

“The interesting thing here is the future is so bright,” said Bill Quinlan, Eversource President of NH Operations, in a recent video about the partnership. “If you think about building on that history and what this actually might look like 10 years from now, it’s really exciting. We purposefully picked The Balsams because we think it’s such a transformational project for the North Country.”

In recent years, the North Country has seen economic setbacks with businesses closing and people leaving the area, said Les Otten, developer of The Balsams Resort project. The joint effort of redeveloping The Balsams and building clean energy infrastructure nearby could have a significant positive impact on the economy, he said.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity because now we’re going to get to use renewables and its actually going to reduce our power costs,” said Otten. “In addition to that, it creates the opportunity to increase reliability, other businesses to locate near us, potentially an increase in manufacturing again in the North Country with the overall upgrade of lines, and having power being a little less expensive in New Hampshire is a big deal.”

You can watch the video on The Balsams Resort redevelopment and the partnership with the Forward NH Plan at https://thebalsamsresort.com/balsams-forward-nh-video.

Regulators Issue Favorable Order on Northern Pass Use of Existing Rights-Of-Way

New Hampshire regulators issued an order earlier this month that found Eversource has made a reasonable showing that it has the right to lease the use of its existing rights-of-way to Northern Pass. The ruling clears the way for the N.H. Public Utilities Commission to now consider the benefits of the proposed lease agreement between Eversource and Northern Pass.

More than 80 percent of the proposed Northern Pass route is within existing Eversource rights-of-way or buried under public roads. Under the proposed lease agreement, more than 98 percent of the lease revenue received by Eversource will be credited to customers. The NHPUC will now begin to consider the value of the lease and determine whether it is “for the public good.”


Posted on May 1st, 2017 by

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) will hear from a panel of six experts this week about details relating to the construction of Northern Pass.

The final hearings, which began in April, will continue May 1-4 with Kenneth Bowes, Eversource Vice President of Engineering who is responsible for engineering activities for Eversource’s electric transmission and distribution system. The Construction Panel will also include Samuel Johnson, lead Project Manager for the Northern Pass Transmission project; Derrick Bradstreet, Project Manager for Burns & McDonnell Engineering and the lead design engineer for the project; Nathan Scott, Senior Transmission Engineer for Burns & McDonnell Engineering and the underground project manager and lead engineer responsible for the electrical design of the three underground segments of the Northern Pass HVDC transmission line; John Kayser, Project Manager in the Transmission and Distribution division at Burns & McDonnell Engineering; and Lynn Farrington, a licensed Professional Traffic Operations Engineer for Louis Berger of Portland, Maine, who is advising Northern Pass on traffic impacts that may occur temporarily during construction.

Key points that will likely be discussed will include:

  • The project’s objective is to provide clean, renewable, competitively-priced electricity for consumers in New Hampshire and the rest of New England
  • The project will be constructed in areas where Northern Pass will have obtained the necessary regulatory approval for use of public highways, state lands and waters, lease of PSNH ROWs, or has otherwise already secured the right to use land pursuant to leases with private landowners
  • The construction of Northern Pass will be managed and constructed by several specialty contractors who were selected through a bid process based on years of experience in managing and constructing high-voltage transmission lines and substation facilities throughout New England and the United States
  • Northern Pass and Eversource have a project labor agreement (PLA) with its contractors, which outlines their firm commitment to hiring local, New Hampshire workers first and to developing strong working relationships with both large and small contractors who are either union or non-union
  • Construction of the line and all facilities will be done in accordance with the best practices outlined by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (www.nerc.com), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), and other state and federal agencies
  • Construction of the project will occur at more than one location simultaneously and will include locations where it will be necessary to cross or work adjacent to rivers, highways, railroads, gas pipelines or other utilities. Each of these locations will be planned and coordinated with the appropriate agencies and in compliance with applicable permits, plans, specifications, codes and regulations. The work will be planned and performed by qualified contractors using appropriate procedures, equipment and personnel with the necessary technical expertise
  • Northern Pass will provide field inspectors responsible for auditing the various construction contractors who will report directly to the Project Manager of Construction, as is typical with projects of this size
  • The project has made it a priority to reach out to key stakeholders, public officials, business leaders, municipal officials, the general public, businesses and landowners along the route to discuss the project’s status, explain the permitting and construction processes, and to solicit constructive feedback on the route and other project initiatives through a variety of means. All interactions are captured in the project database and forwarded onto project team members as necessary
  • Northern Pass is dedicated to working with local communities, businesses, and the public during construction and restoration phases to explain the status and progress of the project and to resolve landowner and municipal issues if they occur
  • The design of the overhead portion of the Northern Pass line follows the height and clearance requirements of National Electrical Safety Code (NESC), which sets forth the minimum requirements for transmission lines in the United States
  • Northern Pass has created Traffic Control Plans that have been reviewed by NHDOT. The Project will work with NHDOT and local officials to implement the plans safely and communicate with the public about potential interruptions due to construction, as well as plans to manage and mitigate these effects. The project will also submit a Traffic Management Plan prior to construction and work with NHDOT and local officials to implement the plans, once approved, and communicate with the public about potential interruptions

Posted on April 19th, 2017 by

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) will hear today about the impact Northern Pass will have on system stability and reliability, as well as the ISO New England I.3.9 process as part of its ongoing review of the project.

The final hearing today will include Robert Andrew, Director of System Solutions for Eversource. Andrew has more than 35 years of experience in the electrical generation and distribution industry and is responsible for ensuring the optimal performance of Eversource’s electric transmission and distribution system. This includes developing and executing system improvements, collaborating on project designs, and participating in the ISO New England Planning Process.

In July 2016, ISO New England approved the project’s I.3.9 application, determining that the current Northern Pass proposal to deliver 1,090 megawatts of electricity can reliably interconnect with the regional electric grid and will not have a significant, adverse effect on the reliability or operating characteristics of the regional grid and its participants. All energy projects must secure this approval to be connected to the New England grid. In 2014, ISO New England approved the I.3.9 application for the project’s original 1,200 megawatt proposal.

Key points that will likely be discussed include:

  • Northern Pass will not adversely impact system stability or reliability and, in fact, will provide important system benefits to the transmission system
  • The DC link will provide power system support
  • Northern Pass may be able to limit the effects of a cascading blackout and provide emergency support after outages
  • The project has the capability of helping New England meet its reserve requirements
  • This new regional interconnection is highly dispatchable and will allow for use by others when Hydro-Québec has not scheduled power deliveries
  • Adding another source of hydropower diversifies New England’s generation supply

Posted on April 18th, 2017 by

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee’s (SEC) final hearings on Northern Pass continue today with a look at how the project relates to public health and safety.

Today’s hearing will include Dr. William Bailey, the Principal Scientist at the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health Risk Assessment at Exponent, Inc., and internationally recognized expert in the potential effects of electric and magnetic fields (EMFs); Dr. Gary Johnson, a Senior Managing Scientist in Exponent’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science practice who modeled the electric and magnetic fields, audible noise, and radio noise from the existing lines and from the Northern Pass Transmission Project; and Douglas Bell, a Senior Principal Consultant and President at Cavanaugh Tocci Associates, Inc., with 25 years of experience evaluating environmental sound and who conducted sound surveys along the proposed Northern Pass route.

The proposed Northern Pass project includes a 158-mile direct current (DC) transmission line that will run from the Canadian border to Franklin, and a 34-mile alternating current (AC) line that will run from a converter station in Franklin to a substation in Deerfield. EMFs are present around any electric power line, whether it carries DC or AC electricity, and today’s experts will discuss how these EMFs relate to the route’s surrounding area.

Key points that will likely be discussed will include:

  • The project will have no unreasonable adverse effect on public health and safety
  • Since the 1970s, numerous scientific studies have examined the potential for long-term effects of exposure to EMFs with frequencies of 60-Hz in North America and 50-Hz in Europe. None of the reviews conducted by the following agencies concluded that exposure to static electric and magnetic fields and space charge at levels associated with the proposed project would pose a likely health threat to the public:

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)

International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)

International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety (ICES)

National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB)

Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR)

S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

World Health Organization (WHO)

  • At the edges of the right-of-way and beyond, the levels of static fields and 60-Hz EMF levels are within the range of levels commonly encountered from other sources, and are all below applicable limits in guidelines designed to protect public health
  • Neither the AC nor DC portions of the Northern Pass line will create EMFs, space charge, radio noise or audible noise that will exceed relevant guidelines or have an unreasonable adverse effect on public health and safety
  • If proper protocols are observed, project noise will not have an appreciable impact at sensitive receptors during construction and will comply with SEC precedent.

Posted on April 17th, 2017 by

Northern Pass Receives Key Approvals from NH Environmental Agency

Northern Pass reached another significant milestone on March 1 when the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) issued four key approvals of the project. DES’s decisions pertained to the Wetland, Shoreland and Alteration of Terrain permits, and the 401 Water Quality Certificate. As a condition included in this approval, Northern Pass agrees to set aside more than 1,600 acres throughout the state to preserve key habitats and species, such as high-elevation forest land and the Karner blue butterfly. Northern Pass will also have to make payments totaling $3.3 million to the State’s Aquatic Resources Mitigation Fund to be used for conservation efforts selected by the state.

The approvals are essential components of the state siting process being conducted by the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC), and according to DES, mark the conclusion of the agency’s review of the project’s siting application. The SEC is scheduled to render a final decision on the Northern Pass application later this year.

NORTHERN PASS MOVES AHEAD WITH PERMITTING PROCESS

The state’s review of Northern Pass continued in the first months of 2017 which were focused on technical sessions completed on March 24, 2017.

The SEC began the latest round of technical sessions on January 18, which provided Northern Pass an opportunity to review testimony and question witnesses for the Counsel for the Public and interveners. The Technical Sessions are part of the larger discovery phase of the state approval process and are a precursor to the adjudicative hearings, scheduled to begin in April.

The adjudicative hearings are formal legal proceedings similar to those you might find in a court of law. During the hearings, testimony will be presented by Northern Pass and project experts to the SEC, including data on benefits, construction procedures, environmental impact, and other aspects of the project, which will be subject to cross-examination. Witnesses for the Counsel for the Public and interveners will also provide testimony at this stage. The dates of the adjudicative hearings are available on the SEC website under the Northern Pass docket.

For more information and an outline of the New Hampshire permitting process, go to www.northernpass.us/permitting-siting.htm.

LOCAL TAXES AND NORTHERN PASS

An integral part of the Northern Pass proposal will be the investment in energy infrastructure in the communities along the route through the construction of the project. These investments will bring a large source of clean energy to the region, but will also result in increased tax revenue in the host communities.

Recently, Northern Pass reached out to all of the incorporated communities along the route to notify them of the expected tax revenue the project will bring over the next 20 years. In Stewartstown, for example, the estimated Northern Pass investment (which is an increase to the town’s tax base) in the first year after construction will be $69.9 million. That will yield a first-year payment for municipal and local school taxes of $858,361.

The total Northern Pass tax payment in all of the incorporated towns in the first-year after operations begin will be nearly $23 million. This does not include tax payments that will be made to the counties that host the project or to the state.

To learn more about the infrastructure investment Northern Pass will be making in your community and the tax payments that will result, go to www.northernpass.us/towns.htm.

Heavy Equipment Simulator Has Benefited More Than 90 North Country Students

The Arthur T. Paradice Career Technical Education Center at the White Mountains Regional High School (CTE) received a grant through the Coös County Jobs Creation Fund last year that enabled the school to purchase an Oryx excavator simulator for heavy equipment training in a number of CTE classes. Since its purchase, 90 freshmen have used the simulator in a Career Explorations class, learning how to use the basic controls to virtually grade land, dig trenches, and load simulated trucks.

In addition to this introductory course, the excavator simulator has been used by students in the school’s Agricultural Mechanics, Introduction to Mechanics, and Horticulture classes, and by the Future Farmers of America student organization. The simulator has been an effective tool in teaching students the physical science behind heavy equipment operation, how the equipment functions, and how it is repaired. These classes are also instrumental in laying the groundwork for the hydraulics units that are taught in classes at the CTE Center.

CTE Director Robert Scott, CTE Teacher Dana Graham, and Superintendent of SAU #36 Marion Anastasia, recently wrote a letter to the SEC touting the simulator’s success in the classroom.

“It is evident the Oryx simulator has already presented many benefits to the students of White Mountains Regional High School in a very short time period,” they wrote. “As we continue to refine the use of the simulator, we realize the potential of it becoming a valuable asset to the school as well as to the community.”

In the coming years, the school hopes to expand the use of the machine, such as adding components that simulate the use of a bulldozer, front end loader and other heavy equipment. The school is also looking to create partnerships with local industry and offer adult education training.

“By adding additional modules to the simulator, it would prepare our students in obtaining basic skills of heavy equipment operation on more than just an excavator,” the school officials wrote. “Local businesses are looking for skilled employees that have knowledge in the operation of multiple types of heavy equipment. Creating partnerships with local industries will result in two benefits for the school and community.”


Posted on April 14th, 2017 by

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee’s final hearings on Northern Pass continue today with a look at the technical, financial and managerial capabilities of the project. Final hearings began on Thursday with a discussion about the Northern Pass route, the Forward NH Plan, benefits for New Hampshire and the Massachusetts Clean Energy RFP.

Today’s hearing will include Kenneth Bowes, Eversource Vice President of Engineering, who is responsible for engineering activities for Eversource’s electric transmission and distribution system, and Michael Auseré, Certified Public Accountant and Vice President of Energy Planning and Economics for Eversource, who will speak to Northern Pass’ financial capability to construct and operate the project.

Other topics that will likely be discussed include:

  • Northern Pass Transmission LLC (NPT) has the financial capability to construct and operate the project
  • NPT is a direct, wholly owned subsidiary of Eversource Energy Transmission Ventures, Inc. (“EETV”)
  • EETV is a direct, wholly owned subsidiary of Eversource Energy, Inc.
  • The financial strength of Eversource assures that adequate funds will be available for construction of the Northern Pass transmission line
  • Under the Transmission Service Agreement (TSA) between NPT and Hydro Renewable Energy Inc. (HRE), NPT will construct, finance and own the Northern Pass transmission line, and recover its costs through the revenues it receives for use of the transmission line to deliver energy into the New England wholesale market
  • Eversource has a proven track record in financing energy infrastructure and holds an investment-grade credit rating – currently one of the highest in the nation
  • Hydro-Québec, parent company of HRE, is owned by the province of Québec, Canada and has been selling power to New England for decades
  • Underground construction of the entire project route would render the project uneconomic
  • NPT and HRE intend to participate in the Massachusetts Clean Energy solicitation and will amend or supplement the TSA, as may be necessary, based on the outcome of that solicitation

Posted on April 12th, 2017 by

Final hearings on the Northern Pass begin tomorrow, launching the last phase of the state permitting process before the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) returns its decision on the project.

The final hearings will begin with testimony from Bill Quinlan, the Eversource President of NH Operations, who will discuss the considerable benefits Northern Pass will bring to New Hampshire, including economic development and jobs programs, energy savings, tax revenue, an increase in New Hampshire’s GDP, as well as significant environmental benefits.

Other project details that will be discussed include:

  • Northern Pass is designed to bring a reliable source of competitively priced, clean, renewable hydropower into the region, thereby delivering energy savings as well as environmental and economic benefits to New Hampshire and the New England region
  • Northern Pass is committed to a “New Hampshire First” approach, which will ensure that new jobs created by the project are made available to New Hampshire workers first
  • The project will improve the Coös Transmission Loop, which will enhance the electric system in the North Country and unlock up to 100 MWs of existing and future sources of renewable energy for the state and region
  • As part of the Forward New Hampshire Plan, Northern Pass has made a commitment to provide $200 million in funding over the first 20 years of operation to the Forward NH Fund in support of economic development, community betterment, tourism, and clean energy innovation, with particular emphasis on host communities and the North Country. Northern Pass has made a few advance funding commitments to time-sensitive projects that are aligned with the purposes of the Forward NH Fund
  • The Forward NH Fund Board of Directors and Advisory Boards will include municipal, community and business leaders, representatives of clean energy and environmental organizations, and North Country leaders.
  • NPT has conducted extensive outreach to communities, landowners and businesses along the route, and will continue this outreach throughout the construction process.
  • Northern Pass and Hydro-Québec anticipate submitting a proposal to the Massachusetts Clean Energy RFP. Regardless of the outcome of the solicitation, New Hampshire customers will not bear any of the expenses but will still experience substantial benefits from the project
  • The project, as proposed, provides the appropriate balance among several important considerations, including project costs, public concerns over iconic view sheds, environmental and economic impacts, as well as technical feasibility and the availability of land rights necessary to support the project

Posted on April 6th, 2017 by

New Hampshire regulators today issued an order that Eversource has made a reasonable showing that it has the right to lease the use of its existing rights of way to Northern Pass. The ruling clears the way for the N.H. Public Utilities Commission to now consider the benefits of the proposed lease agreement between Eversource and Northern Pass.

More than 80 percent of the proposed Northern Pass route is underground or within existing Eversource rights of way. Under the proposed lease agreement, more than 98 percent of the lease revenue received by Eversource will be credited to customers. The NHPUC will now begin to consider the value of the lease and determine whether it is “for the public good.”

Recent Project Milestones

  • The NH SEC completed the “discovery phase” of the permitting process, which involved nine months of data requests, document production and technical sessions.  The final phase of the state permitting process begins with the commencement of final adjudicative hearings on April 13.  The hearings are the last step in the state siting process before the SEC makes its decision on Northern Pass
  • New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NH DOT) issued its final report to the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (NH SEC) recommending approval of the project
  • The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) issued four key approvalsof 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 SEC, and according to DES, mark the conclusion of the agency’s review of the project’s siting application
  • As part of the permitting process for the Northern Pass transmission project, the NH SEC has held 40 technical sessions– these sessions are an informal opportunity for the parties involved in the Northern Pass state review process to ask and answer questions
  • Northern Pass submitted an updated economic analysisto the NH SEC showing that the project will reduce wholesale energy costs in New England by more than $600 million annually, and eliminate more than 3 million tons of carbon emissions in the region each year
  • Northern Pass secured a key regulatory approvalas ISO New England officially determined that the clean energy project can reliably interconnect with the regional electric grid
  • The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission granted Northern Pass utility status, determining that the project has the technical, managerial, and financial expertise to operate as a public utility once the project is fully permitted, and that it is in the public good for the project to do so
  • Northern Pass and its contractors completed engineering, or geotechnical, field investigationsalong the underground portions of the proposed project route – a required step in the permitting process to support the progression of a project’s design
  • Northern Pass submitted an advanced designto the NH Department of Transportation for the portions of the project that will be buried under or adjacent to the roadway
  • Northern Pass secured agreements with a highly experienced teamof contractors and material suppliers who will execute the engineering, design and construction of the transmission line
  • The NH SECand the S. Department of Energy held a series of public meetings across New Hampshire to gather feedback as part of their respective permitting processes
  • Business leaders from across the stateannounced their support for Northern Pass in a joint statement to the NH SEC. The diverse group of New Hampshire businesses, including some of the state’s largest employers, urged elected officials to join them as they support the Forward NH Plan, and the “direct economic and unparalleled environmental benefits it will provide to the people and businesses of New Hampshire”
  • The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled in favor of Northern Pass– confirming that the proposal by Northern Pass to use public highways for underground installation of electric transmission lines is clearly allowed under state law

Posted on April 4th, 2017 by

Northern Pass reached another significant milestone yesterday when the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NH DOT) issued its final report to the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (NH SEC) recommending approval of the project.  This follows the March 1 announcement by the NH Department of Environmental Services which also recommended approval of the project.  Both are essential components of the state siting process being conducted by the NH SEC, which is scheduled to render a final decision on the Northern Pass application later this year.

The approval by the NH DOT follows a series of important milestones and achievements for Northern Pass, which include:

  • The NH SEC completed the “discovery phase” of the permitting process, which involved nine months of data requests, document production and technical sessions.  The final phase of the state permitting process begins with the commencement of final adjudicative hearings on April 13.  The hearings are the last step in the state siting process before the SEC makes its decision on Northern Pass
  • 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 SEC, and according to DES, mark the conclusion of the agency’s review of the project’s siting application
  • As part of the permitting process for the Northern Pass transmission project, the NH SEC has held 40 technical sessions – these sessions are an informal opportunity for the parties involved in the Northern Pass state review process to ask and answer questions
  • Northern Pass submitted an updated economic analysis to the NH SEC showing that the project will reduce wholesale energy costs in New England by more than $600 million annually, and eliminate more than 3 million tons of carbon emissions in the region each year
  • Northern Pass secured a key regulatory approval as ISO New England officially determined that the clean energy project can reliably interconnect with the regional electric grid
  • The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission granted Northern Pass utility status, determining that the project has the technical, managerial, and financial expertise to operate as a public utility once the project is fully permitted, and that it is in the public good for the project to do so
  • Northern Pass and its contractors completed engineering, or geotechnical, field investigations along the underground portions of the proposed project route – a required step in the permitting process to support the progression of a project’s design
  • Northern Pass submitted an advanced design to the NH Department of Transportation for the portions of the project that will be buried under or adjacent to the roadway
  • Northern Pass secured agreements with a highly experienced team of contractors and material suppliers who will execute the engineering, design and construction of the transmission line
  • The NH SEC and the U.S. Department of Energy held a series of public meetings across New Hampshire to gather feedback as part of their respective permitting processes
  • Business leaders from across the state announced their support for Northern Pass in a joint statement to the NH SEC. The diverse group of New Hampshire businesses, including some of the state’s largest employers, urged elected officials to join them as they support the Forward NH Plan, and the “direct economic and unparalleled environmental benefits it will provide to the people and businesses of New Hampshire”
  • The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled in favor of Northern Pass – confirming that the proposal by Northern Pass to use public highways for underground installation of electric transmission lines is clearly allowed under state law