Posted on September 30th, 2016 by

A Northern Pass expert will answer questions today about the project’s aesthetics and the efforts the project has made to reduce potential view impacts.

This session is similar to others that have been held in September as part of the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee’s ongoing review of Northern Pass, known as Technical Sessions. These informal hearings are an opportunity for the parties involved in the Northern Pass state review process to ask questions of the project. Thus far, a number of experts have been available to discuss a wide range of topics related to the project.

The expert scheduled to speak today is Terrence DeWan, the Principal and Founder of Terrence J. DeWan & Associates—a landscape architecture and planning firm located in Yarmouth, Maine. Over his career, Mr. DeWan has prepared more than 80 visual impact assessments on a wide variety of projects throughout New England, including power generation facilities, electrical transmission lines and substations, as well as the visual impact assessment for the Northern Pass Transmission Project.

Some of the key points that may be discussed include:

  • A visual impact assessment, or VIA, is a systematic analysis of possible changes to the visible landscape resulting from proposed development activity, and the investigation of possible means to avoid, minimize or mitigate the effects of the change
  • The Northern Pass VIA methodology follows a systematic path of inventory, analysis, and determination of effect. It is based upon established criteria developed by federal and state agencies over the past several decades
  • Scenic resources are defined as publicly accessible places that have been recognized by local, regional, state, or national authorities for their scenic or recreation quality, and are visited by the general public, in part for the use, observation, enjoyment, and appreciation of natural, cultural, or visual qualities.  All scenic resources that were identified within the Northern Pass project study area were mapped and added to a database for further evaluation
  • Of the 525 scenic resources identified within three miles of the proposed Northern Pass route, none had overall visual impacts that were characterized as ‘high’, based on the observations and methodology used
  • A significant number of mitigation measures have been incorporated into the planning and design of Northern Pass, including:
    • Locating portions of the Project underground to avoid sensitive scenic resources, such as the White Mountain National Forest
    • Using existing road rights-of-way (ROW) for the underground sections to minimize the need for new cleared transmission corridors
    • Co-locating the majority of the transmission line in existing transmission corridors to minimize the amount of new corridors
    • Using weathering steel monopole structures in certain areas, which are generally darker in color and have a hue that is more commonly found in the landscape, resulting in a decrease in color contrasts with the surrounding landscape. Monopole structures also have a thinner profile and a simpler appearance than lattice structures
    • Locating new transmission structures in proximity to existing structures in certain locations to maintain the same spacing and avoid irregular linear patterns that can be caused by adjacent conductors being out of synch with each other
    • Matching the materials used for both the relocated 115 kV structures and the proposed transmission structures to minimize contrasts in color and texture, and contribute to a sense of visual continuity within the corridor
    • Relocating existing transmission and distribution lines within the existing corridors to provide adequate clearance for the proposed structures and minimize the amount of clearing necessary for their installation
  • Northern Pass as a whole will not be a dominant feature in the landscape. The views from most of the scenic resources already contain evidence of existing human development, often prominently visible from the key observation points
  • Northern Pass will not result in unreasonable adverse effects on aesthetics, to either the six subareas that were identified or to the approximately 900 square-mile Project Study Area as a whole

You can find additional information about the aesthetic aspects of the project, as well as Mr. Dewan’s pre-filed testimony from, on the Northern Pass website. Technical Sessions will continue into October. View a schedule of all the Technical Sessions here.

 


Posted on September 20th, 2016 by

Northern Pass experts will be available on Tuesday to answer questions about how the project relates to the local and regional environment. They will discuss environmental studies related to the project as well as how Northern Pass is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The experts will appear before the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee as part of its ongoing review of the project, known as Technical Sessions. These informal hearings are an opportunity for the parties involved in the Northern Pass state review process to ask questions of the project.

The project experts include:

Robert Varney, is President of Normandeau Associates, an environmental science consulting firm based in Bedford.  Mr. Varney has worked on a number of climate, clean energy, and conservation initiatives throughout his career; and he served as the Regional Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency for New England and as the Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services from 1989 to 2001.

Jake Tinus is Project Manager in the Environmental Studies and Permitting Global Practice for Burns & McDonnell Engineering and has 15 years of experience related to permitting and monitoring projects that involve altering and restoring wetlands, water bodies, and other natural resources. He has previously consulted on these issues for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.

Lee Carbonneau is Senior Principal Scientist in the Wetlands/Terrestrial Group and assistant project manager for Normandeau Associates, where she also serves as the permitting lead for Northern Pass. She has worked in the natural resource field for her entire professional career and has worked on more than100 projects with Narmandeau Associates. Ms. Carbonneau is a Professional Wetland Scientist with the Society of Wetland Scientists, and a Certified Wetland Scientist with the New Hampshire Association of Natural Resource Scientists.

Dennis Magee is Vice President at Normandeau Associates and conducted analysis on the potential impacts Northern Pass could have on rare plants and rare or unusual natural communities. Mr. Magee has more than 40 years of experience as a botanist, has authored four reference books on vegetation, and has been a principal investigator or program manager on several hundred projects occurring in offshore coastal, intertidal, riverine, lacustrine, freshwater wetland, and terrestrial environments.

Dr. Sarah Barnum is a Senior Wildlife Ecologist at Normandeau Associates and holds a Ph.D. in Planning, with an emphasis in conservation. She has more than 20 years of professional experience, including working on the Deer Project for Vermont Fish and Wildlife, as an environmental planner for the Colorado Department of Transportation, and as the Vice President of Conservation for New Hampshire Audubon. She is author of the report “Northern Pass Transmission Project Wildlife Report and Impact Assessment October 2015.”

Hydropower from Canada is one of the lowest greenhouse gas-emitting energy options available. Emissions from hydropower are similar to those of wind energy, 5 times less than solar, 50 times less than natural gas, and 70 times less than coal. Other key points about the environmental impact of Northern Pass include:

  • Northern Pass will improve air quality, public health and the environment, and help address climate change by reducing pollutants, such as NOx, SO2, and CO2 emissions, that affect New Hampshire and the New England region, consistent with national, regional, and state air quality and climate change goals
  • More than 83 percent of the proposed route will be along existing transmission corridors or will be buried under public roadways, thus resulting in reduced potential environmental and visual effects
  • Northern Pass has planned, routed, designed, and engineered the project to protect water quality by carefully avoiding resource impacts, and minimizing impacts where total avoidance is not possible. The project will follow NHDES and EPA requirements regarding water quality, and employ best management practices
  • Avoidance and minimization of impacts to wetlands, streams, vernal pools, and other natural and cultural resources was an essential element of route selection, project design, and developing the construction management plan
  • Northern Pass is focused on avoiding and minimizing potential impacts to wildlife throughout the course of route selection, siting, and design. The project has developed extensive wildlife impact avoidance and minimization measures, and will comply with any additional permit conditions. These conditions will be included in the project plans and construction management plans, and environmental monitors will be responsible for ensuring that construction contractors abide by these measures and conditions
  • Unavoidable impacts to habitat resources will be mitigated through habitat restoration, conservation, and protection, including proposing to place parcels with wildlife habitat value under conservation easements

If more time is needed, the panel of environmental experts will meet again on Thursday, September 22. You can find additional information about the environmental aspects of the project, as well as the pre-filed testimony from the above experts, on the Northern Pass website. Technical Sessions will continue throughout September. View a schedule of all the Technical Sessions here.


Posted on September 19th, 2016 by

Northern Pass experts will be in Concord on Monday to answer questions about the orderly development of the project, including Northern Pass’ property tax impact and environmental issues.

The experts will appear before the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee as part of its ongoing review of the project, known as Technical Sessions. These informal hearings are an opportunity for the parties involved in the Northern Pass state review process to ask questions of the project.

The project experts include:

Robert Varney, the President of Normandeau Associates, an environmental science consulting firm based in Bedford, NH.  Mr. Varney has worked on a number of climate, clean energy, and conservation initiatives throughout his career, and served as the Regional Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency for New England and as the Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services from 1989 to 2001.

Lisa Shapiro is the Chief Economist at Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell in Concord, N.H., and has approximately 20 years of experience in analyzing New Hampshire property taxes.  She provided the Northern Pass Transmission Project with information on the estimated property tax payments to New Hampshire communities, and the direct impacts on local communities generated by the construction and operation of the project.

Dr. James Chalmers is the Principal of Chalmers & Associations LLC in Billings, Montana, and is an economist, appraiser, and nationally recognized expert in assessing the impacts of large-scale infrastructure projects on the value of real estate.

Mitch Nichols, the Founder and President of Nichols Tourism Group in Bellingham, Washington, has more than 20 years of experience working with and analyzing tourism destinations across the country. He has worked with numerous states, including New Hampshire, to develop a long-range tourism strategic plan and an assessment of its identity in the tourism marketplace.

Some key points regarding Northern Pass and its relation to orderly development include:

  • By using transmission corridors and existing roadways for more than 83 percent of the route and locating substantial portions of the project underground, Northern Pass is following sound planning and environmental principles that reinforces local patterns of development and minimizes environmental impacts
  • Of the 32 miles of new right-of-way (ROW) along the 192-mile route, 24 are in a working forest and forest management within this area will continue uninterrupted after construction
  • Northern Pass will improve air quality, public health and the environment, and help address climate change by reducing pollutants such as NOx, SO2, and CO2 emissions that affect New Hampshire and the New England region, consistent with national, regional, and state air quality and climate change goals
  • Infrastructure associated with Northern Pass will increase the local tax base across the 31 host communities by approximately 11 percent
  • There is no evidence that high-voltage transmission lines result in consistent measurable effects on property values. Where there are effects, they are small and decrease rapidly with distance
  • Northern Pass will not have a measurable effect on New Hampshire’s tourism industry
  • There are no published studies that address the quantitative impacts of transmission lines to a destination’s tourism industry
  • It is the collective mix of destination attributes that influences visitors’ choice of destination, and the presence of power lines is of very low importance in that mix
  • The project will not interfere with the orderly development of the region and any potential effect on land use is minimal. The project’s impact on the local economy and jobs is positive

You can find additional information about construction of the project, as well as the pre-filed testimony from the above experts, on the Northern Pass website. Technical Sessions will continue throughout September. You can find a schedule for all the Technical Sessions here.

 


Posted on September 16th, 2016 by

The economist who conducted the study on the benefits of adding clean, affordable hydropower to the New England grid will speak about her research and the project’s benefits on Friday. The session is part of the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee’s (SEC) ongoing review of Northern Pass, and is an opportunity for the parties involved to ask questions of the project in an informal setting.

Julia Frayer, a Managing Director with London Economics, specializes in analysis related to energy infrastructure, such as electric generation facilities, natural gas-related infrastructure, and electricity transmission and distribution systems. She has also conducted extensive research in issues pertaining to cross-border transmission investment in North America. On Friday, Frayer will be available to answer questions about a study she conducted on the impacts of adding 1,090 megawatts of Canadian hydropower into the New England regional electric grid.

Key points about Northern Pass’ market benefits include:

  • Wholesale electricity market benefits resulting from Northern Pass are estimated to average $851 million to $866 million annually for New England and $81 million to $82.5 million annually for New Hampshire between 2019 and 2029
  • Retail electricity market benefits from the project are estimated to average $80 million annually in 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
  • Northern Pass will result in approximately 3.3 to 3.4 million metric tons of avoided CO2 emissions per year in New England

New England electricity rates are among the highest in the nation, due in part to overreliance on natural gas to generate electricity. According to the regional grid operator ISO New England, more than 45 percent of the region’s electric generating capacity consists of natural gas-fired power plants. That percentage is expected to grow in coming years as older power plants retire and more natural gas-fired plants come online. This over-reliance causes severe price volatility, particularly in winter when there is increased need for natural gas for home heating, driving up overall prices for New England. Northern Pass will diversify the region’s energy mix and ease the volatility experienced in recent years, which in turn will stabilize energy costs for the region.

Northern Pass will also help the region meet clean energy goals, such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Technical Sessions will continue throughout September. You can find a schedule for all the Technical Sessions here.


Posted on September 15th, 2016 by

Northern Pass experts will be available to answer questions on Thursday about their research of the historical and archaeological resources along the 192-mile Northern Pass route. The research includes an inventory of historical buildings, archaeological surveys, and other studies.

The experts will appear before the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) as part of its ongoing review of the project, known as Technical Sessions. These informal hearings are an opportunity for the parties involved in the Northern Pass state review process to ask questions of the project.

The two experts are scheduled to speak Thursday are:

Cherilyn Widell, President of Widell Preservation Services in Chestertown, Maryland, who has worked in the field of historic preservation throughout the United States and internationally for 40 years. Among her work, Ms. Widell served as the federal preservation officer for the Presidio Trust—the federal agency responsible for the conversion of the Presidio of San Francisco from an Army post to a National Park. She conducted assessments of the potential effects that the Northern Pass project may have on above-ground historic properties and cultural landscapes in New Hampshire.

Dr. Victoria Bunker is the owner and principle investigator at Victoria Bunker, Inc., archeological consultants in Alton, NH. She has more than 35 years of experience in New England archeology, and is listed as qualified to conduct archeological surveys in New Hampshire by the NH Division of Historical Resources. In her career, Dr. Bunker has conducted regional research surveys in the Lamprey, Merrimack, Pemigewasset and Mad River Valleys and throughout the White Mountain National Forest. Dr. Bunker conducted archaeological assessments for Northern Pass.

The review of the potential impact of the Northern Pass project on historic and archeological resources is required under the state’s energy project siting laws, and also by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Key points of Widell and Bunker’s findings include:

  • The project will have no unreasonable adverse effect on historic resources
  • The experts’ assessments have been used in the planning process by project engineers to help avoid and minimize the impact to historic resources
  • Widell assessed the project’s potential effect on historic resources, working closely with Preservation Company of Kensington, NH, mapping and cataloguing 1,284 properties within the project’s Area of Potential Effect for the overhead portion of the route
  • 194 of those properties were then subject to more intense analysis because they met the National Register of Historic Places age and integrity eligibility criteria and are potentially in view of the project. Of these properties, 12 might be adversely effected by the project, mostly indirectly
  • Northern Pass will not create an adverse effect of the National Historic Landmarks, the Webster Farm and Daniel Webster Family Home. The project will have indirect visual effects on the Weeks Estate, but that will not cause it to be removed from the National Register of Historic Places because of a loss of integrity
  • Victoria Bunker, Inc. has assessed the entire project route to identify archeologically sensitive areas and archeological sites. Bunker has concluded that the project has substantially avoided impact to archeological resources, and that there will be no unreasonable adverse effect to such resources
  • To address any impact, Northern Pass will undertake all mitigation measures as required by the SEC and DOE, in consultation with NH Department of Historical Resources and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, as part of the Section 106 process

For more information, you can view Widell and Bunker’s pre-filed testimonies in Northern Pass’ application to the NH Site Evaluation Committee. Technical Sessions will continue throughout September. You can find a schedule for all the Technical Sessions here.


Posted on September 12th, 2016 by

Northern Pass experts will be in Concord on Monday to answer questions about the construction of the 192-mile transmission line and other work needed to connect the project to the regional electric grid. This includes the overhead and underground portions of the route, the converter terminal in Franklin, and upgrades to a substation in Deerfield.

The experts will appear before the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee as part of its ongoing review of the project, known as Technical Sessions. These informal hearings are an opportunity for the parties involved in the Northern Pass state review process to ask questions of the project.

Experts speaking about the Northern Pass construction process include:

  • Kenneth Bowes joined Northeast Utilities in 1984 and today serves as Eversource Vice President of Engineering
  • Samuel Johnson, the lead Project Manager for the Northern Pass Transmission Project who has 24 years of experience in the energy industry
  • Derrick Bradstreet, a Project Manager for Burns & McDonnell Engineering and the lead design engineer for the project. He is principally responsible for the overhead design of Northern Pass, overseeing the design of the high voltage direct current (HVDC) converter terminal and other associated facilities
  • Nathan Scott, a 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 high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line
  • John Kayser, a Project Manager in the Transmission and Distribution division at Burns & McDonnell Engineering with 23 years of experience in design and construction projects and more than 16 years of experience in the transmission and distribution utility industry
  • Lynn Farrington, a licensed Professional Traffic Operations Engineer for Louis Berger of Portland, Maine and is advising Northern Pass on traffic impacts that may occur temporarily during construction

Experts speaking on construction will discuss a wide range of topics, including Northern Pass’ objective to provide clean, renewable, competitively-priced electricity for consumers in New Hampshire and the rest of New England. Some other key points include:

  • 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 rights-of-way (ROW), 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 U.S.
  • 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 (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, and landowners along the route to discuss the Project’s status, explain the permitting and construction process, 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 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 will create Traffic Control Plans and Traffic Management Plans to be submitted with the final design plans to NHDOT for approval. These plans will detail traffic interruptions due to construction, as well as plans to manage and mitigate these effects. The Project will also work with NHDOT and local officials to implement the plan and communicate with the public about potential interruptions

You can find additional information about construction of the project, as well as the pre-filed testimony from the above experts, on the Northern Pass website. Technical Sessions will continue throughout September. You can find a schedule for all the technical sessions here


Posted on September 9th, 2016 by

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) will hold another Technical Session in Concord today as part of its ongoing review of Northern Pass. These sessions are an informal opportunity for the parties involved in the Northern Pass state review process to ask questions of the project.

Today’s session will focus on the project’s finances, and will include testimony from Michael Ausere, Vice President of Energy Planning and Economics for Eversource. He will speak about Northern Pass’ financial capability to construct and operate the project, as well as the Transmission Service Agreement (TSA), which was approved in 2011 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and outlines the agreement between Northern Pass and Hydro-Québec’s subsidiary, Hydro Renewable Energy Inc. (HRE). You can read the FERC order here.

Other important facts include:

  • Northern Pass has the financial capability to construct and operate the project
  • Northern Pass is a direct, wholly owned subsidiary of Eversource Energy Transmission Ventures, Inc., (“EETV”) which is a direct, wholly owned subsidiary of Eversource Energy, Inc.
  • Under the TSA, the project will construct, finance, and own the Northern Pass transmission line, and HRE will pay for firm transmission service pursuant to a FERC-approved formula rate that will allow Northern Pass to recover its costs plus a return on investment over a 40-year period
  • Hydro-Québec is owned by the province of Québec, Canada and has been selling power to New England for decades
  • The TSA includes the requirements for decommissioning, including the requirement that HRE pays for decommissioning costs as part of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)-approved formula rate

To read more about the financial aspects of the project, go to Northern Pass’ application to the NH Site Evaluation Committee:

Vol. I, ES

Vol. I, Sec.  (h) (5) p. 50

Vol II, Ausere Testimony

Technical Sessions will continue throughout September. You can read about the previous session here, which covered system stability and reliability, and public health and safety. You can also find a schedule for all the technical sessions here.


Posted on September 6th, 2016 by

As part of the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee’s (SEC) continued review of the Northern Pass transmission project, the SEC began its Technical Sessions on Tuesday in Concord. These sessions are an informal opportunity for the parties involved in the Northern Pass state review process to ask questions of project experts.

The first session will include a discussion about the project’s impact on system stability and reliability, and regional grid operator ISO New England’s 1.3.9 approval process. In the afternoon, the session will continue with a discussion about the public health and safety impacts of the project, specifically electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) and environmental sound. Testimony from the public health and safety panel will continue tomorrow, September 7 if more time is needed. The technical sessions are expected to continue throughout the month of September. You can find the agenda for these sessions here.

Expert Panelists:

Robert Andrew is the Director of System Planning for Eversource and has more than 35 years of experience in the electrical generation and distribution industry. He will be available to answer questions about ISO New England’s approval of the project’s I.3.9 application in July, and other important facts about Northern Pass’s impact on system stability and reliability, including:

  • Northern Pass will not adversely impact system stability or reliability and, in fact, will provide important system benefits to the transmission system
  • The Direct Current (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
  • Bringing additional hydropower to the grid diversifies New England’s generation supply

Dr. William Bailey is the Principal Scientist at the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health Risk Assessment at Exponent, Inc., and is recognized nationally and internationally for his expertise in the potential effects of EMFs. His testimony will focus on his evaluation of the potential effects of the Northern Pass Transmission Project on public health and safety.

Dr. Gary Johnson is a Senior Managing Scientist in Exponent’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science practice who has extensive experience with transmission and distribution systems and has published 35 papers on EMFs and related subjects. He will be available to speak about his modeling of the electric and magnetic fields, audible noise, and radio noise from the existing lines and from the Northern Pass Transmission Project.

Douglas Bell is Senior Principal Consultant and President at Cavanaugh Tocci Associates, Inc., and has 25 years of experience evaluating environmental sound. He will be available to answer questions about the sound surveys he conducted along the proposed Northern Pass route.

Other important facts related to Northern Pass’ potential impact on public health and safety 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 EMF with frequencies of 60-Hz in North America and 50-Hz in Europe.
  • With respect to the overall evidence on potential long-term effects of 50/60 Hz EMF, the World Health Organization (WHO) currently states on its website that “[b]ased on a recent in-depth review of the scientific literature, the WHO concluded that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields

If you have more questions about EMFs, we’ve compiled information about AC and DC EMFs on our website:

EMF, Alternating Current Fact Sheet: http://www.northernpass.us/assets/FNH_ALTERNATING_CURRENT_FINAL.pdf

EMF, Direct Current Fact Sheet: http://www.northernpass.us/assets/FNH_DIRECT_CURRENT_FINAL.pdf

For more information about the Northern Pass experts mentioned above and the research they’ve done on this project, you can find their pre-filed testimony within the Northern Pass application to the NH Site Evaluation Committee,  Vol. I, Sec. (i)(6)


Posted on August 2nd, 2016 by

 

NFWF Event Speakers

David Wagner of the University of Connecticut talks about the wide variety of pollinators found in transmissions line corridors.

Northern Pass and Eversource were proud to join the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today to announce eight grants totaling nearly $1 million to restore New Hampshire’s forest and freshwater habitat. The grants were funded through Partners for New Hampshire’s Fish and Wildlife, a partnership between Eversource and NFWF.

“The recipients of these grants are focused on action-based projects that are making a real difference in improving and preserving New Hampshire’s valued wildlife and waterways,” said Ellen Angley, Vice President/Supply Chain, Environmental Affairs and Property Management at Eversource. “We’ve been pleased to see the grant recipients working directly with their communities and other organizations to produce beneficial results, and look forward to seeing the positive impacts these new grants will help to achieve.”

Collectively, the eight conservation grants announced today will open 175 miles of streams for Eastern Brook Trout through modification and replacement of culverts and other barriers, will improve habitat for New England cottontail, American woodcock, and golden-winged warblers on 852 acres of forestland, and reduce polluted runoff from entering streams, including 47 tons of sediment and 41 tons of phosphorus.

“We are extremely pleased with the impact this partnership has had in its first year, and the grants we are announcing today will build on that success here in New Hampshire,” said Amanda Bassow, Northeastern Regional Director of NFWF. “The contribution from Eversource also has had ripple effects throughout New England, providing the seed funding to grow a larger public-private initiative that is accelerating the restoration of our northern forests and rivers.”

NFWF Event Speakers

Malin Clyde from UNH Cooperative Extension talked about the important role volunteers play in conservation and research efforts.

The grant recipients are:

  • University of New Hampshire – Achieving multi-species benefits from young forest restoration and management in southern Maine and New Hampshire (New Hampshire, Maine) $197,982
  • Belknap County Conservation District – Restoring and protecting Gunstock Brook habitat for Eastern brook trout through stream bank restoration and improved forest management (New Hampshire) $70,033
  • Wildlife Management Institute – Providing technical assistance to New Hampshire landowners to create young forest habitat for New England cottontail, American woodcock and other priority bird species (New Hampshire) $145,000
  • Connecticut River Watershed Council, Inc. – Removing seven barriers to fish passage to restore access to one hundred and forty miles of Eastern brook trout spawning habitat (New Hampshire and Vermont) $199,165
  • Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve – Creating New England cottontail habitat on under-utilized lands in southern Maine and New Hampshire (New Hampshire and Maine) $60,000
  • Audubon Vermont – Recruiting private landowners in the Champlain Valley to restore habitat for golden-winged warbler and other priority bird species (Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont) $70,000
  • University of Connecticut – Improving pollinator habitat in New England rights-of-way  (New Hampshire and Massachusetts) $111,077
  • Town of Brownfield, Maine. – Replacing an undersized culvert on the Shepards River to re-connect habitat for Eastern brook trout (Maine and New Hampshire) $100,000

These grants were solicited competitively through NFWF’s New England Forests and Rivers Fund, of which Partners for New Hampshire Fish and Wildlife is a major contributor, and were evaluated by a technical review committee composed of government, academic and other experts. Funding decisions were based on the project’s potential to achieve long-term, measurable conservation outcomes that match the program’s goals.

The New England Forests and Rivers Fund is awarding a total of 16 grants today throughout New England, eight of which include work in New Hampshire (listed above). In addition to funding from Eversource’s Partners for New Hampshire’s Fish and Wildlife, major funding for the New England Forests and Rivers Fund is provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service.

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal agencies, corporations, foundations and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and committed more than $3.5 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.

 


Posted on July 29th, 2016 by

Northern Pass Funds Energy Efficiency Project

LANCASTER, New Hampshire (July 29, 2016) – Local electricians are completing the installation of high-efficiency LED streetlights in the North Country town of Lancaster. The improvement will result in significant energy efficiency savings for the town and enhance its downtown area.

LED Streetlight InstallationThe conversion of approximately 260 street lights to energy-efficient light fixtures was funded by the Northern Pass Transmission project as part of its Forward New Hampshire plan. The replacement will reduce Lancaster’s street-light energy consumption by about 63,000 kilowatt hours a year.

“Converting to LEDs will modernize our streetlights, reduce energy consumption and provide savings,” said Lancaster Town Manager Ed Sampson. “And, thanks to the Northern Pass grant, this project will move forward at no cost to the taxpayers.”

A light-emitting diode, or LED, is a type of solid-state lighting that uses a semiconductor to convert electricity into light. LED bulbs last longer, are more durable and offer a higher quality of light than other types of lighting, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).

Installing LED Streetlight Closeup“The savings are huge in terms of dollars,” said Randy Perkins, Eversource Strategic Account Executive. “Switching to LED streetlights can result in more than 60 percent energy savings, and because they last up to 90 percent longer than traditional lights, they also result in savings on maintenance. Additionally, LED lights are more aesthetically pleasing and spill less upward light into the sky, reducing light pollution.”

A handful of communities in the Granite State have converted to LED streetlights to date, including Manchester, Allenstown, Goffstown, Franklin and Derry. The Lancaster project is the first in New Hampshire’s North Country.

“Investing in energy efficiency enhancements is one of the best ways for communities and businesses to reduce operating costs,” said Paul Ramsey of Eversource. “We are pleased to work with Lancaster on such an impactful energy efficiency project.”

The contractor completing the LED installation in Lancaster is Ray’s Electric of Berlin, a local business that has been operating in the North Country since 1957.

“We are proud to serve our neighbors in Coös County and are excited to complete a project that will generate cost savings for the town, as well as provide enjoyment for tourists and residents visiting downtown Lancaster,” said Steve Binette, President of Ray’s Electric.

The LED street-light installation is one of a number of commitments by Northern Pass as part of its Forward New Hampshire plan. The project also funded the recent installation of an electric vehicle charging station at Roger’s Campground in Lancaster.

For more information about LED lights, check out the DOE’s list of The Top 8 Things You Didn’t Know about LEDs.

About Northern Pass – The Northern Pass is a 192-mile electric transmission line project that will provide New Hampshire and New England up to 1,090 megawatts of clean hydropower. This reliable and competitively-priced power will also bring a range of benefits to New Hampshire, including hundreds of millions of dollars in energy cost savings, additional tax revenue, and thousands of jobs during construction and beyond. To learn more about Northern Pass, go to www.northernpass.us. You can also email questions to info@northernpass.us or call 1–800–286–7305.

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CONTACT:
Martin Murray
603-634-2228
martin.murray@eversource.com

Kaitlyn Woods
603-634-2418
kaitlyn.woods@eversource.com