Posted on April 21st, 2016 by

The following press release was issued Thursday morning.

MANCHESTER, N.H. April 21, 2016 – Northern Pass Transmission LLC has secured agreements with a  highly experienced team of contractors and material suppliers who will execute the engineering, design and construction of the Northern Pass transmission line once the project receives state and federal permits.

“The knowledge and expertise these industry-leading companies bring to the project will complement the strengths that Eversource and Hydro-Québec have demonstrated as award-winning energy project developers,” said Bill Quinlan, president of Eversource Operations in New Hampshire.  “Securing agreements with these contractors now puts Northern Pass in a strong position to begin the construction phase as soon as all permits are secured.”

Project construction partners include:

PAR Electrical Contractors, Inc. (PAR) will serve as the General Contractor for the project, responsible for overall project management, schedule and cost control, coordinating the work of all contractors and material suppliers, and procuring materials as needed. PAR will construct all overhead portions of the lines, build all substations and transition stations, install the duct bank, and perform the horizontal directional drilling on the underground segments of the line.  PAR’s New Hampshire office is in the town of Bow.  The company is a subsidiary of Quanta Services, which is the largest transmission and distribution specialty contractor in North America.

Burns and McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc. is an engineering and design firm based in Kansas City, Missouri, with offices throughout New England, including Manchester. Burns and McDonnell has been working with Northern Pass since the early stages of its development and will continue to be engaged as part of the project team.

ABB is a global leader in power and automation technologies. It will engineer and fabricate the underground DC cable and the converter station in Franklin, as well as equipment at the Deerfield substation required to support interconnecting the Northern Pass line to the regional electric grid.

M.J. Electric, LLC (MJE), another subsidiary of Quanta Services, will work with ABB to engineer and construct the converter station.

Northern Pass has also secured prices on all significant materials and equipment that will be used to build both the overhead and underground portions of the line, which helps solidify the project cost estimate of $1.6 billion.

In 2015, Eversource announced its New Hampshire First jobs initiative, including its commitment to hiring New Hampshire workers whenever possible for construction of Northern Pass. Eversource is partnering with local non-union contractors and electrical workers’ unions to help construct and maintain more than $2 billion in proposed energy projects throughout the state, including Northern Pass.

“Northern Pass will provide a unique opportunity to work on one of the largest infrastructure projects in state history,” said Quinlan. “I have spoken to many highly-skilled men and women around the state who are eager to work on a multi-year project close to home.  The project is going to provide significant opportunities for a wide range of New Hampshire workers.”

In the coming months, Northern Pass and its contractors will host events throughout New Hampshire that will provide local subcontractors an opportunity to discuss the general construction approach for the project, including the sequencing of the work, what local skills and resources will be required, and how the hiring process will occur. Northern Pass will create 2,600 jobs during construction, including:  logging, excavating, gravel, trucking, concrete, electrical utility work, paving, fencing and landscaping. In addition, the project will require other general services and materials, including traffic control, security, equipment rental, waste management, among others.

Northern Pass is a 192-mile high-voltage transmission line that will connect New Hampshire and the New England electric grid to 1,090 megawatts of clean, renewable hydropower generated in Canada. The project is currently in the process of securing state and federal permits, and is projected to begin construction in 2017 and be operational in mid-2019.

Eversource (NYSE: ES) transmits and delivers electricity and natural gas for more than 3.6 million electric and natural gas customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Recognized as the top-ranked “green” utility in the U.S. by Newsweek magazine, Eversource harnesses the commitment of its approximately 8,000 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of delivering reliable energy and superior customer service. For more information, please visit our website (www.eversource.com) and follow us on Twitter (@EversourceCorp) and Facebook (facebook.com/EversourceEnergy).

CONTACT:

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


Posted on April 1st, 2016 by

In the past decade, there has been a gradual national shift away from coal and oil as sources of electricity and toward natural gas and renewable sources. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the shift is happening faster than we thought and natural gas is now the top source of electricity nation-wide. Here in New England, we rely heavily on natural gas for electricity, which is driving up winter energy costs and creating a challenging climate for business.

In Massachusetts, officials are working hard to address our regional energy challenges and shift toward more clean energy sources. A bi-partisan consensus has emerged that achieving the state’s clean energy goals cannot be done with just wind, solar and energy efficiency alone – hydropower must be added, too.

Although our use of renewable energy is growing, some projects are facing hard times, and one company is choosing to divest itself of hydro and wind projects here in New England.

 

Natural Gas Weekly Update

U.S. Energy Information Administration

 

This huge change in how we get energy is coming much faster than expected

Washington Post

 

ISO New England annual report: Challenges of retiring power plants, renewables, natural gas pipelines

Vermont Biz

 

Lindlof: Maine solutions lie in low-cost energy

Kennebec Journal

 

A roadmap for the omnibus energy bill

Commonwealth Magazine

 

Former officials have Baker’s back on hydro power

Worcester Business Journal

 

Large hydro joins the renewable energy club

RTO Insider

 

Affordable, reliable and clean electricity is good for Massachusetts

Wicked Local

 

Biomass industry’s plea to Maine lawmakers: Save our jobs

Portland Press Herald

 

TransCanada to sell hydro dams in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont

Mass Live

 

TransCanada looks to sell Maine wind farm

Portland Press Herald

 

 

 

 


Posted on March 28th, 2016 by

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) issued a Notice and Order on Friday announcing a hearing on April 12 in Lincoln to discuss pending motions on Northern Pass before the SEC.

The SEC is currently reviewing the Northern Pass application as part of the state’s permitting process. This process also includes a number of hearings, such as next month’s hearing on three pending motions. These motions include:

  • All Requests for Review of the Order on Petitions to Intervene under RSA 1 62-H:4, V
  • Applicant’s Request for Partial Waivers Under the Newly Adopted SEC Rules
  • Applicant’s Unassented-To Motion for Protective Order and Confidential Treatment

At the hearing, the Subcommittee will allow parties that filed written motions and/or objections regarding the above matters to supplement their written motions or objections with oral argument, if necessary. After that time, the Subcommittee will consider and deliberate on the pending motions.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. at the Loon Mountain Resort, 60 Loon Mountain Rd., Lincoln. You can read the SEC’s order online here.


Posted on March 24th, 2016 by

Business leaders from across the state have announced their support for Northern Pass. In a joint statement to the Site Evaluation Committee, 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 “$3.8 billion in direct economic and unparalleled environmental benefits it will provide to the people and businesses of New Hampshire.”

At a recent Public Hearing in Deerfield, Mark Bailey of BAE Systems spoke on behalf of the 50 business leaders from across the state, announcing their joint support for Northern Pass. Mr. Bailey applauded the project, saying it will “provide unmistakably clear benefits to New Hampshire by bringing low-cost electricity directly to the state’s residents and businesses, creating hundreds of jobs, and providing millions in tax revenue.”

Local businesses are growing more concerned about the high cost of doing business in New Hampshire and the economic disadvantages they are facing compared to other states.  The joint statement encourages the SEC to conduct a “thorough, timely, and fact-based review” of the project since New Hampshire citizens and businesses “cannot afford to wait any longer.”

If you, too, are interested in supporting the Northern Pass project sign-up here.


Posted on March 18th, 2016 by

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) issued an order this week on one of a number of hearings that will be held as part of the Northern Pass’ review process. This hearing had originally been scheduled for Monday, but was postponed until Tuesday due to expected inclement weather.

The order states that a prehearing conference will be held on March 22, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. at the Holiday Inn at 172 N Main Street in Concord. The hearing had originally been scheduled to meet at the Office of the Public Utilities Commission in Concord but due to space constraints, the location was changed. The meeting will be attended by the SEC, project representatives and interveners.

The SEC order describes the prehearing conference as “an informal proceeding at which the parties to the docket may discuss the issues including, but not limited to: the conduct of discovery and technical sessions; offers of settlement or agreement on any issue; methods to simplify the issues in dispute; stipulations or admissions as to issues of fact or proof by consent of the parties; changes to standard procedures by consent of the parties; limitations on the number of witnesses or scope of discovery; consolidation of witnesses; the filing of the testimony of witnesses; and any other matter that may aid in the disposition of the proceeding.”

The SEC is expected to issue an order on the pending intervention petitions March 18, 2016.


Posted on March 15th, 2016 by

Developer Les Otten recently testified in support of Northern Pass at the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee public information session in Coös County. In his remarks, he spoke not only about his proposed redevelopment of The Balsams Resort in Dixville and the opportunities this will bring to the North Country economy, but also about the economic and clean energy benefits that Northern Pass offers to New Hampshire. Otten is a strong supporter of renewable energy, having a wood pellet business among his portfolio of ventures. He believes the Northern Pass is a critical source of affordable, low-carbon energy that will help move our region toward our clean energy goals, while also bringing jobs and economic activity to communities along the route.

We at Northern Pass also want to see an economic revival in the North Country and believe it’s critical that The Balsams redevelopment stay on schedule. That’s why we’re pleased to advance $2 million from the Forward New Hampshire Fund to ensure that the project breaks ground this summer. The plans for The Balsams are precisely what we envisioned when we set the goals for the Forward New Hampshire Fund.

The Forward New Hampshire Fund is a cornerstone of the Forward New Hampshire Plan, announced by Northern Pass last August. The $200 million we have committed to this Fund is aimed at supporting economic development, community betterment, tourism, and clean energy initiatives in the cities and towns along the route, especially those in the North Country. There is perhaps no single effort at this time that supports these goals more than the current plans to redevelop The Balsams and return it to a world class destination resort. Like Northern Pass, The Balsams redevelopment has the opportunity to be transformative for the North Country, bringing jobs, economic development and injecting a much needed boost into the area’s tourism industry.

The Northern Pass has already supported several key initiatives aimed at supporting New Hampshire communities and the environment, including the Coos County Job Creation Association, the Morse Mountain cell tower, and the Partners for New Hampshire Fish and Wildlife. Northern Pass and The Balsams both present significant opportunities for Coös County, the state, and beyond. We’re pleased to support the redevelopment of this North Country showpiece.


Posted on March 11th, 2016 by

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) has issued separate notice and orders for site inspections of portions of the Northern Pass route on Monday March 14 and on Wednesday March 16. These site inspections will each include a bus tour along the route, stopping at key points identified in the orders.

On March 14, the tour will begin at noon at the Plymouth State University Ice Arena and include stops in Bristol, Franklin and Thornton, ending back at the arena. On March 16, the tour will begin at 9:30AM at the Concord office of the Public Utilities Commission and include stops in Canterbury, Concord, Pembroke, Allenstown and Deerfield, concluding at the PUC. You can learn more about each tour, which are open to the public, by reading the SEC orders now posted on our website.

The tours and the public hearings being held this month are part of the state permitting process for Northern Pass. To date, the SEC has hosted public hearings on Northern Pass in Meredith, Whitefield and Concord, gathering public input and comment. Two meetings held this week were co-hosted with the U.S. Department of Energy, which is also reviewing Northern Pass as part of the project’s federal permitting process.

For more information about the public hearings and how to participate in the process, go to our Project Journal.

Upcoming SEC Public Hearings

March 14

Grafton County, 5PM

Plymouth State University

Welcome Center at the Ice Arena

129 NH Rt – 175A

(Holderness Road)

Holderness, NH

March 16

Rockingham County, 5PM

Deerfield Fair Pavilion

49 Stage Road

Deerfield, NH


Posted on March 4th, 2016 by

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) has issued a notice and order of site inspection to review portions of the Northern Pass route. This site inspection will take place on March 7 and 8 and includes a bus tour along the route, stopping at key points identified in the order.

On March 7, the tour will leave from Colebrook Elementary School to view locations along the route and on March 8, the tour will leave from the Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa to view additional locations. You can learn more about the tour, which is open to the public, by reading the SEC order now posted on our website.

This tour and the public hearings being held this month are part of the state permitting process for Northern Pass. The SEC hosted a public hearing on Northern Pass in Meredith on Tuesday, March 1 and the SEC has four more meetings scheduled to gather public input and comment this month. Two of these meetings will be co-hosted with the U.S. Department of Energy, which is also reviewing Northern Pass as part of the project’s federal permitting process.

For more information about the public hearings and how to participate in the process, go to our Project Journal.

March 7

Coös County

(Co-hosted with DOE)

Colebrook Elementary School

27 Dumont Street

Colebrook, NH

 

March 10

Merrimack County 

(Co-hosted with DOE)

Grappone Conference Center

70 Constitution Avenue

Concord, NH

 

March 14

Grafton County 

Plymouth State University

Welcome Center at the Ice Arena

129 NH Rt – 175A

(Holderness Road)

Holderness, NH

 

March 16

Rockingham County

Deerfield Fair Pavilion

49 Stage Road

Deerfield, NH

 


Posted on February 9th, 2016 by

Energy prices are low right now, thanks largely to a slide in the price of natural gas. Yet these current conditions don’t mean the region’s electricity challenges are solved. In fact, grid operator ISO-New England recently repeated its observation that the region needs additional natural gas pipelines and clean energy transmission lines to ease supply constraints and volatile prices.

Projects to connect New England with new sources of clean, renewable sources have the potential to not only bring stability to the region’s energy market, but also help states meet carbon reduction goals, create thousands of jobs, and infuse millions of dollars into the local economy.

 

Natural Gas Falls to One-Month Low
Wall Street Journal, 2 February 2016

‘Low’ energy prices still highest in the nation
Worcester Telegram and Gazette, 3 February 2016

ISO New England: Natural gas pipeline constraints threaten grid reliability
Springfield Republican, 27 January 2016

Clean energy effort moves forward with New England proposals
AP via Boston Herald, 29 January 2016

Is High-Voltage DC the Best Way to Modernize the Grid and Reduce Emissions?
Greentech Media, 29 January 2016


Posted on February 4th, 2016 by

You will have an opportunity to participate in the Northern Pass’ state permitting process in March. The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) issued an order this week announcing that it will host five public hearings on the project next month.

State law requires the Site Evaluation Committee to hold at least one public hearing in each county where the proposed facility will be located within 90 days after acceptance of an application for a state permit, known as a Certificate of Site and Facility. The public hearings will be joint hearings with representatives from state agencies that have permitting or other regulatory authority over issues regarding Northern Pass. The public hearings will also provide the public with information on the proposed project, an opportunity to submit both oral and written comments, as well as ask questions.

Two of these events – Colebrook and Concord – will be conducted in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and will serve as a public hearing for both agencies. The DOE will host two additional meetings on its own during the week of March 7 to take comment on its draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Northern Pass project.

The dates and locations of the March SEC hearings are as follows:

 

Belknap County

Tuesday, March 1, 5 p.m.
Mill Falls at the Lake
Church Landing
281 Daniel Webster Highway
Meredith

 

Coös County (co-hosted with DOE)

Monday, March 7, 5 p.m.
Colebrook Elementary School
27 Dumont Street
Colebrook

 

Merrimack County (co-hosted with DOE)

Thursday, March 10 at 5 p.m.
Grappone Conference Center
70 Constitution Ave
Concord

 

Grafton County

Monday, March 14 at 5 p.m.
Plymouth State University
Welcome Center at the Ice Arena
129 NH Rt. 175A (Holderness Rd.)
Holderness

 

Rockingham County

Wednesday, March 16 at 5 p.m.
Deerfield Fair Pavilion
34 Stage Road
Deerfield

 

The SEC hearings, as well as the DOE hearings scheduled for the week of March 7, are just two ways in which the public can participate in the permitting and review process. If you cannot attend the hearings in person, you can still submit a written comment to the SEC. Written comments can be sent by mail, email or fax to:

New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee
Pamela G. Monroe, Administrator
21 South Fruit Street, Suite 10
Concord, NH 03301

Tel. (603) 271-2435
Fax. (603) 271-3878
E-mail: Pamela.Monroe@nh.gov