Northern Pass has reached an important settlement agreement with the NH Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC) staff in the proceeding to authorize the project to operate as a public utility in the state. The agreement is subject to final approval by the NHPUC, and contingent upon the project receiving all necessary state and federal permits.
“We are pleased to have achieved this settlement that establishes the framework for the safe operation and maintenance of Northern Pass under New Hampshire regulations,” said Bill Quinlan of Eversource. “The agreement is another step toward Northern Pass providing substantial clean energy and economic benefits to New Hampshire and the region.”
Under the settlement, the parties agree that Northern Pass 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 to do so. Accordingly, once in service, Northern Pass operations will be subject to the jurisdiction of the NHPUC, consistent with how other transmission owners operate in New Hampshire.
As part of the agreement, Northern Pass commits that the project will provide $20 million ($2 million a year for 10 years) for programs or initiatives approved by the NHPUC that advance clean energy innovation, community betterment and economic development in the state of New Hampshire, including energy efficiency programs. Northern Pass intends to allocate such funds from its Forward NH Fund.
The settlement agreement filed with the NHPUC can be found here.
The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) will host a public hearing on Thursday, June 23 at 6 p.m. at Plymouth Regional High School, located at 86 Old Ward Bridge Road. This meeting is to receive public comments on the additional information submitted by Northern Pass to comply with newly adopted SEC rules.
You can read the SEC’s official order, which includes information about the public hearing, on the SEC website.
MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (May 31, 2016) — The New Hampshire Superior Court (Court) has ruled in favor of Northern Pass and unequivocally dismissed claims by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (Forest Society) that use of public highways was subject to the Forest Society’s approval. The clean energy Northern Pass project proposes to bury portions of the 192-mile, 1,090 megawatt hydroelectric transmission line along public roadways.
“We are pleased the Court recognized long-standing New Hampshire law that allows for the use of public roadways for projects like Northern Pass,” said Bill Quinlan, President of Eversource Operations in New Hampshire. “We look forward to continuing the permitting process and moving one step closer to delivering the clean energy and economic benefits to New Hampshire and the region.”
In its November 2015 lawsuit, the Forest Society argued that Northern Pass must seek approval from the Society in order to use the public right-of-way next to property it owns, and that burial of a transmission line did not represent proper use of the roadways. The Court disagreed, saying that Northern Pass project’s proposed use is “within the scope of the highway easement,” and agreed that the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT), not the Forest Society, has “exclusive jurisdiction over whether to grant the Project the necessary permits and licenses.”
The Forest Society has frequently demanded Northern Pass be buried, yet in this case, had filed this lawsuit to prevent burial. The Forest Society has also continued to raise the false notion that eminent domain is possible for Northern Pass, when State law clearly prevents it, and the Project does not require its use.
Northern Pass is currently in the midst of the New Hampshire siting process, with the NHDOT participating as part of the Site Evaluation Committee. Northern Pass proposes to bury a total of 60 miles of the transmission line along public roadways, including a 52-mile stretch that eliminates visual impacts in the White Mountain National Forest, the Appalachian Trail, and the Franconia Notch area. The federal permitting process also continues and includes a full review by the U.S. Department of Energy.
By providing access to a new source of reliable energy, Northern Pass will help meet the region’s increasing demand for power while substantially decreasing carbon emissions by up to 3.3 million tons a year.
About Northern Pass
The Northern Pass is a 192-mile electric transmission line project that will bring New Hampshire and the rest of New England 1,090 megawatts of clean hydropower. This reliable and affordable source of power will also bring a wide range of benefits exclusively to New Hampshire, including millions of dollars in energy cost savings, additional tax revenue, and jobs during construction. To learn more about Northern Pass, go to www.northernpass.us. You can also email questions to email@example.com or call 1–800–286–7305.
Northern Pass Transmission LLC (NPT) today submitted to the NH Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) a motion seeking adoption of a procedural schedule that would lead to a written decision on its application by June 30, 2017. The proposed schedule seeks to strike a balance between the statutory requirement to complete the evaluation within 12 months, and the need for adequate time to evaluate a project the size and scope of Northern Pass.
Members of the SEC, at their May 19 hearing, heard arguments by Counsel for the Public and other interveners in favor of extending the time frame in which to issue a decision on NPT’s Application for a Certificate of Site and Facility beyond the statutory timeframe of December 18, 2016. Some SEC members also expressed concerns related to scheduling and ultimately determined they would extend the time frame for issuance of a decision to September 30, 2017.
Northern Pass believes the schedule it is proposing achieves the SEC’s objectives and provides margin for the SEC to address unexpected developments that may arise during the extended time frame, while respecting the Legislature’s finding in RSA 162-H that is it is in the public interest that “undue delay in the construction of new energy facilities be avoided.” Several groups representing business, consumers and labor agree, and have sent letters to the SEC regarding the negative implications of extending the schedule.
The SEC is expected to issue a written decision regarding the extended time frame in the near future.
LANCASTER, N.H. (May 20, 2016) – A state of the art electric vehicle (EV) “Fast Charger” station has been installed at Rogers Campground in Coös County and is now available for public use. The fast charger, the first to be located in New Hampshire’s North Country, was purchased and installed with a grant from the Northern Pass Transmission project “Forward New Hampshire Fund.”
“EVs are here and more are on the way,” said Crosby Peck, owner and operator of Rogers Campground. “I am already seeing some campers with electric cars attached to their RVs. This fast charger will attract a segment of our tourist population that I expect will continue to grow each year. I appreciate the support of Northern Pass in providing the necessary funding.”
By using the fast charger, new and future generations of electric cars can be almost fully charged in about 20 minutes. The station helps fill a coverage gap for the important technology. It is the only such fast charger station in New Hampshire north of Nashua and Salem.
“This is exactly the type of initiative we envisioned when we developed the Forward New Hampshire Fund,” noted Paul Ramsey of Eversource. “It will support tourism, which is so important to the state, and it’s an innovative clean energy solution.”
“This is one of a limited number of advanced commitments of the Forward New Hampshire Fund,” Ramsey said. “The fund will be officially established when the Northern Pass project enters into operation. At that time an Advisory Board, including representatives of the North Country, will review funding opportunities and make recommendations for funding. We look forward to more opportunities like this in the future.”
The station at Rogers Campground includes plugs for two specific fast charger standards, “CHAdeMO” and “SAE CCS.” EVs that utilize the technology include:
“Electric vehicles are an important and growing segment of the nation’s transportation future,” noted Watson Collins, Eversource Manager of Business Development. “New Hampshire’s Energy Strategy focuses on EVs as an important tool in reducing reliance on imported fuels. This new fast charger station is key to providing current and future EV drivers with a sense of security that they can quickly, and cleanly, charge up and get back on the road.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-286-7305.
WHITEFIELD, New Hampshire (May 19, 2016) – The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee today heard oral arguments on a procedural schedule for the Northern Pass’ application. After deliberation, the SEC voted to establish September 30, 2017 as the deadline by which it will provide a written decision on Northern Pass’ application for a Certificate of Site and Facilities.
“Today’s decision by the NH Site Evaluation Committee to extend the time frame for assessing Northern Pass is disappointing, since it will only delay the realization of the substantial benefits of this project in New Hampshire and throughout New England,” said Bill Quinlan, President, Eversource New Hampshire Operations. “We look forward to the written order outlining the details of this schedule, and in the meantime will be evaluating our options for seeking reconsideration.”
Despite today’s ruling, the New England governors all agree that the region needs new sources of clean energy to help stabilize the price and supply of electricity and to meet the states’ clean energy goals. Northern Pass will deliver 1,090 MW of clean, renewable electricity to New England and New Hampshire, and create a rare combination of economic and environmental benefits. This includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 3.3 million tons a year, while simultaneously providing $3.8 billion in economic stimulus in New Hampshire, reducing the electricity costs of New Hampshire customers by more than $80 million annually, creating more than 2,600 New Hampshire jobs at peak construction, generating an estimated $600 million in new taxes, and providing $200 million in funding for community betterment, economic development, clean energy and tourism. These benefits will be accomplished at no cost to New Hampshire customers.
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 email@example.com or call 1-800-286-7305.
Process continues with more public hearings
The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) has announced it will hold a public hearing on May 19 at 6 p.m. at the Mountain View Grand Resort, at 101 Mountain View Road in Whitefield to receive public comments on the additional information submitted by Northern Pass to comply with newly adopted SEC rules.
This public hearing is in addition to the five public hearings the SEC held in March. The SEC order, issued on May 4, specifies that the public hearing, including public comments, will be limited to issues presented by the additional information filed by Northern Pass.
The SEC will also hold a hearing on pending motions earlier that day at 11 a.m. at the Mountain View Grand Resort. The hearing will address pending motions on the SEC’s timeframe for reviewing the project and a Northern Pass request for partial waivers under the new SEC rules.
The SEC has held a number of hearings in recent months to address issues related to the adjudicative process – a phase of the SEC’s review which is outlined in state law. A prehearing conference was held on March 22 to address issues relating to interveners, the SEC’s timeframe for reviewing the project, whether to hold additional public hearings, and other procedural issues. On April 12, the SEC held a hearing in Lincoln to discuss pending motions, including all requests to review the SEC’s Order on Petitions to Intervene. On April 22, the SEC issued a temporary procedural schedule beginning the discovery phase of the process.
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).
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.
U.S. Energy Information Administration
Worcester Business Journal
Portland Press Herald
Portland Press Herald
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:
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.