Includes an improved route with additional underground line and more benefits for New Hampshire.
Today we announced significant changes to the Northern Pass project as part of a newly unveiled Forward New Hampshire Plan. This major development eliminates potential view impacts in around the White Mountain National Forest, the Appalachian Trail, and Franconia Notch area by burying an additional 52 miles of line – for a total of 60 miles of underground line – and eliminating more than 400 structures in this region.
These route changes and the entire Forward NH Plan are the results of conversations we’ve had with people across New Hampshire. They are part of a balanced solution that provides clean, affordable energy our region needs and unique benefits to New Hampshire while also addressing the concerns about potential view impacts.
Beyond additional burial, the Forward NH Plan will deliver more than $3 billion in direct economic benefit to New Hampshire, including 2,400 jobs during construction, $80 million annually in lower energy costs for New Hampshire – as well as additional energy costs savings from a Power Purchase Agreement for Eversource NH customers – $30 million in annual tax benefits and a more than $2 billion increase in the state’s economic activity. The project will also create a $200 million “Forward NH Fund” dedicated to supporting initiatives in tourism, economic development, community investment, and clean energy innovations, with an emphasis on North Country opportunities.
The White House this week released its long-awaited, final version of the Clean Power Plan – an aggressive strategy to cut carbon emissions from U.S. power plants. New Hampshire and New England, however, are already well positioned to meet the new goals.
The region has dramatically reduced carbon emissions in the last ten years by participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, a program that the Clean Power Plan recommends other states examine. New England is also developing a cleaner, more diverse supply of electricity that will further cut greenhouse gasses.
This transformation, which includes the transition to natural gas as a fuel source, the importation of hydroelectricity, and the integration of other renewables, is not without contention as the public and policy makers debate the merits and the methods of achieving energy goals.
Obama heralds impact of power plant greenhouse gas limits
AP via Seacoast Online, 4 August 2015
N.H. officials hopeful that Clean Power Plan will curb wind-borne pollutants in state
Concord Monitor, 4 August 2015
NH well positioned to meet Clean Power Plan standards
Nashua Telegraph, 4 August 2015
Beaton: Hydropower key to meeting state emissions target
Worcester Business Journal, 29 July 2015
11 maps that explain energy in America
Vox, 29 July 2015
R.I. officials to announce $700-million power plant in Burrillville
Providence Journal, 31 July 2015
Can New England plug in to growing Canadian hydropower?
AP via Portland Press Herald, 2 August 2015
Winds Of Change? Rhode Island Hopes For First Offshore Wind Farm
NPR, 1 August 2015
Hundreds attend hearing on Kinder Morgan pipeline
WMUR, 29 July 2015
Gov. Charlie Baker plans to propose solar energy legislation
Springfield Republican, 30 July 2015
Public input is also a critical component in developing a successful project. Last week, the Northern Pass received a draft environmental review that includes a significant amount of public input. The Department of Energy, which issued the report, will continue to take comment for the next three months. The public will soon get a chance to weigh in on a proposed natural gas pipeline, too, as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Kinder Morgan hold separate rounds of hearings on the Northeast Energy Direct Project. Both of these projects will also be open for comment in their respective state-level reviews.
In addition to making comments at an open meeting, the public can submit written comments on these projects. It’s a process in place to ensure everyone has a voice in determining the energy future that we’ll all share.
Old Salem power plant falls as new one rises
Marblehead Reporter, 23 July 2015
Massachusetts Senate vote aims to prompt more solar projects
Springfield Republican, 23 July 2015
Offshore Wind Farm Raises Hopes of U.S. Clean Energy Backers
New York Times, 23 July 2015
Durham town officials, residents tour proposed transmission line route
Foster’s Daily Democrat, 22 July 2015
Northern Pass report says burial of transmission line to cost between $1.8 billion and $2.1 billion
Concord Monitor, 22 July 2015
How to submit comments on the Energy Dept.’s Northern Pass Report
New Hampshire Union Leader, 21 July 2015
Pipeline meetings to be held this week
Nashua Telegraph, 27 July 2015
Kinder Morgan plans to hold public meetings for proposed pipeline
New Hampshire Union Leader, 22 July 2015
The Department of Energy’s draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), released on July 21, marks a major milestone for Northern Pass and highlights many of the key benefits the project will provide for New Hampshire and the region.
The DEIS found that Northern Pass as currently proposed will:
Other notable conclusions include:
The DEIS further seeks to quantify the extent to which the Project will affect certain areas of the state and economic sectors. While it suggested the Project may have some impact on tourism, it acknowledged no evidence exists to support that conclusion.
A potential impact on property values is also not assessed specifically for this report. DOE, rather, made an estimate based on a few prior studies and acknowledged that its estimate “likely overstates” the potential impact for segments paralleling existing lines – which comprises the vast majority of the Northern Pass route.
The DEIS also outlines some areas that warrant further consideration, primarily regarding the potential view impacts related to overhead lines. These and other conclusions in the DEIS will help inform our forthcoming proposal to the State of New Hampshire’s Site Evaluation Committee. As we’ve stated, we plan to propose a new, balanced plan in the near future that incorporates the feedback we’ve heard in discussions across the state and will address those concerns while providing substantial economic benefits to New Hampshire.
Northern Pass is well-positioned to help solve our energy challenges and secure a more reliable, diverse and clean energy future. We look forward to the upcoming public meetings and beginning the State permitting process.
After an initial review of the draft Environmental Impact statement, we are pleased with the report and we believe it validates that this is the right project for New Hampshire and New England.
The significant work that the US DOE has submitted is a key milestone for the Northern Pass Transmission project.
It reaffirms that the project will address the critical needs concerning New Hampshire and the region’s energy supply by providing a diverse, base load supply of low-carbon electricity.
Moreover, the DOE recognizes that the project must strike an appropriate balance between project cost, impact and benefits. This echoes what we have been hearing over the last year from the many New Hampshire citizens we’ve spoken to.
The focus now turns to our state permitting process. And, our intention now is to bring to the NH Site Evaluation Committee a proposal which strikes the necessary balance and that will be broadly supported.
We have always known that this project makes sense for our customers and we are proud that Eversource is the company that will deliver these energy solutions to benefit customers throughout the region.
The Department of Energy (DOE) today issued its draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Northern Pass Transmission project, representing a key milestone in the permitting process. Our team has begun analyzing the DEIS, and we encourage those who are interested to do the same. The document is available online [http://www.northernpasseis.us/library/draft-eis/], and will be available in electronic or hard copy form at many town libraries along the project route.
A little more than a year ago, the DOE released a list of alternatives it would evaluate as part of its review, which allowed us to also study some of those options. We’ve been considering these alternatives as we’ve continued to seek candid feedback about our proposed route from a range of stakeholders. We are optimistic that the DEIS shares some of the same conclusions we have reached regarding the feasibility of certain route alternatives, and we look forward to reviewing their findings.
New Hampshire and the region are facing an energy crisis. The latest published data shows that the region has the highest electricity prices in the continental United States, and New Hampshire has the fourth highest prices among the 50 states. Customers and elected officials have been calling for solutions and hoping for progress. Access to new resources is essential. We continue to believe that Northern Pass is an important part of the answer. The issuance of the DEIS represents another step toward making that solution a reality.
In the near future, we intend to provide the public with an update on any changes to the Northern Pass route that we may propose as a result of the stakeholder input we have received over the last two years and our review of the DEIS. Our objective is to submit to the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) a balanced plan that is broadly supported and that will deliver much-needed clean power, lower energy costs, and significant economic benefits to the residents of New Hampshire, while also minimizing impacts to New Hampshire’s natural resources and landscapes.
The New Hampshire SEC review process will now progress on a parallel path with the federal permitting efforts. After we provide our public update, the next milestone for Northern Pass will be the public meetings in each county along the route, which will precede our SEC filing. We will hold those public meetings in the near future.
Northern Pass will provide New Hampshire with many unique economic benefits, while delivering affordable, clean and reliable power to both the state and the region for decades.
We have spent the last two years listening to the people of New Hampshire, and we recognize the need to enhance the project in a way that will balance the economics of a large-scale energy project with the need to minimize impacts to New Hampshire’s landscape. We look forward to completing our review of the DEIS, to sharing with you the results of our efforts in the near future, and to hearing from the people of New Hampshire as we begin the state siting and public comment process.
A mild start to the summer helped keep power demand and prices in check in June. In fact, last month saw the lowest wholesale power prices, lowest natural gas prices, and second lowest demand in the 12 years the region’s grid operator, ISO-New England, has been keeping track.
The price of electricity is tied directly to the price of natural gas, which fuels more than half the power plants in the region. As the ISO points out, “the swing in prices over just five months, going from the third-highest power price during February to the lowest in June, underscores the price volatility attributable to pipeline infrastructure constraints.”
Added pipeline capacity and additional sources of clean energy are repeatedly identified as key solutions to this problem. Yet many of the projects proposed to accomplish this are surrounded by debate and controversy, calling into question how quickly the region’s challenges will be addressed.
Region’s wholesale power price plummets in June
Worcester Business Journal, 16 July 2015
Natural gas tops coal as top source of electricity in US
CNBC, 14 July 2015
Wholesale electricity prices and demand in New England
ISO-Newswire, 15 July 2015
Pipeline moves forward, despite lack of customers
Boston Globe, 17 July 2015
Hydro, wind power could face tug-of-war in Beacon Hill energy talks
New Bedford Standard Times, 14 July 2015
Gov. Hassan wants more public input on pipeline plans
New Hampshire Union Leader, 16 July 2015
Big solar’s future for NH in doubt
New Hampshire Union Leader, 18 July 2015
While communities throughout New Hampshire and New England ponder various wind, solar, and natural gas energy projects, hydropower stands out for boosting electric reliability in the region and helping some states reach ambitious renewable energy goals.
Now, a continued strain on energy supplies, the rising cost of electricity, and mounting pressure on policy makers to prioritize clean energy initiatives are prompting some to look to hydropower to meet even more of New England’s electricity needs.
Derry chosen as community for solar program
New Hampshire Union Leader, 8 July 2015
AG Maura Healey’s office to study regional natural gas capacity
Springfield Republican, 7 July 2015
Power trade rises between US & Canada, boosting reliability
Utility Dive, 10 July 2015
Public forums held to discuss Vermont’s energy future
WCAX, 8 July 2015
Editorial: We need energy
Providence Journal, 2 July 2015
Region’s electricity prices expected to keep rising
Taunton Daily Gazette, 5 July 2015
Make our nation a leader in developing energy answers
Nashua Telegraph, 6 July 2015
Billionaire Clean Energy Advocate Visits N.H., Doesn’t Reveal 2016 Picks
NHPR, 10 July 2015
Baker’s bill would boost hydropower supply from Canada
Boston Globe, 9 July 2015
Utilities and policy makers are increasingly looking to renewables as they strive to balance the cost and environmental impacts of producing and using electricity. More affordable energy is especially important for homeowners and businesses in New Hampshire and elsewhere in New England, where more individuals are becoming more involved in deciding where their electricity comes from. Some even argue that renewable energy could drive the future of New England’s economy.
However, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on power plant emissions calls into question how hard policy makers will now push to add renewable energy to the grid, especially considering feasibility, siting challenges and competition from other fossil fuels.
Renewables to Beat Fossil Fuels With $3.7 Trillion Solar Boom
Bloomberg, 23 June 2015
NH solar projects scramble for millions generated by RGGI carbon tax
New Hampshire Union Leader
How Smart Is It To Rely On Natural Gas In Today’s Energy Markets?
Forbes, 17 June 2015
Challenges loom as New England plants retire
Electric Coop Today
Another View — Lou D’Allesandro: To help NH businesses, lower electricity rates, not taxes
New Hampshire Union Leader, 25 June 2015
Report shines light on solar benefits
Boston Herald, 25 June 2015
Redhook plans to produce its own electricity
Foster’s, 25 June 2015
Sea Change: Challenge of climate change presents opportunity for new energy
Portland Press Herald
Gas pipeline deal OKed by PUC staff
New Hampshire Union Leader
2014 was a record-breaking year for renewable energy, with the installation of new wind, solar, hydro, and other natural sources of power outpacing traditional sources of generation worldwide. The U.S. Department of Energy also recently announced it has secured billions of dollars for a center to help investors support clean energy projects. Leaders, from political to religious, are calling for a greener grid.
As policies and projects work toward a cleaner energy future, there is the potential for significant job growth. Modernizing the grid and developing clean energy technologies will require thousands of skilled workers, adding to the benefits of renewable energy investments both here in New Hampshire and elsewhere.
Record Year for Renewable Power; Heat, Transport Stay Fossil
AP via New York Times, 17 June 2015
Canada passes major wind energy milestone
Fierce Energy, 16 June 2015
Success of ‘Solarize RI’ campaign brings new renewable energy opportunities
WPRI, 17 June 2015
Back at work, Biden touts clean energy to investors
USA Today, 16 June 2015
As the pope opines on climate change, O’Malley releases a clean energy agenda
Washington Post, 18 June 2015
Eversource pledges local jobs
New Hampshire Union Leader, 17 June 2015
Collin O’Mara and Michael Sabitoni: Block Island Wind Farm could launch new American energy revolution
Providence Journal, 22 June 2015