The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests announced yesterday that it opposes the Northern Pass project “…as currently proposed.”
It’s certainly appropriate that an organization like the Society takes an interest in a project as significant as this and, frankly, we’d be surprised if it did not. What’s ironic, though, is that the Northern Pass has come about directly in response to concerns by the Society and other organizations and individuals who have called for more renewable energy and less fossil-fuel energy.
The Northern Pass can produce those results, but only by connecting to a significant source of renewable energy. There is the challenge. In identifying a preliminary preferred route for the new transmission line, project engineers sought to avoid completely or minimize impact with protected and conserved properties.
It hasn’t been easy. By the Society’s reckoning, it holds easements or owns outright almost 24-thousand acres of property in the towns along the project route. By avoiding one property another is impacted – and so on.
Fortunately, the Society and other interested parties appear open to fully discussing our shared goals and how best to achieve them. That opportunity will exist as part of the comprehensive permitting process that is ahead.