Food for thought on this Thanksgiving
- Regional Energy Need – The operator of our electrical grid, ISO New England, predicts we’ll increase peak energy demand by 17% over the next decade, but the supply will drop as many outdated power plants close. New England needs to find nearly 6,000 megawatts of new power to replace more than 8,000 megawatts disappearing in the next few years. Northern Pass will bring 1,200 megawatts of clean, low-cost, renewable hydro-power into the picture.
- Benefits for NH – Northern Pass will bring low-cost, clean energy to New Hampshire and all of New England. Our state, specifically, will benefit from the creation of 1,200 new jobs over the construction period, a Jobs Creation Fund to spur sustainable employment beyond that, and $28 million in annual tax revenues to cities and towns along the transmission route.
- Energy Savings – Hydro-power is a lot less expensive than energy derived from fossil fuels. Having 1,200 MW of hydro in the mix will reduce wholesale energy prices by $25-$30 million a year for New Hampshire customers.
- Privately funded, no customer subsidy needed – Northern Pass is paid for entirely by investors, without any tax- or rate-payer money. This is laid out in a federally-approved “Transmission Service Agreement” between Northern Pass and Hyrdo-Quebec, the company that will lease the line to sell its hydro power to the New England market. Northern Pass is the only project in the region, either proposed or in the works, with this kind of agreement.
- Mostly constructed along existing Rights of Way – Transmission lines have been running from the North Country to southern New Hampshire for decades along a cleared and maintained Right of Way. More than 80% of the Northern Pass transmission project will be built either on this existing ROW, alongside the power lines that have existed for generations, or buried under state and public roads. The remainder of the project has been strategically relocated, on property owned or leased by Northern Pass, to minimize visual impact.
- Lowest greenhouse gas emission – The energy transmitted by the Northern Pass will help offset carbon emissions by up to 5 million tons annually be reducing our dependence on dirtier fossil fuels. Additionally, hydro in its own right is among the lowest emitter of CO2 of any power source, about the same as wind power. Solar panel generation emits 10x the greenhouse gasses per kilowatt hour, compared to hydro.
- Enough power to light up a million homes – 1,200 megawatts is a lot of power. How much, you ask? It’s the equivalent of the power put out by four natural gas power plants. Up to one million homes and businesses can be powered by 1,200 megawatts. That’s a lot of clean, green electricity.