The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) today released a written order formally accepting the Northern Pass permit application. This formal decision follows the SEC’s unanimous vote on December 7, 2015 to accept the application and move forward with the review process.
The issuance of the written order officially begins the Northern Pass state permitting process, a process that will include a thorough review of project details and a number of opportunities for the public to participate. Under state law, the SEC will preside over a series of post-application Public Information Sessions within the next 45 days, one in each of the five counties where the project will be located. The SEC will issue a procedural order identifying the times and locations of these five sessions. These hearings will be similar to the pre-filing Public Information Sessions Northern Pass held in September, where residents can submit questions and offer comments to the SEC about the project. The dates and locations of these sessions will be announced as they are confirmed.
In addition, the public will have another chance to participate in a series of public hearings to be conducted by the SEC within 90 days of the acceptance of the Northern Pass application. As with the Public Information Sessions, the SEC will conduct a public hearing in each county where the project will be located.
Bill Quinlan, president of N.H. electric operations for Eversource, said the SEC’s announcement today signifies a major milestone for Northern Pass.
“Clean energy projects like Northern Pass are vital to securing the region’s power supply and stabilizing energy prices,” said Quinlan. “Adding new, competitively-priced sources of clean energy can help New Hampshire and New England respond to the closing of existing power plants that we have long relied on. With the SEC’s acceptance of the project’s application as complete, Northern Pass can continue to move forward in its efforts to deliver a clean energy solution that our customers desperately need.”
UPDATE: The SEC has issued its procedural order that identifies the dates and locations of the Public Information Sessions. You can get more information about the sessions by following this link: http://blog.northernpass.us/2015/12/22/state-sets-the-next-steps-northern-pass-public-information-sessions-to-be-held-in-january/