Posted on September 6th, 2016 by

As part of the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee’s (SEC) continued review of the Northern Pass transmission project, the SEC began its Technical Sessions on Tuesday in Concord. These sessions are an informal opportunity for the parties involved in the Northern Pass state review process to ask questions of project experts.

The first session will include a discussion about the project’s impact on system stability and reliability, and regional grid operator ISO New England’s 1.3.9 approval process. In the afternoon, the session will continue with a discussion about the public health and safety impacts of the project, specifically electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) and environmental sound. Testimony from the public health and safety panel will continue tomorrow, September 7 if more time is needed. The technical sessions are expected to continue throughout the month of September. You can find the agenda for these sessions here.

Expert Panelists:

Robert Andrew is the Director of System Planning for Eversource and has more than 35 years of experience in the electrical generation and distribution industry. He will be available to answer questions about ISO New England’s approval of the project’s I.3.9 application in July, and other important facts about Northern Pass’s impact on system stability and reliability, including:

  • Northern Pass will not adversely impact system stability or reliability and, in fact, will provide important system benefits to the transmission system
  • The Direct Current (DC) link will provide power system support
  • Northern Pass may be able to limit the effects of a cascading blackout and provide emergency support after outages
  • The project has the capability of helping New England meet its reserve requirements
  • Bringing additional hydropower to the grid diversifies New England’s generation supply

Dr. William Bailey is the Principal Scientist at the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health Risk Assessment at Exponent, Inc., and is recognized nationally and internationally for his expertise in the potential effects of EMFs. His testimony will focus on his evaluation of the potential effects of the Northern Pass Transmission Project on public health and safety.

Dr. Gary Johnson is a Senior Managing Scientist in Exponent’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science practice who has extensive experience with transmission and distribution systems and has published 35 papers on EMFs and related subjects. He will be available to speak about his modeling of the electric and magnetic fields, audible noise, and radio noise from the existing lines and from the Northern Pass Transmission Project.

Douglas Bell is Senior Principal Consultant and President at Cavanaugh Tocci Associates, Inc., and has 25 years of experience evaluating environmental sound. He will be available to answer questions about the sound surveys he conducted along the proposed Northern Pass route.

Other important facts related to Northern Pass’ potential impact on public health and safety include:

  • The project will have no unreasonable adverse effect on public health and safety
  • Since the 1970s, numerous scientific studies have examined the potential for long term effects of exposure to EMF with frequencies of 60-Hz in North America and 50-Hz in Europe.
  • With respect to the overall evidence on potential long-term effects of 50/60 Hz EMF, the World Health Organization (WHO) currently states on its website that “[b]ased on a recent in-depth review of the scientific literature, the WHO concluded that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields

If you have more questions about EMFs, we’ve compiled information about AC and DC EMFs on our website:

EMF, Alternating Current Fact Sheet:

EMF, Direct Current Fact Sheet:

For more information about the Northern Pass experts mentioned above and the research they’ve done on this project, you can find their pre-filed testimony within the Northern Pass application to the NH Site Evaluation Committee,  Vol. I, Sec. (i)(6)

Posted on September 6th, 2016 by

Posted In: ISO New England, Meetings, SEC

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