Northern Pass experts will be in Concord on Monday to answer questions about the construction of the 192-mile transmission line and other work needed to connect the project to the regional electric grid. This includes the overhead and underground portions of the route, the converter terminal in Franklin, and upgrades to a substation in Deerfield.
The experts will appear before the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee as part of its ongoing review of the project, known as Technical Sessions. These informal hearings are an opportunity for the parties involved in the Northern Pass state review process to ask questions of the project.
Experts speaking about the Northern Pass construction process include:
- Kenneth Bowes joined Northeast Utilities in 1984 and today serves as Eversource Vice President of Engineering
- Samuel Johnson, the lead Project Manager for the Northern Pass Transmission Project who has 24 years of experience in the energy industry
- Derrick Bradstreet, a Project Manager for Burns & McDonnell Engineering and the lead design engineer for the project. He is principally responsible for the overhead design of Northern Pass, overseeing the design of the high voltage direct current (HVDC) converter terminal and other associated facilities
- Nathan Scott, a Senior Transmission Engineer for Burns & McDonnell Engineering and the underground project manager and lead engineer responsible for the electrical design of the three underground segments of the Northern Pass high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line
- John Kayser, a Project Manager in the Transmission and Distribution division at Burns & McDonnell Engineering with 23 years of experience in design and construction projects and more than 16 years of experience in the transmission and distribution utility industry
- Lynn Farrington, a licensed Professional Traffic Operations Engineer for Louis Berger of Portland, Maine and is advising Northern Pass on traffic impacts that may occur temporarily during construction
Experts speaking on construction will discuss a wide range of topics, including Northern Pass’ objective to provide clean, renewable, competitively-priced electricity for consumers in New Hampshire and the rest of New England. Some other key points include:
- The Project will be constructed in areas where Northern Pass will have obtained the necessary regulatory approval for use of public highways, state lands and waters, lease of PSNH rights-of-way (ROW), or has otherwise already secured the right to use land pursuant to leases with private landowners
- The construction of Northern Pass will be managed and constructed by several specialty contractors, who were selected through a bid process based on years of experience in managing and constructing high voltage transmission lines and substation facilities throughout New England and the U.S.
- Northern Pass and Eversource have a project labor agreement (PLA) with its contractors, which outlines their firm commitment to hiring local New Hampshire workers first and to developing strong working relationships with both large and small contractors who are either union or non-union
- Construction of the line and all facilities will be done in accordance with the best practices outlined by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (nerc.com), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), and other state and federal agencies
- Construction of the project will occur at more than one location simultaneously, and will include locations where it will be necessary to cross or work adjacent to rivers, highways, railroads, gas pipelines, or other utilities. Each of these locations will be planned and coordinated with the appropriate agencies and in compliance with applicable permits, plans, specifications, codes, and regulations. The work will be planned and performed by qualified contractors using appropriate procedures, equipment and personnel with the necessary technical expertise
- Northern Pass will provide field inspectors responsible for auditing the various construction contractors who will report directly to the Project Manager of Construction, as is typical with projects of this size
- The Project has made it a priority to reach out to key stakeholders, public officials, business leaders, municipal officials, the general public, and landowners along the route to discuss the Project’s status, explain the permitting and construction process, and to solicit constructive feedback on the route and other Project initiatives through a variety of means. All interactions are captured in the Project database and forwarded onto Project team members as necessary
- Northern Pass is dedicated to working with local communities, businesses, and the public during construction and restoration to explain the status and progress of the Project and to resolve landowner and municipal issues if they occur
- The design of the overhead portion of the Northern Pass line follows the height and clearance requirements of National Electrical Safety Code (NESC), which sets forth the minimum requirements for transmission lines in the United States
- Northern Pass will create Traffic Control Plans and Traffic Management Plans to be submitted with the final design plans to NHDOT for approval. These plans will detail traffic interruptions due to construction, as well as plans to manage and mitigate these effects. The Project will also work with NHDOT and local officials to implement the plan and communicate with the public about potential interruptions
You can find additional information about construction of the project, as well as the pre-filed testimony from the above experts, on the Northern Pass website. Technical Sessions will continue throughout September. You can find a schedule for all the technical sessions here