The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC) announced on Friday, October 14 that Northern Pass has the technical, managerial, and financial expertise to operate as a public utility once the project is fully permitted, and that it is in the public good for the project to do so.
As a public utility, Northern Pass operations will be subject to the jurisdiction of the NHPUC once the project is in service. This is consistent with how other transmission owners operate in New Hampshire.
“This approval is another milestone for the project, which promises to deliver significant environmental and economic benefits, as well as energy cost savings to New Hampshire,” said Bill Quinlan of Eversource. “We look forward to continuing to move through the state and federal siting processes with the goal of making the benefits of Northern Pass a reality for the state’s energy consumers.”
In addition to granting Northern Pass public utility status, the NHPUC order formalizes Northern Pass’ commitment to provide $20 million ($2 million a year for 10 years) for programs or initiatives approved by the NHPUC that advance clean energy innovation, community betterment, and economic development in New Hampshire, including energy efficiency programs. The funding for these initiatives will come from the Forward NH Fund, which will be established by Northern Pass to provide unique benefits to New Hampshire.
This approval by the NHPUC follows another key regulatory milestone for Northern Pass. In July, Northern Pass was granted an I.3.9 permit from the regional grid operator, ISO New England, which officially determined that the clean energy project can safely and reliably interconnect with the regional electric grid.
You can view the NHPUC order on Public Utility Status here.