The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee resumed discussions about the project today, focusing on the economic benefits of Northern Pass to New Hampshire and the effect it will have on the region’s carbon emissions.
Julia Frayer, a managing director with London Economics, will discuss her research on the potential impact Northern Pass will have on the wholesale electricity market, the environment, and the local economy. Frayer specializes in economic analysis and market design issues related to energy infrastructure, such as electric generation facilities, natural gas-related infrastructure, and electricity transmission and distribution systems. She has consulted for a number of regulatory agencies across North America, including Connecticut’s Department of Public Utility Control and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Some key points likely to be discussed today include:
- Wholesale electricity market benefits resulting from Northern Pass are estimated to average roughly $600 million annually for New England and $62 million annually for New Hampshire over the study timeframe of 2019 through 2029
- Northern Pass will result in approximately 3.2 million metric tons of avoided CO2 emissions per year in New England
- Northern Pass will create 2,600 jobs in New Hampshire during construction
- Northern Pass will create a significant increase in New Hampshire’s Gross Domestic Product, estimated to be $2.2 billion over the Project’s construction period and in the first 10 years of operation
- New England electricity prices are among the highest in the nation
- According to regional grid operator ISO New England, securing enough fuel to keep natural gas-fired power plants running during the coldest days of winter has been a challenge. While nuclear, coal, and oil generators can supply energy when natural gas plants are unavailable to run due to fuel shortages, this has resulted in increased greenhouse gas emissions. In the coming years, some older power plants will retire and more natural gas-fired plants will come online, exacerbating the over-reliance on natural gas and potentially causing severe price volatility and reliability issues.