The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) recently voted after only 2.5 days of deliberations to deny Northern Pass a Certificate of Site and Facility, which would have allowed the project to be built in New Hampshire. The SEC’s action shocked many engaged in the process and sent a chilling signal to any developer considering siting new energy infrastructure in New Hampshire. Northern Pass will be submitting a rehearing request soon. You can learn more about how you can participate in this process here.
The SEC, by its own admission, chose to stop its deliberations after considering just half of the legal criteria it is obligated to study under the law. In our view, the SEC failed its most basic responsibility: to fully evaluate our application, including proposed conditions that would address concerns the committee members may have expressed, and to ensure all committee members understand the legal standard and how to apply it in a manner consistent with the law and past precedent. We believe we have a very strong case to make in seeking a rehearing with the SEC or with a court appeal.
The SEC’s cursory review and hasty deliberation are in sharp contrast to the extensive effort Northern Pass undertook to demonstrate that it more than satisfied the legal criteria for project approval. This effort included:
New Hampshire and the region have been challenged for years with some of the highest electric rates in the country. This burden has affected Granite State businesses and manufacturers, home owners and communities alike. Northern Pass is the most advanced clean energy project in the region, and able to deliver lower energy costs, improved reliability, and lower carbon emissions—as early as 2020. In addition, it will provide more than $3 billion in economic and environmental benefits to New Hampshire.
We feel strongly that the merits of the project, including the robust benefits it will provide, are too important for Granite State energy consumers to let the SEC’s recent decision stand. Northern Pass must be reconsidered fairly, with appropriate conditions, to ensure that it moves forward expeditiously.