New Hampshire customers would benefit from $15 million in clean energy funds
MANCHESTER, N.H. (February 12, 2018) – Today, the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC) has approved an agreement that allows Northern Pass Transmission LLC (NPT) to lease transmission rights-of-way from Eversource. In its decision, the NHPUC found that the lease agreement was “in the public good” and provides significant customer benefits. This approval marks the last of three NHPUC approvals needed by NPT. The NHPUC had previously approved granting the project utility status, and also the ability to cross public waters and public lands in order to build the project.
“The benefits Northern Pass will deliver to New Hampshire are significant, and today’s approval by the NHPUC is further confirmation that the project is in the public interest,” said Eversource New Hampshire President Bill Quinlan. “In addition to the $15 million in funding for New Hampshire customers included in this agreement, the project would provide more than $3 billion in economic and environmental benefits to New Hampshire, including additional tax revenue for our communities, good-paying local jobs, and hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of investment in economic development, community betterment, clean energy and tourism.”
Under the agreement, as negotiated with the NHPUC staff and the N.H. Office of Consumer Advocate, NPT agreed to make annual lease payments to Eversource, which would be used to off-set Eversource’s transmission costs – which are borne by customers. Additionally, Northern Pass agreed to make annual payments totaling $15 million over the lifetime of the project. The funds would be under the control and direction of the NHPUC for “programs, projects or other purposes that provide benefits to New Hampshire distribution customers.” These programs may include investments in distributed generation, energy storage, electric vehicles, demand response and other initiatives.
Northern Pass benefits include millions annually in additional tax revenue to communities along the route; $7.5 million to the North Country Job Creation Fund to develop and retain jobs in the North Country; thousands of acres set aside for conservation, recreation and mixed-use; reduced CO2 emissions and energy costs; and the $200 million Forward NH Fund to support clean energy innovations, economic development, community investment, and tourism. Moreover, the project would deliver 1,090 MW of clean, renewable hydroelectric into the region, providing much-needed fuel diversity and helping to stabilize energy prices.
The PUC’s lease order is conditioned on the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee (NHSEC) issuing the project its necessary construction permit. Northern Pass is preparing to file a motion to reopen NHSEC deliberations. The project has received key federal approvals, including a Presidential Permit and final Record of Decision.