The Northern Pass Transmission (NPT) project is now fully permitted on the Canadian side of the border, following the approval by the National Energy Board, Canada’s independent federal regulatory agency. NPT is the only project of its kind in New England with Canadian permits in-hand. In December, after two years of review, the Province of Québec granted Hydro-Québec (HQ) a permit to construct the hydroelectric transmission line that will connect with the NPT project at the U.S. border.
At the federal level in the U.S., NPT has been awarded a Presidential Permit, allowing the project to connect to the HQ system at the international border. Regarding state permitting, the project has recently filed with the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee requesting the committee vacate its recent decision and resume deliberations. The motion outlines a comprehensive set of commitments that could provide the basis for granting conditional approval.
NPT also has formal contracts with suppliers and a Project Labor Agreement with construction managers and labor unions.
Hydro-Québec press release:
Montréal, March 6, 2018
The National Energy Board (NEB) has granted Hydro-Québec a permit to build and operate its Québec–New Hampshire international power transmission line. With this last main permit in hand, construction of this major infrastructure with a view to increasing hydropower exports to New England can now begin in Québec.
The Québec–New Hampshire interconnection project, also known as the Northern Pass, is a 320-kV DC transmission line some 80 km long, which will be extended into the U.S. to connect Des Cantons substation in Val-Joli to Franklin substation in southern New Hampshire.
Both NEB and Québec government permits were required because it is an international transmission line.
Approval was obtained after a public consultation process organized by Hydro-Québec in cooperation with the host community. The process of obtaining permits from the various provincial and federal authorities included several steps:
In a news release of February 16, 2018, Massachusetts announced that negotiations with a view to reaching an agreement on the Northern Pass project would continue until March 27, 2018, and that it would at the same time enter into negotiations respecting the New England Clean Energy Connect project, with the same deadline.
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