We were pleased to participate in a project update and site tour today for the Groveton Cell Tower project atop Morse Mountain. This much needed project will boost broadband and cellular coverage in the Groveton area and help economic development efforts in the region. We’d like to thank the many project partners and stakeholders that helped move this great project forward and we look forward to working collaboratively on more community initiatives in the future.
A news release distributed by the project partners on today’s update and site tour is posted below.
North Country Communication Tower near Completion
Northern Pass, NCIC, PSNH and others mark project milestone
Groveton, NH (October 21, 2013) – Communications in New Hampshire’s North Country will see a marked improvement with the completion of a new multi-use communication tower. Construction of the structure on the summit of Morse Mountain in Groveton is nearly complete, marking a major achievement in the challenge to fill existing gaps in the area’s broadband and cellular coverage. Members of the area media were provided today with a tour of the site where construction is underway.
“Communication projects like this are comparable to the building of our highway system many years ago,” said Gary Long, on behalf of Northern Pass, a project sponsor. “They bring economic and educational opportunities to communities in need.”
In the future, the 195 foot high structure will host cellular calling equipment that will improve safety and emergency response, benefiting the local community as well as tourists in the region. Internet service is also expected to benefit, by strengthening an existing wireless network.
“The future is getting brighter for Groveton,” said Jon Freeman, president of the Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC). “Our area businesses will see tremendous benefit from this project. It is difficult to compete in today’s economy without cell service and high-speed Internet. Now, with the structure nearly complete, our goal is in sight.”
Freeman thanked the partners who worked to secure funding and approval for the communications tower, including the Economic Development Administration, the Northern Borders Regional Commission, the Northern Pass project and Public Service of New Hampshire, which provided substantial funds that allowed the project to move forward.
“We are delighted to be part of this important initiative,” said Gary Long. “It takes a collaborative effort to turn big ideas into big successes. This was a great team effort, and Northern Pass is looking forward to more opportunities like this in the future.”
The tower infrastructure will be completed this month. Equipment used to communicate with PSNH crews will be placed on it soon, and it is expected that area fire and law enforcement communication gear may soon follow. There are plans next spring to install equipment to strengthen an existing network that provides Internet service – and, several national wireless networks are considering utilizing the tower to expand service in the area.
Groveton Regional Economic Action Team (GREAT)
Northern Border Regional Commission
Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC)
Northern Pass Transmission LLC
Public Service of New Hampshire
U.S. Economic Development Administration
Northern Pass will continue to meet with residents and landowners along the proposed transmission line route this week at another one of our open houses.
Pembroke and Allenstown
St. John The Baptist Parish Hall
10 School Street
Suncook, NH 03275
Drop in anytime between 5:30 and 7:30 PM
Northern Pass open houses have been an opportunity to meet with people, talk to them about the project benefits and to answer their questions. Residents of Pembroke and Allenstown will have the chance this week to speak with project representatives, including engineers and environmental experts. They can learn about job opportunities, view visual simulations and ask questions about everything from structure design to line location.
Like all towns and cities along the proposed route, Pembroke and Allenstown will see an increase in property tax revenue from the project. Residents will also benefit from the added taxes Northern Pass will pay Merrimack County and toward state education. In addition to these benefits, Northern Pass will bring 1,200 megawatts of clean, low cost Canadian hydropower to New Hampshire and the region, enough to power 1 million homes. The project is expected to create 1,200 jobs during construction, $28 million annually in new tax revenue and reduce energy costs for New Hampshire customers by $20 million to $35 million annually.
Northern Pass representatives will have more information on hand about these benefits at the upcoming open houses. If you would like to learn more about these upcoming events, visit the open house page on our website
A series of public meetings were held last month to give New Hampshire residents the chance to share their thoughts on the proposed Northern Pass transmission line project. These events, called scoping meetings, were just part of the ongoing public input process. Many people have already registered their comments through emails and letters. If you haven’t made an official comment on Northern Pass yet, you have just a few more weeks to do so.
From now until Nov. 5, the U.S. Department of Energy will accept written comments on the Northern Pass transmission line.
Here in New Hampshire residents have discussed both sides of this issue with friends, at the corner store and on the editorial pages of our local newspapers. Those discussions are now headed to the Department of Energy and our elected officials in the form of letters and emails. If you support Northern Pass and the clean energy, jobs and economic benefits it will bring New Hampshire, we ask you consider writing a letter to the Department of Energy, our governor and our Congressional delegation.
We understand many of you are busy and may not have much time to submit a comment. However, these letters don’t have to be lengthy; they can be a few short messages about why you favor the project. We appreciate any time and effort you make to show your support.
Below you will find the addresses for the Department of Energy, Gov. Maggie Hassan and our Congressional leaders. We ask you send a copy of your letter or email to everyone on this list to ensure our government and elected officials know that New Hampshire residents want to see more jobs, lower energy rates, more tax revenue and a cleaner energy future.
Northern Pass encourages supporters to let their voice be heard and we thank you again for whatever time you give.
Letters to the Department of Energy can be sent by mail, email, fax or through the online comment form
Senior Planning Advisor
Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE-20)
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Ave. SW
Washington, DC 20585
Gov. Maggie Hassan
Office of the Governor
State House, 107 North Main St.
Concord, NH 03301
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen
520 Hart SOB
Washington, D.C. 20510
Sen. Kelly Ayotte
144 Russell SOB
Washington, D.C. 20510
Rep. Ann McLane Kuster
137 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Rep. Carol Shea-Porter
1530 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
The Northern Pass team will continue to meet with residents and landowners along the proposed route next week at two open house events.
Tuesday, October 8 – Deerfield
American Legion Hougue-Batchelder Post 103
37 North Road – Deerfield, NH
Thursday, October 10 – Franklin/Hill/Northfield
Franklin Elks Lodge No. 1280
190 Central Street – Franklin, NH
Drop in anytime between 5:30 and 7:30 PM
Open houses are part of the project’s commitment to working with communities and residents to answer and address questions about the project. Up until now, many of our open houses have been held in the northern part of the state. These events next week give people who live in central and southern New Hampshire an opportunity to speak one-on-one with project representatives, including engineers and environmental experts. They can learn about job opportunities, view visual simulations and ask questions about everything from structure design to line location.
Northern Pass will bring 1,200 megawatts of clean, low cost Canadian hydropower to New Hampshire and the region, enough to power 1 million homes. The project is expected to create 1,200 jobs during construction, $28 million in new tax revenue and reduce energy costs for New Hampshire customers by $20 million to $35 million annually. Like all towns and cities along the proposed route, Deerfield, Franklin, Hill and Northfield will see an increase in property tax revenue from the project. Based on 2011 property tax rates, Deerfield could see more than $1 million in additional revenue, while Franklin could see more than $6 million.
Northern Pass representatives will have more information on hand about these benefits at the upcoming open houses. If you would like to learn more about these upcoming events, visit the open house page on our website.
Last night the Department of Energy (DOE) held its first scoping meeting in Concord to collect public feedback about the project’s proposed route. We were pleased to see a broad and diverse coalition of supporters attend and voice their support for the clean, low-cost energy, hundreds of green jobs, and millions in new tax revenues Northern Pass will bring to New Hampshire.
Current and former state representatives and senators, business leaders, municipal officials, representatives from the labor community, along with regular New Hampshire citizens, were all among the large contingent of green and blue shirted supporters in attendance.
Since announcing or new, improved route in June, we’ve been working hard to reach out to residents and landowners across New Hampshire to discuss our proposal and answer their questions. Whether it has been at one of our community open houses, individual meetings with landowners, or at a presentation to a local community group, positive feedback and support for the project has been growing.
We understand the public permitting process is just beginning and look forward to the many opportunities in the future for more dialogue on our proposal and the many benefits it can bring to the state and region. We’d like to thank all those who attended and provided comments last night and we are committed to work with all residents, landowners, and stakeholders as the process continues.
People throughout New Hampshire will have the opportunity next week to share their thoughts about the Northern Pass project at a series of public forums, called scoping meetings. These meetings are hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the federal permitting process for Northern Pass.
Scoping Meetings Schedule:
•Monday, Sept. 23, from 6-9 p.m. – Concord: Grappone Conference Center, 70 Constitution Ave.
•Tuesday, Sept. 24, from 5-8 p.m. Plymouth: Plymouth State University Silver Center for the Arts, Hanaway Theater, 114 Main St.
•Wednesday, Sept. 25 from 5-8 p.m. – Whitefield: Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa, Presidential Room, 101 Mountain View Rd.
•Thursday, Sept. 26 from 5–8 p.m. – Colebrook: Colebrook Elementary School Gymnasium, 27 Dumont St.
If you wish to speak at a meeting, sign up with Brian Mills at the Department of Energy by calling (202) 586-8267 or by e-mail at Brian.Mills@hq.doe.gov. You can also sign up at the event.
What Happens at a Scoping Meeting
Following an open house type presentation by project representatives for the first 30 minutes of the meeting, a formal commenting session will be held where each speaker will be given three minutes to share their thoughts on the project. DOE allows for written comments as well, so if you can’t make a meeting, or prefer not to speak at a meeting, you can write a letter. Letters should be addressed to Brian Mills and can be mailed, faxed or emailed. Contact information, as well as a link to an online comment form, is on the Department of Energy’s website. Please note that all comments must be received by Nov. 5th.
For generations, New Hampshire residents have come together to discuss issues that are important to our state and communities. Please help us make sure all voices are heard by attending one of these meetings. We here at Northern Pass understand that your time is valuable and we appreciate any effort you make to contribute your comments.
Northern Pass representatives during the past month have met with hundreds of New Hampshire resident at our open houses. We have gone from Pittsburg to Concord, answering questions and offering information to people who live in towns along the proposed 187-mile transmission line route.
As we look ahead to the fall, we see there are still many opportunities for you to ask us questions and to speak with us about the project. This week, Northern Pass will host two open houses, in Campton and Ashland. The Campton open house, which is being held for residents of Campton, Thornton and Woodstock, will be this evening at the Days Inn Campton on Daniel Webster Highway. The Ashland open house will be tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 18, at the Ashland Legion Post 15 on Main Street. It is for residents of Ashland Bristol, Bridgewater, Holderness and New Hampton, but like our previous open house events, all those looking to ask questions and discuss the project are welcome to attend. Guests are welcome to stop by at any time between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
The Northern Pass hosts these open houses to give residents and landowners a chance to speak one-on-one with project engineers, environmental experts and other project representatives. We’ve heard questions about where the route is located, what the transmission line will look like and the kind of jobs Northern Pass will create for New Hampshire residents. It is part of the project’s commitment to working with all communities along the route and addressing their questions about the project.
Next week, Northern Pass will be the subject of four U.S. Department of Energy scoping meetings. These public forums are a chance for all residents to speak about the Northern Pass project and submit their comments as part of the federal permitting process. Recently, one of the meetings was moved from Stewartstown to Colebrook, so here is an updated list of all the scoping meetings:
• Concord: Grappone Conference Center, 70 Constitution Ave. on Monday, Sept. 23, from 6-9 p.m.
• Plymouth: Plymouth State University Silver Center for the Arts, Hanaway Theater, 114 Main St. on Tuesday, Sept. 24, from 5-8 p.m.
• Whitefield: Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa, Presidential Room, 101 Mountain View Rd. on Wednesday, Sept. 25 from 5-8 p.m.
• Colebrook: Colebrook Elementary School Gymnasium, 27 Dumont St. on Thursday, Sept. 26 from 5–8 p.m.
Supporters of Northern Pass are invited to speak at these scoping meetings or submitting written comments to ensure the Department of Energy hears the voices of those who want to see clean energy, jobs and more tax revenue come to the state. You can find more information about the meetings, how to sign up to speak and where to submit written comments on the DOE website.
The project recently announced a $7.5 million jobs creation fund aimed specifically at increasing employment in the North Country. The announcement of the fund follows months of discussions with local leaders and business people about the economic challenges in Coös County, and how the project can bring additional value to the area that is above and beyond the construction jobs and tax benefits associated with the project.
The fund will be managed by an advisory group made up of Coös County business and economic development leaders and elected officials and will ultimately decide what jobs creation efforts will be funded, and at what amounts.
Gary Long, President of Renewable Energy Development for New Hampshire, along with Former State Senator John Gallus and Allen Bouthillier of A.B. Logging announced the creation of the fund at an event in Lancaster at A.B. Logging on August 19th.
Northern Pass has invited residents and landowners in Concord and Canterbury to our next open house in Concord this evening at the Holiday Inn on North Main Street in Concord. Visitors can stop by anytime between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to discuss the project with engineers and experts from our team.
Our open houses are informal gatherings where people can view informational materials and speak to representatives at their own pace. There are different booths set up around the room that provide information about jobs and tax benefits, information structure heights and locations, the construction process and even visual simulations of what the project would look like from various vantage points. Open Houses are a voluntary effort on the part of the project to share information with local residents and landowners, and we’ve enjoyed the events we’ve held thus far.
The proposed route of the project runs through the western side of Canterbury for roughly 6 miles along an existing right-of-way before it crosses the town line. In Concord, the proposed route will travel along an 8 mile stretch of an existing right-of-way, also currently home to existing power lines
As part of our efforts to address concerns over potential visual impact, our engineering team redesigned a 17-mile stretch of the proposed route between Franklin and Concord, which resulted in reduced structure heights. We first announced this redesign in June as part of our route announcement and are looking forward to sharing the details of these changes with residents this evening. This redesign reduces the most common structure heights along this section to 80 feet and means 92 percent of structures will be 100 feet or less, where previously only 51 percent of structures were 100 feet or less.
Communities will also see a financial benefit from Northern Pass as the infrastructure improvements the project makes within each community will translate into more tax revenue for those towns. In Concord, the project is estimated to create more than $540,000* in municipal and local education tax payments and in Canterbury, the project is estimated to create more than $400,000*. Overall, Northern Pass is expected to bring an estimated total of $28 million in new local, county and state taxes annually.
Whether you are looking to learn about the project’s proposed design in your community, sign up for our jobs notification list, or want to know more about Northern Pass’ clean, renewable energy, please feel free to stop by the Canterbury and Concord open house this evening or upcoming events as we continue to talk to residents throughout the state about New Hampshire’s energy future.
*Based on current tax rates
In last week’s Colebrook Chronicle, Coos County Treasurer Fred King detailed his thoughts on the Northern Pass project, our revised route in the North Country, and the recently announced Jobs Creation fund.
From Mr. King’s letter…
“…a positive reaction from the utility has been the proposal to provide a substantial contribution to communities in Coos County impacted by the new transmission line by offering to fund economic development with millions of their dollars. Some call this a bribe. I prefer to think that PSNH, as they looked at the economy in Coos County, at last recognized that there was a need for assistance for our communities in order to restore our job base.”
Mr. King also discussed his thoughts on hydropower as part of our future energy portfolio…
“…if there were no hydro generation on the Connecticut River there would not have been a need for a First Connecticut Lake or Lake Francis in Pittsburg or a Lake Umbagog in Errol to store water until it is needed by downstream power producers. In this case it is Canadians who have developed a huge, well-planned facility that has expansion capability. So what should we do as we consider this proposal to bring hydro power from Canada to southern New England through or North Country?
We must first remember that our Seabrook nuclear plant, like the one in Vermont, has a limited life expectancy, coal as a fuel is very unpopular and the natural gas supply is limited. However, water will run downhill forever.”
The full letter can be viewed on page 23 of the most recent issue of the Colebrook Chronicle.
Mr. King’s letter follows a recent post detailing several other positive letters to the editor we’ve been seeing in newspapers around the state.