Posted on January 11th, 2017 by

  • In his inaugural address, Gov. Chris Sununu called for a “sensible, long-term plan” to meet New Hampshire’s energy needs and lower costs, including his support for new energy projects like Northern Pass. “Eleven-hundred megawatts of clean, renewable energy?  How do we say no to that when we have the highest energy rates in the country?  We can help ratepayers!” said Sununu.
  • The stark reality of the Granite State’s high energy costs has come into focus — defense and law enforcement contractor Sig Sauer, a valuable job creator in New Hampshire, has announced plans to expand to Arkansas due to electricity costs and concerns about future price volatility.
  • In an effort to meet the state’s goals to reduce carbon emissions, Massachusetts is expected to issue a request for proposals for 2,800 megawatts (MW) of clean energy, including 1,600 MW of offshore wind and 1,200 MW of renewables, such as Canadian hydropower.
  • Spectra announced the company will delay its proposed $3 billion natural gas pipeline expansion, which would have helped meet the demand of electric generation companies throughout New England, particularly on the coldest days when demand for power is greatest. Gordon van Welie, president and CEO of ISO-New England, has said the region’s operating situation is precarious during the winter time and may become unsustainable beyond 2019 during extreme cold conditions without a additional pipeline capacity.
  • Massachusetts residents are calling for the immediate closure of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, which can generate 680 MW of nuclear energy, enough to power more than 600,000 homes.

Quick Links:

Sununu says battling the drug epidemic a top priority as he’s sworn in as NH governor

NH1 News, 5 January 2017

Gov. Chris Sununu delivers inaugural address

WMUR , 5 January 2017

Mike Marland: Dec. 28, 2016

Concord Monitor, 28 December 2016

Jim Roche: Energy cost and reliability are hitting NH employers

Union Leader, 1 December 2016

New England to charge ahead on clean energy makeover in 2017

RTO Insider, 2 January 2017

Spectra delays Access Northeast natural gas pipeline

Utility Dive, 2 January 2017

Grid in the balance

CommonWealth Magazine, 10 January 2017

Massachusetts residents continue to push for Pilgrim closure

Exchange Monitor, 3 January 2017


Posted on January 11th, 2017 by

Posted In: Energy Brief, Jobs


Posted on December 29th, 2016 by

Northern Pass Field Work Highlights: GEOTECHNICAL

drilling-geotech

Throughout 2016, Northern Pass and its contractors conducted engineering, or geotechnical, field investigations along the underground portions of the proposed project route. Geotechnical work is a required step in the permitting process to support the progression of a project’s design. Geotechnical field investigations began in several locations following the completion of a thorough survey of the underground route and the acquisition of required permits.

Work was located in the shoulder, or just off the shoulder, of the roadways of Route 3, Route 112, Route 116, Route 18, and Route 302 and involved a series of drilled holes three inches in diameter, located approximately every 1,000 feet. Holes varied in depth from 15 feet to 65 feet, and core samples were taken at various intervals to document sub-surface conditions. After each hole was complete, they were returned to pre-work conditions in compliance with state permitting requirements. The same process was used at each proposed transition station, converter terminal, and at the Deerfield Substation.

While work was occurring, crews utilized project flaggers and, where necessary, police officers to ensure traffic moved smoothly and safely past project work zones.

Northern Pass Submits Designs and Traffic Control Plans to State

As part of our ongoing permitting process, Northern Pass recently submitted an advanced design to the NH Department of Transportation (NHDOT) for the portions of the project that will be buried under or adjacent to the roadway in the northern section of the proposed route. The design includes a traffic control plan for the underground construction phase of the project to ensure all local traffic will have access to residences and businesses, and that the safety of workers and the traveling public is considered.

Northern Pass is committed to working together with the host communities to minimize potential impact and traveler delay. We have contacted town officials and landowners along the underground route about the traffic control plan and will continue to communicate with them. The project will hold meetings with local officials, business owners, residents and other stakeholders before construction work begins to go over the construction process and expected timeline. Northern Pass will also have a team on the ground to work one-one-one with people along the underground route to individually address the specific needs of each business and resident.

The advanced design and traffic control plan will be reviewed by the NH DOT as part of the permitting process and we anticipate it will be posted on the agency’s website.

NH Manufacturers Warn of the Impact of High Energy Costs

This holiday season, chances are you’ll find some Lindt & Sprungli in your stocking or at your neighbor’s Christmas party. The Swiss chocolate company has a strong New Hampshire connection, operating a plant in Stratham which employs around 1,500 people. But future growth in the state is threatened. The facility pays more than $5 million a year for electricity, a cost the company expects to rise by another half-million in 2017.

“The concerning part for us is that we are at this point, the company is not willing to grow any more in New Hampshire,” said Robert Michalski, vice president of operations at Lindt & Sprungli in a New Hampshire Union Leader article. “The only way that we’re going to be able to grow in New Hampshire further is by finding ways to reduce our energy, our energy costs in this state.”

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

The Union Leader reported there were a number of manufacturing leaders who shared the same concern at the recent NH Business and Industry Association’s 2016 energy symposium in Manchester, including Jeff Chierepko, Sig Sauer’s director of facilities. Sig Sauer employs 1,400 in New Hampshire but opted to build a new 70,000-square-foot plant in Arkansas for its most recent expansion. Arkansas’ energy costs, which are roughly half of that in New Hampshire, were cited as a reason for the decision.

“Our first option was in New Hampshire, but if you look at energy costs and all the other things I mentioned, there’s not even a starting point there,” said Chierepko. “We were pursued by a lot of different states and a lot of them happen to be where energy costs are half. We’d like them all to be in New Hampshire,” he said. “Our energy costs are through the roof.”

The retirement of power plants and New England’s constrained natural gas pipelines during winter months are contributing to high prices. Increasing the supply of diverse sources of new energy to the grid with projects like Northern Pass will help lower energy costs not just for these manufacturers, but for the people who live in New Hampshire as well.

Doing Something about Rates

giunta2

Franklin City Councilor Tony Giunta says he had heard from constituents about the need to do something about New Hampshire’s high energy prices. When businesses can get lower rates in other states, it puts local businesses at a disadvantage, he said. “What I’m saying is, I’m worried,” said Giunta.
He believes lowering costs is important to keeping local businesses here in New Hampshire and can be done through new energy projects like Northern Pass. To hear more of what Giunta said, go to
www.northernpass.us/multimedia.


Posted on December 29th, 2016 by

Posted In: Environment, Filings, ISO New England, Jobs, newsletter


Posted on December 7th, 2016 by

Backfilling a shovel test pit

 

Northern Pass Field Work Highlights: ARCHEOLOGY

Over the last year, Northern Pass contractors conducted archeological field investigations along the Project’s proposed route. Archeological investigations included shovel test sampling for resources in various locations along the existing transmission corridor, and along public roads. The top-most layer, sometimes referred to as the “sod cap”, is removed, and the soil beneath is sifted to search for artifacts.

Once the investigation is completed the soil is backfilled, tamped down, and the top-most layer replaced. This work, which is nearly complete, is required for the National Historic Preservation Act, Section 106 process, and for the NH Site Evaluation Committee (SEC). All findings are considered culturally sensitive and confidential.

NH PUC Grants Northern Pass Utility Status

The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC) announced recently that Northern Pass has the technical, managerial and financial expertise to operate as a public utility once the project is fully permitted, and that it is in the public good for the project to do so. As a public utility, Northern Pass operations will be subject to the jurisdiction of the NHPUC once the project is in service. This is consistent with how other transmission owners operate in New Hampshire.

“This approval is another milestone for the project, which promises to deliver significant environmental, economic, and energy cost savings to New Hampshire,” said Bill Quinlan of Eversource. “We appreciate the excellent work by the NHPUC staff and Commissioners in evaluating the project, and look forward to further dialogue as the evaluation process continues.”

In addition to granting Northern Pass public utility status, the NHPUC order formalizes Northern Pass’ commitment to provide $20 million ($2 million a year for 10 years) for programs or initiatives approved by the NHPUC that advance clean energy innovation, community betterment, and economic development in New Hampshire, including energy efficiency programs. The funding for these initiatives will come from the Forward NH Fund, which will be established by Northern Pass to provide unique benefits to New Hampshire.

This approval by the NHPUC follows another key regulatory milestone for Northern Pass. In July, Northern Pass was granted an I.3.9 approval by the regional grid operator, ISO New England, which officially determined that the clean energy project can reliably interconnect with the regional electric grid. You can view the NHPUC order on Public Utility Status on the agency’s website.

SEC Wraps UP Northern Pass Technical Sessions

Northern Pass recently completed the Technical Session review phase of the state permitting process. These informal hearings were an opportunity for the parties involved in the Northern Pass state permitting process to ask questions of the project and are part of the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee’s (SEC) ongoing review of the project.

The SEC review process will soon move on to Northern Pass’ review of testimony and information provided by experts and witnesses representing the Counsel for the Public and others. For more information about the SEC process, go to the SEC docket on Northern Pass, posted on the agency’s website. You can also find updates about the project and its permitting process on the Northern Pass Project Journal.

apprentice-nh-2

Transmission Project, Job Training Program Puts NH Residents to Work

A joint transmission project between Eversource and National Grid is putting local companies and residents to work in the Merrimack Valley, while the launch of a lineworker certificate program at Manchester Community College is training people for future projects.

A number of New Hampshire-based companies and workers were selected to begin the first phase of construction on the Merrimack Valley Reliability Project (MVRP), a transmission project between Londonderry and Tewksbury, Massachusetts. Local companies include Triple L Trucking and Greymont Trucking of Henniker, M & R Wood Recycling of Derry, A.B. Excavating of Lancaster, U.S. Silt & Site Supply of Bow, Redimix Companies Inc. of Manchester, New England Mat Company of Winchester, and Busby Construction of Atkinson. Members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 104 and other local unions will also provide workers for the project. Non-union workers will also be employed in a variety of roles.

Eversource also announced in October its partnership with Manchester Community College (MCC), the National Electrical Contractors Association, and IBEW Local Unions 104 and 1837 to offer a certification program that will help prepare the next generation of electrical lineworkers in New Hampshire. The partnership offers a limited number of candidates valuable training and the opportunity to progress into Eversource’s paid apprenticeship program.

“This new program fits perfectly into our philosophy of giving students hands-on learning opportunities which lead directly to well-paying jobs in the market,” says Susan Huard, President of Manchester Community College. “This will be an attractive new program for those looking to advance their skills, pursue a new career path with Eversource, or work toward completing a degree.”

For more information about the MCC lineworker certificate program or the Eversource apprenticeship program go to the company website.

van-natta

The Benefits from Northern Pass

New Hampshire resident Michael Van Natta sees a lot of upside when it comes to Northern Pass, like stabilizing energy costs, underground lines reducing potential view impacts, and funding for communities in New Hampshire.

“The benefits package that’s going to communities, if you want to support New Hampshire, you should support it,” said Van Natta. “It’s money coming in to these communities that don’t have a lot of funding.”

To hear more of what Van Natta said, go to the Northern Pass videos page.


Posted on December 7th, 2016 by

Posted In: Filings, Jobs, Uncategorized


Posted on September 12th, 2016 by

Northern Pass experts will be in Concord on Monday to answer questions about the construction of the 192-mile transmission line and other work needed to connect the project to the regional electric grid. This includes the overhead and underground portions of the route, the converter terminal in Franklin, and upgrades to a substation in Deerfield.

The experts will appear before the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee as part of its ongoing review of the project, known as Technical Sessions. These informal hearings are an opportunity for the parties involved in the Northern Pass state review process to ask questions of the project.

Experts speaking about the Northern Pass construction process include:

  • Kenneth Bowes joined Northeast Utilities in 1984 and today serves as Eversource Vice President of Engineering
  • Samuel Johnson, the lead Project Manager for the Northern Pass Transmission Project who has 24 years of experience in the energy industry
  • Derrick Bradstreet, a Project Manager for Burns & McDonnell Engineering and the lead design engineer for the project. He is principally responsible for the overhead design of Northern Pass, overseeing the design of the high voltage direct current (HVDC) converter terminal and other associated facilities
  • Nathan Scott, a Senior Transmission Engineer for Burns & McDonnell Engineering and the underground project manager and lead engineer responsible for the electrical design of the three underground segments of the Northern Pass high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line
  • John Kayser, a Project Manager in the Transmission and Distribution division at Burns & McDonnell Engineering with 23 years of experience in design and construction projects and more than 16 years of experience in the transmission and distribution utility industry
  • Lynn Farrington, a licensed Professional Traffic Operations Engineer for Louis Berger of Portland, Maine and is advising Northern Pass on traffic impacts that may occur temporarily during construction

Experts speaking on construction will discuss a wide range of topics, including Northern Pass’ objective to provide clean, renewable, competitively-priced electricity for consumers in New Hampshire and the rest of New England. Some other key points include:

  • The Project will be constructed in areas where Northern Pass will have obtained the necessary regulatory approval for use of public highways, state lands and waters, lease of PSNH rights-of-way (ROW), or has otherwise already secured the right to use land pursuant to leases with private landowners
  • The construction of Northern Pass will be managed and constructed by several specialty contractors, who were selected through a bid process based on years of experience in managing and constructing high voltage transmission lines and substation facilities throughout New England and the U.S.
  • Northern Pass and Eversource have a project labor agreement (PLA) with its contractors, which outlines their firm commitment to hiring local New Hampshire workers first and to developing strong working relationships with both large and small contractors who are either union or non-union
  • Construction of the line and all facilities will be done in accordance with the best practices outlined by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (nerc.com), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), and other state and federal agencies
  • Construction of the project will occur at more than one location simultaneously, and will include locations where it will be necessary to cross or work adjacent to rivers, highways, railroads, gas pipelines, or other utilities. Each of these locations will be planned and coordinated with the appropriate agencies and in compliance with applicable permits, plans, specifications, codes, and regulations. The work will be planned and performed by qualified contractors using appropriate procedures, equipment and personnel with the necessary technical expertise
  • Northern Pass will provide field inspectors responsible for auditing the various construction contractors who will report directly to the Project Manager of Construction, as is typical with projects of this size
  • The Project has made it a priority to reach out to key stakeholders, public officials, business leaders, municipal officials, the general public, and landowners along the route to discuss the Project’s status, explain the permitting and construction process, and to solicit constructive feedback on the route and other Project initiatives through a variety of means. All interactions are captured in the Project database and forwarded onto Project team members as necessary
  • Northern Pass is dedicated to working with local communities, businesses, and the public during construction and restoration to explain the status and progress of the Project and to resolve landowner and municipal issues if they occur
  • The design of the overhead portion of the Northern Pass line follows the height and clearance requirements of National Electrical Safety Code (NESC), which sets forth the minimum requirements for transmission lines in the United States
  • Northern Pass will create Traffic Control Plans and Traffic Management Plans to be submitted with the final design plans to NHDOT for approval. These plans will detail traffic interruptions due to construction, as well as plans to manage and mitigate these effects. The Project will also work with NHDOT and local officials to implement the plan and communicate with the public about potential interruptions

You can find additional information about construction of the project, as well as the pre-filed testimony from the above experts, on the Northern Pass website. Technical Sessions will continue throughout September. You can find a schedule for all the technical sessions here


Posted on September 12th, 2016 by

Posted In: Jobs, Meetings, SEC


Posted on May 12th, 2015 by

It’s tough to do business without affordable, reliable electricity. We’ve heard more and more businesses and opinion leaders make this point, urging New England to address these energy challenges before they further harm the region’s economic competitiveness.

Across the region, there is a desire to invest in various kinds of energy infrastructure. There is now a clear consensus that new and diverse energy sources will help alleviate this critical issue – and deliver a potential host of other benefits. From jobs and tax revenue to carbon reduction and reliability, building a strong energy economy is central to maintaining a strong overall economy.energy jobs

 

Paul Markwardt: More energy needed to power NH
New Hampshire Union Leader, 9 May 2015

“…the undeniable fact is that without a major focus on bringing more power supply to the grid, the cost of electricity – essentially, the cost of doing business – will continue to increase, harming the competitiveness of New Hampshire businesses in U.S. and global markets.”

Charles M. Arlinghaus: New Hampshire is being ruined by too many BANANAS
New Hampshire Union Leader, 5 May 2015

“Slowly but surely the dynamism that used to be our job market has turned to stagnation. Mediocre job growth means people don’t move here much, younger people can’t stay even if they want to, and too many Granite Staters have to work in Boston or some other place at the end of a horrific commute. . . And the biggest hole in our competitive armor is electricity.”

Solar installation firm to open second NH office
New Hampshire Business Review, 4 May 2015

“The new office reflects the increased competition and growth of the solar energy industry in New Hampshire. Last week, SolarCity, the nation’s largest installer of residential solar energy systems, said it would soon be opening an office in Manchester and hiring as many as 100 people.”

Transmission line upgrades would add jobs, tax revenue, study finds
Albany Times Union, 6 May 2015

“Transmission line upgrades by National Grid would add $20 million to the tax base in the Capital Region and lead to 264 new permanent jobs locally, according to a new study commissioned by the utility.”

Maine wind energy advocates unveil study touting industry’s benefits
Bangor Daily News, 5 May 2015

“Among other things, the study found carbon dioxide emissions in 2013 decreased by 490,000 tons because of wind-generated power from Maine. According to Payne, that’s the equivalent to the pollution from 94,000 Maine automobiles.”

View: Nuclear energy faces market crunch
Lower Hudson, 5 May 2015

“Nuclear energy plants in New York also employ more than 3,440 highly skilled employees with an annual payroll of $274 million. They contribute more than $55 million in state and local taxes, and are critical to the economic livelihood of communities across the state.”

NH moves up to 21st in magazine’s ‘Best & Worst States for Business’ list
New Hampshire Union Leader, 10 May 2015

“Jim Roche, president of the state’s Business and Industry Association, noted that energy costs were not a factor in the rankings. . . ‘If they were, our ranking would very likely be much worse,’ he said. ‘New England businesses and residents paid $2 billion more for electricity during the winter just ended than we did during the winter of 2011-12, a more normal winter with a balanced supply of energy to meet demand.’”


Posted on May 12th, 2015 by

Posted In: Energy Brief, Jobs


Posted on January 29th, 2014 by

$7.5 million fund created by Northern Pass will directly support job creation in Coös County

Manchester, N.H., January 29, 2014 – The Northern Pass project, a proposed transmission line carrying low-cost renewable hydroelectric power to New Hampshire and New England, announces the formation of the Coös County Jobs Creation Association. The Association held its first official meeting today at the Mountain View Grand in Whitefield.

The $7.5 million Jobs Creation fund, announced last August, is aimed specifically at creating jobs in the state’s North Country. The Association is made up of Coös County business and economic development leaders who will ultimately decide how best to invest these funds for maximum job creation.

Coös County Jobs Creation Association

Members of the Coös County Jobs Creation Association include (l to r): Ted Burns of Stratford, David Atkinson of Lancaster, former State Senator John Gallus of Berlin, and Chris Diego of Whitefield. (courtesy photo)

Former State Senator John Gallus of Gallus & Green Real Estate in Berlin will chair the Association. Joining him are Allen Bouthillier, owner of AB Logging in Lancaster; David Atkinson, also of AB Logging in Lancaster and former manager of the Wausau Paper Mill in Groveton; Chris Diego, managing director of the Mountain View Grand in Whitefield; and Ted Burns, co-owner of the Grand Ole Lodge in North Stratford.

“The Coös Jobs Creation Association is one more tool in our economic development tool box to build new and sustainable jobs,” said Gallus. “We owe it to our children to create a secure local future for them here in Coös County. Our young workers have had to leave home for far too long to support their families.”

The fund emphasizes job creation in the County, with a focus on supporting existing local businesses that are expanding or renovating, or helping to attract new businesses to the area. It was created after months of discussions between Northern Pass and local leaders and business people about economic development in Coös County.

“The Coös County Jobs Creation Association, with this leadership, will go a long way in helping North Country residents build a stronger economy,” said Gary Long, President – New Hampshire Renewable Energy Policy Development at Northeast Utilities. “Local control of the Association assures the funding will be used in ways that best support North Country growth by investing in initiatives that make sense for the region.”

Northern Pass is providing the Association with $200,000 in seed money to begin its work. The fund will receive $1 million at the time Northern Pass receives acceptable federal and state permits and actual construction commences, and $500,000 each year thereafter, until it has received $7.5 million total.

The Northern Pass project announced a new proposed route in the North Country last year and is in the midst of the U.S. Department of Energy’s permitting process. ISO-NE, the regional grid operator, granted the project a key approval in December 2013 and the DOE is expected to issue its draft Environmental Impact Statement later this year. A permit application will also be filed with the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee to initiate the separate, state-level permitting process. Details on the project can be found at northernpass.us.

###

Media Contacts:

Lauren Collins, 603-634-2418, lauren.collins@nu.com
Mike Skelton, 603-634-3270, michael.skelton@nu.com


Posted on January 29th, 2014 by

Posted In: Jobs, Press Releases

Tags: , ,


Posted on December 31st, 2013 by

This year has been an exciting and busy time for the project. In June, we announced an improved route in New Hampshire’s North Country that was developed in response to concerns about potential visual impacts and property rights.  The new route is now located in a far less populated area of the North Country and more than 80 percent of the entire route will be built in existing rights-of-way or located underground.

As 2013 comes to a close, we would like to share some of this year’s other highlights:

  • Announced the creation of the North Country Jobs Creation Fund. This $7.5-million fund will be used to help boost economic growth beyond the 1,200 jobs Northern Pass will create during construction. This money will be administered locally and go to projects that people in the North Country know will help job seekers and businesses.
  • Sponsored a communication tower in Groveton that will expand cellular and broadband service in the North Country
  • Completed a series of four U.S. Department of Energy scoping meetings, moving the project further along in the federal permitting process
  • Hosted hundreds of people at our 16 open houses along the route, giving residents the chance to ask questions and review detailed maps, view simulations, and jobs and tax revenue information
  • Responded to thousands of inquiries from New Hampshire residents – via phone and e-mail on our Project Hotline
  • Posted key information about the project and regional energy issues, and provided regular updates through social media, like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
  • Met face-to-face with  residents and business owners along the route (roughly half of them north of the Notch), giving people a chance to ask project experts questions specific to their property
  • Gave presentations to Rotary Clubs and Chambers of Commerce across the state, going directly to business and community leaders to provide project updates, answer their questions and get their input
  • Held jobs meetings with workers and business owners across New Hampshire about the opportunities that will be available once construction begins

As we head into the new year, we will continue engaging with New Hampshire residents and those who live and work along the proposed route.  We encourage those who have questions about the project, or who want to lend their support, to reach out through one of the many lines of communication we have set up.  Call us 1-800-286-7305, email us, or check out our website.

Thanks to all who have supported Northern Pass – your efforts have helped make 2013 a very successful year!


Posted on December 31st, 2013 by

Posted In: Collateral, Community, Feature, Jobs, Links, Uncategorized, Updates


Posted on September 6th, 2013 by

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.


Posted on September 6th, 2013 by

Posted In: Community, Jobs

Tags: , ,


Posted on July 30th, 2012 by

The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce recently voiced support for the Northern Pass project, citing the creation of jobs and reduced energy costs, as significant benefits for New Hampshire’s business community, and others:

“…Reducing energy costs for all customers, substantial job creation, generating new tax revenue for state and local government, protecting our environment by reducing carbon emissions, and planning for our future energy needs are all laudable policy goals that our state is striving towards. Meeting each of these goals individually is a challenge, yet Northern Pass is a chance for New Hampshire to take a step forward on all fronts. We simply cannot afford to let an opportunity like Northern Pass slip by…

Northern Pass is how the free market is supposed to work – private enterprise working to bring superior, lower cost products to consumers. It’s time to work together to make this project a reality…”

Chamber President and CEO Robin Comstock outlined the group’s endorsement in a document that was published in the Sunday News on July 29. It is republished here with the permission of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

Northern Pass project has benefits for state
By Robin Comstock

As one of the state’s largest business organizations with nearly 1,000 members, the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce advocates on a variety of issues that have a significant impact on New Hampshire businesses.

One such issue that has been hotly debated as of late is the Northern Pass Project, which the Chamber believes will advance two of our organization’s strategic goals: promoting regional economic development and promoting a sound infrastructure.

Looking past all the controversy, emotion, and rhetoric surrounding this project, it is clear the Northern Pass project will greatly benefit our state’s business community.

The price of energy is commonly cited by our members and businesses across New Hampshire as a concern. Northern Pass will bring 1,200 megawatts (enough to power one million homes) of cheap, renewable energy from Canada into New England. This translates into significant energy savings for New Hampshire and the region. Indeed, Northern Pass will reduce energy costs for New Hampshire customers by $20-35 million annually.

In addition, Northern Pass will provide New Hampshire with fuel diversity at a time when New England is becoming more and more dependent on natural gas, the price of which will likely not always be so low. Diversity, which brings stability, is good for business.

On the job front, Northern Pass will create 1,200 jobs per year over a three-year construction period at a time when job creation in the state remains sluggish. Northern Pass is committed to using local New Hampshire companies and labor for this project first, giving a shot in the arm to our neighbors and the local business community. In the long term, the creation of an additional 200 New Hampshire jobs per year is anticipated as a result of reduced energy costs as businesses can afford to invest elsewhere when energy is more affordable.

These economic benefits can be realized without compromising New Hampshire’s environment, an element of the project that appeals to members of the Chamber’s Green Committee. Indeed, the cheap, renewable hydropower made possible by the Northern Pass Project will improve the environment by reducing regional carbon dioxide emissions by up to five million tons each year – the equivalent of a year’s worth of emissions from one million cars.

It should also be remembered that the construction of transmission lines to import hydroelectric and wind power from Canada is an action recommended by the New Hampshire Climate Action Plan issued in March, 2009.

Reducing energy costs for all customers, substantial job creation, generating new tax revenue for state and local government, protecting our environment by reducing carbon emissions, and planning for our future energy needs are all laudable policy goals that our state is striving towards. Meeting each of these goals individually is a challenge, yet Northern Pass is a chance for New Hampshire to take a step forward on all fronts. We simply cannot afford to let an opportunity like Northern Pass slip by.

Northern Pass is how the free market is supposed to work – private enterprise working to bring superior, lower cost products to consumers. It’s time to work together to make this project a reality.

Robin Comstock is president and CEO of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.


Posted on July 30th, 2012 by

Posted In: Jobs, Opinion

Tags: , , ,


Posted on July 13th, 2012 by

The Northeastern Apprenticeship and Training (NEAT) Program is seeking applicants for an apprenticeship program that trains individuals for a career in the industry that builds and maintains power line systems, like the proposed Northern Pass project

The news was reported this week by Fosters Daily Democrat and by the Union Leader.

The IBEW electrical workers’ union has additional information here on the NEAT program.

The Northern Pass project is expected to generate more than 1,000 jobs during its three year construction period. Here is a listing of the expected job opportunities; and, fill out this form to be updated on job opportunities.

An ongoing project in the State of Maine provides an example of the impact a transmission project can have on employment. This April news article reported that more than 2,500 people work on the project on a daily basis.  Additional information about that project’s economic impact is posted here.

 


Posted on July 13th, 2012 by

Posted In: Jobs

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