Posted on August 31st, 2017 by

Site Tour Clearing

N.H. Site Evaluation Committee members, Counsel for the Public, interveners and Northern Pass representatives toured the project route this summer.

Northern Pass Achieves Key Permitting Milestone

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for Northern Pass on August 10, concluding the project’s proposed route is the “preferred alternative.” The final EIS also stated that Northern Pass provides substantial environmental and economic benefits for New Hampshire and the region and will result in only minimal impacts. Required by the National Environmental Policy Act, the FEIS is the result of years of review of project environmental impacts and reflects the careful consideration of thousands of comments submitted by key stakeholders and the public.

Northern Pass is now awaiting the issuance of its federal permits, including DOE’s Presidential Permit, a Special Use Permit from the U.S. Forest Service, and the Section 404 Permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Northern Pass has already received the final permitting decisions from New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services, Public Utilities Commissions and Department of Transportation, and continued with final hearings before the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee in August.

Conclusions from the Final Environmental Impact Statement

REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS

  • The “total average scenic impact” of Northern Pass is considered “low” to “very low”
  • There will be no “population-level effects to any protected species” due to Northern Pass
  • Northern Pass poses no health risks associated with EMFs
  • There are no authoritative studies that demonstrate impacts on tourism from transmission lines. Tourism is affected more by factors such as the national economy and the price of gasoline
  • Noise levels associated with Northern Pass during operation will be well below EPA guidance levels

MEETING THE REGION’S ENERGY NEEDS

  • New England will see an annual reduction of CO2 emissions by 9 percent, or 2.5 million metric tons
  • Northern Pass will diversify New England’s electricity supply, reducing reliance on natural gas
  • Low-carbon hydropower from Northern Pass is a non-intermittent source of energy that can help meet public policy goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

ECONOMIC BOOST FOR N.H.

  • Northern Pass will create 6,747 jobs in New Hampshire during construction, as well as 901 permanent jobs
  • During construction, Northern Pass will generate more than $734 million of additional economic output within New Hampshire
  • New Hampshire will see an increase of $37 million in annual statewide property tax collections once Northern Pass is built

OTHER BENEFITS FOR N.H. In addition to the benefits highlighted in the FEIS, Northern Pass will provide — and in some cases has already provided — significant investment in on-the-ground conservation and economic development programs.

  • $200 million Forward NH Fund to support clean energy innovations, economic development, community investment and tourism
  • $7.5 million to the North Country Job Creation Fund to develop and retain jobs in the North Country
  • 5,000 acres set aside for conservation, recreation and mixed-use
  • $3 million to the National Fish and Wildlife Fund for its Partner’s for NH’s Fish and Wildlife initiative supporting conservation and restoration of key state habitats and species

What’s Next for Northern Pass

  • Final hearings continue before the SEC in September, including testimony on aesthetics and orderly development
  • Northern Pass expects to finish presenting its testimony before the SEC by mid-September
  • The Counsel for the Public and intervenors will have an opportunity beginning in September to present witness testimony
  • The DOE is expected to issue a Presidential Permit for Northern Pass sometime this fall

Site Tour Weeks

Site Tours Along North Country, Underground Route

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) recently toured a number of sites along the proposed Northern Pass routes. The visits, held on July 27 and 28, included stops in Pittsburg, Clarksville, Stewartstown, Dummer, Stark, Lancaster, Bethlehem, Franconia, Easton and Woodstock.

The locations of these stops were proposed by Counsel for the Public in a request that the SEC consider viewing portions of the proposed underground burial route as well as proposed additional above-ground sites in northern New Hampshire.

The July visits were in addition to four days of site visits held in March 2016 that included stops in Pittsburg, Clarksville, Stewartstown, Colebrook, Stark, Lancaster, Whitefield, Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Bristol, Franklin, Canterbury, Concord, Pembroke, Allenstown and Deerfield.

Northern Pass Reaffirms Commitment to Hiring Local Workers First

Northern Pass has long been committed to hiring New Hampshire workers first for the construction of Northern Pass. Eversource, Northern Pass’ parent company, recently reaffirmed that commitment with a project labor agreement. On August 7, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) announced a finalized agreement that covers both union workers and non-union workers and businesses, including workers needed for the construction of access roads, logging and clearing, trucking and other key construction-related activities.

The announcement is positive news for New Hampshire’s electrical workers as Northern Pass now presents an opportunity for them to work on a project in their home state, closer to their family and friends.

Tiler Eaton of the IBEW said, “Given the size of this project and the number of trained electrical workers needed, we anticipate this project will not only fully utilize all available New Hampshire members, but will also provide work for hundreds of our members from Massachusetts.” You can read the announcement on the Northern Pass website in our Document Library, www.northernpass.us/document-library.htm.


Posted on August 31st, 2017 by

Posted In: Jobs, SEC, Updates

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Posted on August 15th, 2017 by

Local Unions Pleased to See Release of FEIS

Northern Pass is expected to create 2,600 jobs during construction. That’s why local labor unions have applauded the recent release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for Northern Pass. In addition to reaching this major permitting milestone, Eversource recently finalized a project labor agreement that will ensure local workers will be given hiring priority

 

Statement from New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Glenn Brackett on the Department of Energy’s Release of the Northern Pass Transmission Line Project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement

“The New Hampshire AFL-CIO represents the men and women who will build this important clean energy infrastructure project, and we are excited about the opportunity the Northern Pass presents for New Hampshire working families. We were pleased to see that the U.S. Department of Energy’s official position is that the construction of the Northern Pass will create thousands of jobs for New Hampshire workers, and will not result in significant harm to our environment or scenic views.  We have long known that building the Northern Pass will not only create jobs for thousands of construction workers, but will help jump start the local economy in New Hampshire’s North Country. It’s great to see that the Department of Energy agrees. As someone who grew up in the North Country, I know we need to do as much as we can to bring economic development to that part of our state. Building the Northern Pass will do just that.

“Knowing that our beautiful Granite State’s environment will be protected throughout this project’s lifetime is important to every Granite Stater, including our Brothers and Sisters who will be working to construct, operate, and maintain it. We are thrilled to see yesterday’s announcement from the Department of Energy that construction of the Northern Pass will not create unreasonable adverse impacts.”

 

Statement from International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 104 Business Manager Brian Murphy on the Release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Northern Pass

“The men and women of IBEW Local 104 applaud today’s release of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Northern Pass Transmission project. After an exhaustive review of the project and considerable public comment, the EIS makes it clear that the Northern Pass project as proposed has minimal environmental effects and that the route selected is the best option for minimizing impacts on New Hampshire citizens. The Northern Pass project will provide work for hundreds of highly trained, local electrical workers, and IBEW Local 104 appreciates the timely, thorough work undertaken by the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Department’s focus on facts over rhetoric.”


Posted on August 15th, 2017 by

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Posted on August 7th, 2017 by

Northern Pass has long been committed to hiring New Hampshire workers first for the construction of Northern Pass. Eversource, Northern Pass’ parent company, recently reaffirmed that commitment with a project labor agreement. Below is an announcement from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) about the agreement which covers both union workers and non-union workers and businesses.

The announcement is great news for New Hampshire’s electrical workers as Northern Pass now presents an opportunity for them to work on a project in their home state, closer to their family and friends.

Tiler Eaton of the IBEW said “Given the size of this project and the number of trained electrical workers needed, we anticipate this project will not only fully utilize all available New Hampshire members, but will also provide work for hundreds of our members from Massachusetts.”

IBEW, Eversource & Major Contractors Complete Project Labor Agreement to Build Northern Pass

Agreement confirms commitment to New Hampshire and Massachusetts jobs

Boston, MA –The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ (IBEW) Second District announced today that it, along with Eversource, Quanta Services, Inc., and ABB Inc., recently finalized a comprehensive Project Labor Agreement (PLA) for the Northern Pass transmission project. The agreement ensures that a trained workforce will be used, including apprentice opportunities for the IBEW’s members and other construction trades, to build the 192-mile transmission line that will deliver clean energy to New England through an interconnection to the region’s electric grid in Deerfield, New Hampshire.

“This agreement confirms Northern Pass’ commitment to utilize a local labor force for its advanced, shovel-ready project,” said Mike Monahan, Vice President, IBEW Second District.  “We are pleased to have a fully executed PLA in place that will provide substantial work opportunities—as early as the spring of 2018—for our members in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and other parts of New England.”

The agreement outlines the partners’ commitment to prioritize the hiring of New Hampshire and Massachusetts workers in meeting the staffing needs for the project. Eversource expects the project to create 2,600 jobs during peak construction, with hundreds of them being skilled electrical workers.

“With a plan to begin construction in 2018 and to place Northern Pass in service in 2020, it was imperative that we finalize this critical agreement with the IBEW, and our major contractors, Quanta Services, Inc. and ABB, Inc.,” said Bill Quinlan, President of Eversource NH Operations. “We appreciate the commitment of our partners to ensuring that local workers and businesses will have the opportunity to participate in this project that will deliver unparalleled benefits to New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New England.”

Parties to the PLA include:

  • IBEW Second District – covers all of New England
  • IBEW Local 104 – of Barrington, NH, serves the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, and Vermont.
  • IBEW Local 490 – of Concord, NH
  • Quanta Services, Inc. – the largest transmission and distribution specialty contractor in North America, Quanta will serve as general contractor through its subsidiary, PAR Electrical Contractors, with an office in Bow, New Hampshire
  • ABB Inc. – The global leader in high voltage direct current (HVDC) technologies, ABB will install the underground transmission line cable and build the convertor station in Franklin, New Hampshire

“We are pleased to have a firm and fully executed agreement with Eversource to build the Northern Pass project and to be part of this PLA,“ said Duke Austin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Quanta Services. “This exclusive general services contract is unique to Northern Pass and Quanta. We have a long history of working with Eversource and the IBEW, and believe adding ABB, Inc. to this partnership creates an incredibly strong team capable of safely delivering the Northern Pass project, which is designed to provide clean energy benefits to the region.”

“We look forward to working with Quanta and our IBEW partners on this project,” said Tomas Leander, ABB senior vice president and general manager of HVDC in North America. “In addition to installing the underground transmission line, a major focus of our work will be constructing the Franklin converter terminal, which will require a variety of skilled trades. Having an executed PLA in place now, along with a firm and fully executed contract for equipment and installation, provides certainty, ensures opportunities for local workers, and allows us to hit the ground running when construction begins.”

In addition to outlining areas of union work, the Northern Pass PLA also defines the scope of work that will be open to non-union workers and businesses. These include construction of access roads, logging and clearing, trucking and other key construction-related activities.

IBEW 2nd District encompasses the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Vermont and represents approximately 40,000 members throughout these New England states.

IBEW Local 104 represents more than 1,000 outside electrical linemen, trained and skilled to install and repair high-voltage electrical systems from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine and Rhode Island.

IBEW Local 490 represents workers in the electrical construction, maintenance, and telecommunications industry in New Hampshire.

Eversource (NYSE: ES) transmits and delivers electricity and natural gas to more than 3.6 million electric and natural gas customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  Recognized as the top U.S. utility for its energy efficiency programs by the sustainability advocacy organization Ceres, Eversource harnesses the commitment of its approximately 8,000 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of safely delivering reliable energy and superior customer service.  For more information, please visit our website (www.eversource.com) and follow us on Twitter (@EversourceCorp) and Facebook (facebook.com/EversourceEnergy).

Northern Pass is a 192-mile electric transmission line project that will bring to New England 1,090 megawatts of clean hydropower.  This reliable and affordable source of power will also bring a wide range of benefits to the region, including millions of dollars in energy cost savings and a significant reduction in carbon emissions.  To learn more about Northern Pass, go to www.northernpass.us.

Quanta Services is a leading specialized contracting services company, delivering infrastructure solutions for the electric power, oil and gas and communications industries.  Quanta’s comprehensive services include designing, installing, repairing and maintaining energy and communications infrastructure.  With operations throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, Australia and select other international markets, Quanta has the manpower, resources and expertise to safely complete projects that are local, regional, national or international in scope. For more information, visit www.quantaservices.com.

ABB (NYSE: ABB) is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing more than a 125-year history of innovation, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization and driving the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 132,000 employees.  (www.abb.com)


Posted on August 7th, 2017 by

Posted In: Jobs, Press Releases, Project People

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Posted on July 28th, 2017 by

The following press release was issued by Eversource on July 27, 2017.  For relevant materials, click here.

Proposals will offer substantial environmental and economic benefits to consumers in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New England

MANCHESTER, N.H. (July 27, 2017) – Eversource and Hydro-Québec (HQ) today submitted two comprehensive proposals in response to the Massachusetts Clean Energy solicitation. Both proposals would use the Northern Pass Transmission project (NPT) to deliver significant amounts of clean energy to the New England grid, interconnecting in New Hampshire. The solicitation is the result of a law passed last year by the Massachusetts Legislature to provide for new sources of clean energy for decades into the future. The two proposals are a 100 percent hydropower option and a hydropower and onshore wind combination option, and both highlight NPT’s advanced project development and Eversource’s extensive experience in building and operating the transmission grid in the region.

“Northern Pass is the most mature and comprehensive solution to meet the region’s clean energy goals and will help provide stability over the price and supply of the energy for years to come,” said Lee Olivier, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Eversource Energy. “As New England’s largest utility, we are uniquely positioned to deliver on that promise. We are excited to begin delivering the substantial benefits of this project to consumers throughout the region.”

The Northern Pass transmission line begins at the Canadian border in Pittsburg, New Hampshire and extends 192 miles to Deerfield, New Hampshire where it connects to the New England grid. More than 80 percent of the line will be located along existing transmission corridors or buried along roadways to eliminate potential view impacts in the White Mountain National Forest area. NPT will provide a robust, new interconnection path between the Québec and New England electric systems, and will be controlled by the regional system operator, ISO-NE.

Northern Pass will soon be a shovel-ready project with all major state and federal permits expected in 2017. Moreover, all major contractor and equipment contracts are fully executed to begin construction early in 2018. The majority of the project’s construction will take place in 2018 and 2019. A project labor agreement has been executed and is expected to generate thousands of jobs during peak construction for both Granite State and Bay State workers. Northern Pass will be substantially complete by the third quarter of 2020, and following testing, the line will be in service by the end of 2020 – prior to the critical 2020-2021 winter period.

Clean Energy Solutions

The 100 percent hydropower option included in the Northern Pass bid would deliver 1,090 megawatts of clean hydroelectric energy and the associated environmental attributes from HQ’s existing resources. A second option would combine predominantly firm hydropower from HQ with new wind generation located in Québec, provided by a partnership of wind developers, Gaz Métro and Boralex. The wind power will be backed by hydropower and includes Class I Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). Both options guarantee a firm delivery of 1,090 megawatts of clean energy year round, including winter and summer days when demand for energy is greatest.

Achieving Environmental Benefits and Reducing Costs

Northern Pass will be capable of providing up to 9.4 terawatt hours of clean energy that the Massachusetts legislation requires on an annual basis while helping the Bay State attain the clean energy goals required by its Global Warming Solutions Act. The project will also reduce wholesale energy costs, diversify the region’s energy mix, and help fill the gap created by the retirement of older generating plants. Further, Northern Pass will help reduce reliance on natural gas-fired sources, particularly during the winter months when the gas pipeline system into New England is constrained.

Enabling Enhanced Economic and Community Betterment

In an effort to provide additional benefits, Northern Pass has finalized an agreement with leading Massachusetts low-income advocates, including Action for Boston Community Development, Action, Inc., and the National Consumer Law Center, that commits $10 million in funding to support low-income energy programs and services for Massachusetts low-income customers over 20 years.

As the host state for the Northern Pass project, New Hampshire will receive new property tax revenues and additional benefits to promote community betterment and economic development. The project enjoys strong support from many of New Hampshire’s business leaders, labor organizations and elected officials.

In summary, Northern Pass will help stabilize regional energy prices, provide a firm supply of clean energy, lower greenhouse gas emission, and provide hundreds of new jobs and additional economic benefits for Massachusetts residents. With approval of state and federal permits expected by the end of 2017, all major construction and supplier contracts fully executed, the Northern Pass proposal is the most advanced and comprehensive energy solution for Massachusetts.

 

Eversource (NYSE: ES) transmits and delivers electricity and natural gas to more than 3.6 million electric and natural gas customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Recognized as the top U.S. utility for its energy efficiency programs by the sustainability advocacy organization Ceres, Eversource harnesses the commitment of its approximately 8,000 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of safely delivering reliable energy and superior customerservice. For more information, please visit our website (www.eversource.com) and follow us on Twitter (@EversourceCorp) and Facebook (facebook.com/EversourceEnergy).

The Northern Pass is a 192-mile electric transmission line project that will bring to New England 1,090 megawatts of clean hydropower. This reliable and affordable source of power will also bring a wide range of benefits to the region, including millions of dollars in energy cost savings and a significant reduction in carbon emissions. To learn more about Northern Pass, go to www.northernpass.us.

 


Posted on July 28th, 2017 by

Posted In: Environment, Filings, Jobs, Press Releases, Uncategorized, Updates


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.

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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: , ,


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