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:
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:
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
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.
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.’”
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.
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.
Lauren Collins, 603-634-2418, email@example.com
Mike Skelton, 603-634-3270, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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 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.
A significant transmission system upgrade project in the State of Maine is steadily moving forward. A recent news article in the Bangor Daily News cited a Central Maine Power (CMP) official as reporting that the $1.4 billion project is on schedule and budget.
The article includes a mention of the jobs associated with the project. CMP reports that between 2,500 – 2,700 people are working on the project on a daily basis.
The Northern Pass project also anticipates job creation. Our economic study released one year ago estimates a peak in the range of 1,330 – 1,680 jobs during the first two years of the three year construction period.
The New England Power Generator’s Association today claimed that Northern Pass has overestimated the number of jobs that will be created as part of the project.
It is not surprising that the NEPGA opposes Northern Pass, since the cleaner and more economic energy it provides into the regional power pool may displace some of their own.
This is the same group of multinational corporations that last spring tried to argue that the savings Northern Pass will deliver isn’t enough.
To argue the project on the basis of jobs is surprising, though.
Just look no further than the neighboring state of Maine.
That’s a real life example of the positive impact Northern Pass will have here … and yet the power generators study did not even take a look at that project.
Here in New Hampshire, we’ve already heard from more than 550 individuals, who are seeking information about Northern Pass job opportunities. Their experience includes heavy equipment operation; general construction; welding; real estate; trucking; fiber optic splicing; concrete; and, administration.
We expect to be working with project partners here in New Hampshire on a future job fair.
A similar event was held in Maine and was very successful in attracting local workers who are now participating in the project.
Here’s a list of the job opportunities we anticipate being available when the Northern Pass construction project begins.
The Northern Pass project will have a significant and positive impact on New Hampshire’s economy; most notably in the job market.
We’ve posted a video featuring Joe Casey, Business Manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local No. 490 (Concord, NH), who describes the effects of the three year construction phase on the local workers that he partners with every day.
An updated economic study, in April, 2011, reported:
“…The … economic analysis estimates total job creation from the three-year construction project to peak at 1,330 to 1,680 local jobs in 2013 and 2014; with 900 to 1,135 local jobs being created or supported in 2015…”
The project is committed to hiring local labor first. More information on project jobs, and a means to add your name to a jobs mailing list, is available here.