Posted on May 4th, 2016 by

Process continues with more public hearings

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) has announced it will hold a public hearing on May 19 at 6 p.m. at the Mountain View Grand Resort, at 101 Mountain View Road in Whitefield to receive public comments on the additional information submitted by Northern Pass to comply with newly adopted SEC rules.

This public hearing is in addition to the five public hearings the SEC held in March. The SEC order, issued on May 4, specifies that the public hearing, including public comments, will be limited to issues presented by the additional information filed by Northern Pass.

The SEC will also hold a hearing on pending motions earlier that day at 11 a.m. at the Mountain View Grand Resort. The hearing will address pending motions on the SEC’s timeframe for reviewing the project and a Northern Pass request for partial waivers under the new SEC rules.

The SEC has held a number of hearings in recent months to address issues related to the adjudicative process – a phase of the SEC’s review which is outlined in state law. A prehearing conference was held on March 22 to address issues relating to interveners, the SEC’s timeframe for reviewing the project, whether to hold additional public hearings, and other procedural issues. On April 12, the SEC held a hearing in Lincoln to discuss pending motions, including all requests to review the SEC’s Order on Petitions to Intervene. On April 22, the SEC issued a temporary procedural schedule beginning the discovery phase of the process.

You can find more information about the hearing on the SEC’s website www.nhsec.nh.gov, or on the Northern Pass website, www.northernpass.us.


Posted on May 4th, 2016 by

Posted In: Meetings, SEC, Uncategorized

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Posted on March 28th, 2016 by

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) issued a Notice and Order on Friday announcing a hearing on April 12 in Lincoln to discuss pending motions on Northern Pass before the SEC.

The SEC is currently reviewing the Northern Pass application as part of the state’s permitting process. This process also includes a number of hearings, such as next month’s hearing on three pending motions. These motions include:

  • All Requests for Review of the Order on Petitions to Intervene under RSA 1 62-H:4, V
  • Applicant’s Request for Partial Waivers Under the Newly Adopted SEC Rules
  • Applicant’s Unassented-To Motion for Protective Order and Confidential Treatment

At the hearing, the Subcommittee will allow parties that filed written motions and/or objections regarding the above matters to supplement their written motions or objections with oral argument, if necessary. After that time, the Subcommittee will consider and deliberate on the pending motions.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. at the Loon Mountain Resort, 60 Loon Mountain Rd., Lincoln. You can read the SEC’s order online here.


Posted on March 28th, 2016 by

Posted In: Filings, Meetings, Uncategorized, Updates

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Posted on March 11th, 2016 by

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) has issued separate notice and orders for site inspections of portions of the Northern Pass route on Monday March 14 and on Wednesday March 16. These site inspections will each include a bus tour along the route, stopping at key points identified in the orders.

On March 14, the tour will begin at noon at the Plymouth State University Ice Arena and include stops in Bristol, Franklin and Thornton, ending back at the arena. On March 16, the tour will begin at 9:30AM at the Concord office of the Public Utilities Commission and include stops in Canterbury, Concord, Pembroke, Allenstown and Deerfield, concluding at the PUC. You can learn more about each tour, which are open to the public, by reading the SEC orders now posted on our website.

The tours and the public hearings being held this month are part of the state permitting process for Northern Pass. To date, the SEC has hosted public hearings on Northern Pass in Meredith, Whitefield and Concord, gathering public input and comment. Two meetings held this week were co-hosted with the U.S. Department of Energy, which is also reviewing Northern Pass as part of the project’s federal permitting process.

For more information about the public hearings and how to participate in the process, go to our Project Journal.

Upcoming SEC Public Hearings

March 14

Grafton County, 5PM

Plymouth State University

Welcome Center at the Ice Arena

129 NH Rt – 175A

(Holderness Road)

Holderness, NH

March 16

Rockingham County, 5PM

Deerfield Fair Pavilion

49 Stage Road

Deerfield, NH


Posted on March 11th, 2016 by

Posted In: Meetings, Uncategorized


Posted on March 4th, 2016 by

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) has issued a notice and order of site inspection to review portions of the Northern Pass route. This site inspection will take place on March 7 and 8 and includes a bus tour along the route, stopping at key points identified in the order.

On March 7, the tour will leave from Colebrook Elementary School to view locations along the route and on March 8, the tour will leave from the Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa to view additional locations. You can learn more about the tour, which is open to the public, by reading the SEC order now posted on our website.

This tour and the public hearings being held this month are part of the state permitting process for Northern Pass. The SEC hosted a public hearing on Northern Pass in Meredith on Tuesday, March 1 and the SEC has four more meetings scheduled to gather public input and comment this month. Two of these meetings will be co-hosted with the U.S. Department of Energy, which is also reviewing Northern Pass as part of the project’s federal permitting process.

For more information about the public hearings and how to participate in the process, go to our Project Journal.

March 7

Coös County

(Co-hosted with DOE)

Colebrook Elementary School

27 Dumont Street

Colebrook, NH

 

March 10

Merrimack County 

(Co-hosted with DOE)

Grappone Conference Center

70 Constitution Avenue

Concord, NH

 

March 14

Grafton County 

Plymouth State University

Welcome Center at the Ice Arena

129 NH Rt – 175A

(Holderness Road)

Holderness, NH

 

March 16

Rockingham County

Deerfield Fair Pavilion

49 Stage Road

Deerfield, NH

 


Posted on March 4th, 2016 by

Posted In: Meetings, Uncategorized

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Posted on February 4th, 2016 by

You will have an opportunity to participate in the Northern Pass’ state permitting process in March. The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) issued an order this week announcing that it will host five public hearings on the project next month.

State law requires the Site Evaluation Committee to hold at least one public hearing in each county where the proposed facility will be located within 90 days after acceptance of an application for a state permit, known as a Certificate of Site and Facility. The public hearings will be joint hearings with representatives from state agencies that have permitting or other regulatory authority over issues regarding Northern Pass. The public hearings will also provide the public with information on the proposed project, an opportunity to submit both oral and written comments, as well as ask questions.

Two of these events – Colebrook and Concord – will be conducted in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and will serve as a public hearing for both agencies. The DOE will host two additional meetings on its own during the week of March 7 to take comment on its draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Northern Pass project.

The dates and locations of the March SEC hearings are as follows:

 

Belknap County

Tuesday, March 1, 5 p.m.
Mill Falls at the Lake
Church Landing
281 Daniel Webster Highway
Meredith

 

Coös County (co-hosted with DOE)

Monday, March 7, 5 p.m.
Colebrook Elementary School
27 Dumont Street
Colebrook

 

Merrimack County (co-hosted with DOE)

Thursday, March 10 at 5 p.m.
Grappone Conference Center
70 Constitution Ave
Concord

 

Grafton County

Monday, March 14 at 5 p.m.
Plymouth State University
Welcome Center at the Ice Arena
129 NH Rt. 175A (Holderness Rd.)
Holderness

 

Rockingham County

Wednesday, March 16 at 5 p.m.
Deerfield Fair Pavilion
34 Stage Road
Deerfield

 

The SEC hearings, as well as the DOE hearings scheduled for the week of March 7, are just two ways in which the public can participate in the permitting and review process. If you cannot attend the hearings in person, you can still submit a written comment to the SEC. Written comments can be sent by mail, email or fax to:

New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee
Pamela G. Monroe, Administrator
21 South Fruit Street, Suite 10
Concord, NH 03301

Tel. (603) 271-2435
Fax. (603) 271-3878
E-mail: Pamela.Monroe@nh.gov


Posted on February 4th, 2016 by

Posted In: Meetings, Updates


Posted on December 22nd, 2015 by

Five hearings provide an opportunity for residents to participate in the State permitting process

Today the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) scheduled a series of five Public Information Sessions. The Public Information Sessions are another step forward for Northern Pass as it makes its way through the state review process.

The locations, dates and times of these sessions are listed in an order and notice issued by the SEC, as well as a separate procedural order. Under state law, Public Information Sessions must be held in each county in which the proposed facility is to be located within 45 days of a project’s application being accepted. Similar to the Public Information Sessions held in September, they give residents another opportunity to participate in the state approval process.

“The purpose of the public information session is to provide the public with information on the proposed Project, to provide an opportunity for comments and questions from the public, and to explain the process the Subcommittee will follow in reviewing the application,” states the public notice issued by the SEC today.

Before and during the Public Information Sessions, Northern Pass will also host an Open House for residents who wish to learn more about the project and meet with project representatives one-on-one. Open Houses will begin at 5 p.m. at each of the venues listed below.

Merrimack County: January 11, 2016 at 6 p.m., Franklin Opera House, 316 Central Street, Franklin, NH

Rockingham County: January 13, 2016 at 6 p.m., Londonderry High School, 295 Mammoth Road, Londonderry, NH

Belknap County: January 14, 2016 at 6 p.m., Lake Opechee Inn and Spa, 62 Doris Ray Court, Laconia, NH

Coös County: January 20, 2016 at 6 p.m., Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa, 101 Mountain View Road, Whitefield, NH

Grafton County: January 21, 2016 at 6 p.m., The Mountain Club on Loon Resort and Spa, 90 Loon Mountain Road, Lincoln, NH


Posted on December 22nd, 2015 by

Posted In: Community, Filings, Meetings, Updates


Posted on December 21st, 2015 by

 

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It was a big year for Northern Pass. In 2015, we announced the Forward NH Plan and a unveiled a redesigned route that includes underground along roads in and around the White Mountain National Forest and Franconia Notch region. The plan has nearly $4 billion in benefits for New Hampshire and the region, including reduced energy costs, increased tax revenues for New Hampshire communities, a $2.1 billion boost to the state economy and the creation of 2,400 jobs.

Northern Pass also filed its application with the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC), the state’s siting authority for significant energy projects. We held five Public Information Sessions where residents learned more about the project and submitted comments to the SEC, and we met with municipalities and residents along the route throughout the fall, answering their questions and gathering their feedback.

As the year comes to a close and we prepare for 2016, we wanted to look at the milestones Northern Pass has already reached, and also provide you with information about the next steps the project will take.

In 2015…

January 29: The Coös County Jobs Creation Association announces its members made up of local residents and business owners.

March 26: Northern Pass partners with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to create the $3 million Partners for New Hampshire’s Fish and Wildlife. The program aims to protect and restore healthy forests and rivers throughout the state through grants to local organizations doing work to sustain local habitats.

July 21: The Department of Energy releases its draft Environmental Impact Statement, examining the potential impact the project could have on the environment and economy. It shows overall potential visual impact of the project will be low to very low, that Northern Pass will generate $564 million in economic output during construction, and will reduce regional carbon emissions by 8 percent.

August 18: Northern Pass announces the Forward NH Plan, which includes 52 additional miles of underground line, for a total of 60 miles underground, and nearly $4 billion in benefits.

August 31: Hydro-Québec and Eversource Energy reaffirm their commitment to bring clean, competitively-priced electricity to New Hampshire and the region.

September 2-10: Northern Pass held a series of pre-application Public Information Sessions in all five counties where the project will be located as part of our SEC filing process.

October 19: Northern Pass files its application with the SEC.

November 12: The U.S. Department of Energy releases a supplement to the draft Environmental Impact Statement, which focused on the portions of the route that include additional underground lines.

December 7: The SEC votes unanimously that the Northern Pass application is complete.

December 18: The SEC issues a written order officially deeming the Northern Pass application complete and moving the project forward in the state permitting process.

In 2016…

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) process will continue with five post-application Public Information Sessions in January.

  • Merrimack County: January 11 at 6 p.m., Franklin Opera House, 316 Central Street, Franklin, NH
  • Rockingham County: January 13 at 6 p.m., Londonderry High School, 295 Mammoth Road, Londonderry, NH
  • Belknap County: January 14 at 6 p.m., Lake Opechee Inn and Spa, 62 Doris Ray Court, Laconia, NH
  • Coös County: January 20 at 6 p.m., Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa, 101 Mountain View Road, Whitefield, NH
  • Grafton County: January 21 at 6 p.m., The Mountain Club on Loon Resort and Spa, 90 Loon Mountain Road, Lincoln, NH

The Department of Energy will also host a series of public hearings where residents can comment on the draft Environmental Impact Statement on Northern Pass. The times and locations will be announced soon.


Posted on December 21st, 2015 by

Posted In: Filings, Meetings

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Posted on November 22nd, 2013 by

Public Invited to Attend Workshops on the State Process and Criteria for Siting Energy Facilities

During the first two weeks of December, the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning (OEP) will be holding five workshops around the state to gather input from the public on the processes and criteria used by the state’s Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) to determine whether to permit the construction and operation of energy facilities. These include wind generation projects, natural gas pipelines, and electric transmission lines.  This is an extremely complicated technical and legal issue that needs an informed discussion about how the SEC has performed over the years, how other states address the siting of energy projects, and what the possible repercussions of any potential changes would mean for the state’s energy future.

Northern Pass is just one project that could be affected by changes in the siting process and criteria.  All energy projects proposed in the future may be caught up in such a change as well, a change which could have a ripple effect on jobs, energy costs and economic development for years to come. While this issue is complicated, your voice is important to effectively shape New Hampshire’s energy future.  We ask you to consider attending one of the citizen workshops listed below.  If you’d like to learn more about these workshops or want to attend, please email us at info@northerpass.us.

Workshops begin with sign-in at 5 p.m., and discussion begins at 6 p.m.  They will end at approximately 9:30 p.m.  Space is limited to 150-200 people depending on the site.  You must pre-register to participate, and you may only sign up for one location.

To REGISTER for a Citizen Workshop: click here

December 3: Manchester Memorial High School Cafeteria

December 4: Groveton High School Gymnasium

December 5: Keene Recreation Center

December 9: Town of Newington Main Hall

December 10: Plymouth Regional High School in Plymouth

Why is this important?

Northern Pass must obtain a number of state and federal permits before it can begin construction.  One of these permits is a Certificate of Site and Facility, which grants state authority to proposed energy facilities to move forward. This certificate is given by the Site Evaluation Committee.

The SEC was formed in 1971 by the Legislature to regulate the siting of large electric generating stations and transmission lines.  It reviews a developer’s financial, technical and managerial ability to construct and operate a project.  It also considers whether the project’s development would unduly interfere with “orderly development of the region” or have an “unreasonable adverse effect” on a number of factors, including historic sites, air and water quality, and the public health and safety.

Northern Pass will bring 1,200 megawatts of Canadian hydropower into New Hampshire through a 300 kV high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line, so it must go before the Site Evaluation Committee for approval.  This is expected to happen sometime in 2014.

This well-established process is facing changes because of a bill passed earlier this year aimed at overhauling the system.

Senate Bill 99, also known as SB 99, required the Office of Energy and Planning to hire an outside consulting group to generate reports on the SEC process and its energy facility siting criteria. The consultants were not hired until the end of September and are required to produce two full reports by the end of the year. We feel this is an unrealistic timeline for such a complex and critical undertaking.

The SB 99 citizen workshops have been scheduled as part of this process and are being widely advertised. People are being asked to come and answer questions on complex regulatory topics before the questions that will be asked have even been written. This approach is flawed; more time is needed for the consultants to do an adequate job for any useful information to come out of the workshops.

We have no issue with reviewing government regulations, especially in light of the recent Business Industry Association report calling for a streamlined SEC process.  But at a time when clean sources of power are needed in New England, it is troubling that SB 99 could result in making the process harder for all energy projects, including Northern Pass.  We feel that both New Hampshire and the SEC process are not well-served by a SB 99 process that lacks sufficient time, resources, and expertise in the siting process. The discussion should also provide a meaningful perspective on energy supply issues that are of critical importance to New Hampshire.

What’s at stake?

As it stands, the Legislature’s deadlines, and the efforts of the OEP and its consultants to meet those deadlines, have created a dilemma for those who support a strong and stable energy future for New Hampshire. How do we work within a flawed process and avoid a situation that could produce unreliable data from these workshops, and which would then would then be used by legislators who are determined to prevent the construction of energy projects in New Hampshire?

That is why people with a wide range of opinions should be present at these workshops – not just people opposed to energy projects – to give the state the information it needs to determine whether New Hampshire should change the siting process that has served it well for many years.

The purpose of SB 99 is to review New Hampshire’s current permitting process for energy facility projects, but it has the potential to adversely change the way in which energy projects are sited in New Hampshire.  Despite many siting professionals’ opinions that New Hampshire’s current process works well, opponents of energy projects see SB 99 as an opportunity to create new regulatory hurdles to stop energy development in New Hampshire.  Permitting is a major aspect of any energy project, and adding additional costs, time and regulatory uncertainty has the effect of driving away energy development in our state.

The SB 99 consultant responsible for carrying out the studies is surveying New Hampshire citizens about their views on energy development and permitting.  Your opinion is very important to ensure that permitting of energy projects remains fair and considers the views of all New Hampshire citizens – not just those that oppose energy projects.


Posted on November 22nd, 2013 by

Posted In: Community, Environment, Meetings, Updates

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Posted on October 24th, 2013 by

The project yesterday concluded a successful series of 14 open house events.

The final open house drew several dozen interested residents of Sugar Hill, Easton and neighboring towns to the Sunset Hill Inn in Sugar Hill. The open houses were focused on providing information to residents and landowners specifically regarding the project as proposed in their area.

About midway through last night’s event, A group of project opponents asked that we change the format of the open house to something similar to a town hall meeting. For our part, we indicated we would be willing to participate at such an event in the future, but that we were committed to the more personal, one-on-one format we’ve used, and has been received well, in every other town along the route. While no individuals were asked to leave, a number of attendees announced their opposition to the project and chose at that time to leave the open house.

Good and productive conversations continued with those residents who chose to remain. Our thanks to the residents, and to the innkeepers at the Sunset Hill Inn, for their hospitality. We look forward to additional opportunities in the future to talk about how we can work together to ensure that the project is the best possible for New Hampshire and the region.


Posted on October 24th, 2013 by

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Posted on October 22nd, 2013 by

Project representatives will be heading to Sugar Hill this week to meet with residents and landowners at another Northern Pass open house. This event will give residents an opportunity to speak with project representatives, including engineers, property tax analysts and environmental experts. Local officials and residents are encouraged to attend. Materials and visual simulations specific to the Sugar Hill area will be available.

Sugar Hill Open House
Wednesday, Oct. 23
Sunset Hill House
231 Sunset Hill Road
Sugar Hill

Drop by anytime between 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm

For the past few months, we’ve been visiting towns along the project’s proposed route to provide residents and landowners with detailed information about the project and to answer their questions. We’ve provided visual simulations of where the lines will be located as well as information about structure design, increased tax revenue, and jobs.

At all the events, we’ve also gathered feedback from residents, local officials and landowners. Northern Pass representatives appreciate the respectful conversations we have had throughout our open house series and look forward to continuing the dialogue this week in Sugar Hill.


Posted on October 22nd, 2013 by

Posted In: Community, Meetings

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