Posted on May 20th, 2011 by

Julia Frayer

At yesterday’s Senate hearing on HB 648, Julia Frayer, managing director of London Economics International, was among those testifying against the bill, which seeks to amend the state’s long-standing eminent domain law. In a related statement, Frayer outlined five reasons why Northern Pass deserves serious consideration. She concluded:

…Northern Pass will improve the reliability of electricity service in New Hampshire and New England by increasing and diversifying the supply of power to the region. The Northern Pass transmission project—coupled with energy sourced from many of Hydro Québec’s storage reservoirs—will be a very controllable and reliable form of supply, in contrast to the typical run of river hydroelectric plant.

In summary, Northern Pass fits well within New Hampshire’s energy policy framework. It meets a number of fundamental objectives, including the need to transition to lower-carbon renewable energy, minimize government market intervention, contain costs for consumers, and make viable and reasonable long-term plans for the state’s energy future.

There are clear and substantive benefits for New Hampshire residents if Northern Pass moves forward. The cost-benefit proposition is very compelling, confirming the need for this project from the New Hampshire consumers’ and policy makers’ perspective.


Posted on May 20th, 2011 by

Posted In: Opinion

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Posted on March 25th, 2011 by

One viewpoint often heard in debate about The Northern Pass project is that New Hampshire doesn’t need this energy, because we are currently a “net exporter” of electricity. The perception is that all of the benefit of the project will go to Massachusetts and Connecticut.

While it’s true that the power plants located in our state contribute more to the regional “power pool” than New Hampshire consumers draw from that pool—on most days of the year—our economy and energy supply are inextricably linked to those of our neighboring states. If every state had to take care of itself from an energy perspective, we’d have some major reliability problems on our hands. We’d also be facing much greater risks of price volatility.

Here are a couple things to consider:

  • As a March 22 editorial in the Laconia Citizen pointed out, New Hampshire is not an island. We are part of a regional energy system. Like other sources of energy in the region, the energy transmitted via The Northern Pass will be delivered into the New England “power pool” that all energy suppliers in the region draw from—including those who supply New Hampshire customers. A study by Charles River Associates on the impact of The Northern Pass estimates a wholesale cost reduction of between $200 – $325 million in New England as a result of The Northern Pass, including a cost reduction in New Hampshire of $25 – $30 million.
  • Our energy position is not as invulnerable as some may think. The region’s energy supply, which New Hampshire draws from, is becoming less diverse and more susceptible to price volatility and reliability risks. Looking forward, ISO-New England is concerned about the region’s growing dependency on natural gas, its diminishing fuel diversity, and the performance of its energy resources under stressed operating conditions. New Hampshire is not immune from these risks, and would benefit from the inclusion of reliable, competitively priced hydropower from The Northern Pass in the regional power pool.

Posted on March 25th, 2011 by

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Posted on December 16th, 2010 by

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests announced yesterday that it opposes the Northern Pass project “…as currently proposed.”

It’s certainly appropriate that an organization like the Society takes an interest in a project as significant as this and, frankly, we’d be surprised if it did not.  What’s ironic, though, is that the Northern Pass has come about directly in response to concerns by the Society and other organizations and individuals who have called for more renewable energy and less fossil-fuel energy.

The Northern Pass can produce those results, but only by connecting to a significant source of renewable energy.  There is the challenge.  In identifying a preliminary preferred route for the new transmission line, project engineers sought to avoid completely or minimize impact with protected and conserved properties.

It hasn’t been easy.  By the Society’s reckoning, it holds easements or owns outright almost 24-thousand acres of property in the towns along the project route.  By avoiding one property another is impacted – and so on.

Fortunately, the Society and other interested parties appear open to fully discussing our shared goals and how best to achieve them.  That opportunity will exist as part of the comprehensive permitting process that is ahead.


Posted on December 16th, 2010 by

Posted In: Opinion

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