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 form 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.”
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:
“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)
Developer Les Otten recently testified in support of Northern Pass at the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee public information session in Coös County. In his remarks, he spoke not only about his proposed redevelopment of The Balsams Resort in Dixville and the opportunities this will bring to the North Country economy, but also about the economic and clean energy benefits that Northern Pass offers to New Hampshire. Otten is a strong supporter of renewable energy, having a wood pellet business among his portfolio of ventures. He believes the Northern Pass is a critical source of affordable, low-carbon energy that will help move our region toward our clean energy goals, while also bringing jobs and economic activity to communities along the route.
We at Northern Pass also want to see an economic revival in the North Country and believe it’s critical that The Balsams redevelopment stay on schedule. That’s why we’re pleased to advance $2 million from the Forward New Hampshire Fund to ensure that the project breaks ground this summer. The plans for The Balsams are precisely what we envisioned when we set the goals for the Forward New Hampshire Fund.
The Forward New Hampshire Fund is a cornerstone of the Forward New Hampshire Plan, announced by Northern Pass last August. The $200 million we have committed to this Fund is aimed at supporting economic development, community betterment, tourism, and clean energy initiatives in the cities and towns along the route, especially those in the North Country. There is perhaps no single effort at this time that supports these goals more than the current plans to redevelop The Balsams and return it to a world class destination resort. Like Northern Pass, The Balsams redevelopment has the opportunity to be transformative for the North Country, bringing jobs, economic development and injecting a much needed boost into the area’s tourism industry.
The Northern Pass has already supported several key initiatives aimed at supporting New Hampshire communities and the environment, including the Coos County Job Creation Association, the Morse Mountain cell tower, and the Partners for New Hampshire Fish and Wildlife. Northern Pass and The Balsams both present significant opportunities for Coös County, the state, and beyond. We’re pleased to support the redevelopment of this North Country showpiece.
Across New Hampshire, we have spoken to many people who like the substantial benefits Northern Pass offers and who support our efforts to bring clean, affordable hydropower into the region. We appreciate this support and wanted to thank those who have added their voice to the growing consensus that we need to invest in our energy infrastructure and move closer toward a cleaner, more affordable energy future. Here are just a few of the supportive words we’ve heard from people around the state:
“The electrical power plants are shutting down, getting old, and our electric bills are skyrocketing. We need something new. We need to get the power. … My neighbors are all like, ‘My energy bill is so high. I’m paying so much for electric.’ I’m like, ‘Well then, we need to do Northern Pass. Otherwise, they’re just going to keep going up.’” – Cheryl Ulm of Laconia
“The power coming through Northern Pass is clean power, generated from water turbines in Canada. This is exactly the kind of clean, sustainable energy strategy we’ve identified as a priority for New Hampshire.” – State Senator Lou D’Allesandro
“The ‘Forward NH’ Plan proposes to balance the energy deficit in New England by delivering clean, renewable, hydroelectric power to New Hampshire and the region while addressing environmental impact concerns. Equally important, the project promises to provide unmistakably clear benefits to New Hampshire by bringing low-cost electricity directly to the state’s residents and businesses, creating hundreds of jobs, and providing millions in tax revenue to local communities.” – Paul Markwardt, VP and Deputy GM of Nashua-based BAE Systems
“Berlin represents a third of the county’s residents and even though the line will not be going through Berlin, don’t forget a lot of those laborers and a lot of those electricians and apprentice candidates will come from the Berlin/Gorham area. The recreational opportunities – many of those folks will come from the Berlin/Gorham area. I don’t downplay the fact that in my community, it’s going to have a pretty significant positive effect. It’s really going to make the glass a lot more than half full.” – Berlin Mayor Paul Grenier
We’ve also received support from a number of the state’s newspapers, particularly for our efforts in addressing concerns about potential view impact and providing substantial benefits unique to New Hampshire. Here is what these newspapers have been saying:
“Northern Pass, Seacoast Reliability Project and the divestiture of power plants are all now progressing because Eversource has listened to stakeholders, respected their testimony and changed the projects to address their concerns. Getting these projects built in a manner that provides wide economic benefits while protecting property values and scenic beauty is vital for New Hampshire and New England, because our energy costs, already high, will increase again this winter and in successive winters until the region increases its electrical capacity.” – Foster’s Daily Democrat and Portsmouth Herald
“Environmentalists who say they favor “green power” such as hydro should warm to a plan that eliminates above-ground lines in the national forest. North Country residents and small businesses should embrace a plan with substantial immediate and long-term benefits. Businesses large and small throughout New Hampshire are already hailing a plan that provides some relief from high electricity costs. Northern Pass and Eversource have made the compromise they needed to make. It is time for on-the-fence politicians and understandably skeptical North Country partisans to do likewise.” – New Hampshire Union Leader
“To ensure reliability and guarantee that the region’s remaining coal plants run as little as possible, we support the Northern Pass project, which does less to exacerbate climate change than fossil fuel options.” – Concord Monitor
A question asked via email focused on the formation of the entity that is “Northern Pass.” Here’s an explanation:
Northern Pass Transmission LLC is a New Hampshire limited liability company that is jointly owned by NU Transmission Ventures, Inc. (75%), and NSTAR Transmission Ventures, Inc. (25%). NU Transmission Ventures, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Northeast Utilities. NSTAR Transmission Ventures, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of NSTAR. NU Transmission Ventures, Inc. has named Mr. James A. Muntz and Mr. Gary A. Long as its representatives on the Members Committee (the equivalent of a board of directors). NSTAR Transmission Ventures, Inc. has named Mr. Paul D. Vaitkus and Mr. Geoffrey O. Lubbock as its representatives on the Members Committee. The Members Committee has named the following as officers of Northern Pass:
James A. Muntz, President;
David R. McHale, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer;
Gregory B. Butler, Senior Vice President and General Counsel;
Randy A. Shoop, Vice President and Treasurer;
Jay S. Buth, Vice President-Accounting and Controller;
Samuel K. Lee, Secretary;
Susan B. Weber, Assistant Treasurer-Finance;
O. Kay Comendul, Assistant Secretary.
This is the first in a series of posts that will introduce some of the people who are working on The Northern Pass transmission project.
Community Relations Specialist
What is your role in The Northern Pass project?
I am the Community Relations Specialist focusing on the North Country. In the near term I will be teaming up with our real estate agents and working with the landowners impacted by the proposed transmission line in the North Country. In the long term, I expect to cultivate and maintain relationships in the North Country to provide information about the project, address community issues, and answer questions.
How is this project different than others you’ve worked on?
My background is in the management of pulp and paper mills and economic development. I’ve also worked on the full design and permitting for a pellet manufacturing facility. I have worked very closely with communities and State officials on many projects. Being a Community Relations Specialist allows me to draw from my experience over the last 35 years, especially the 20 years I’ve lived and worked in Northern New Hampshire.
Why do you support this project?
As our economy continues to struggle, this project provides an immediate boost for jobs over three years. Being a major part of the pulp and paper mills in Northern New Hampshire has given me a strong appreciation for what the North Country has gone through. This project is also a major step to contribute to addressing global warming.