Posted on April 27th, 2018 by

Committee asked to give full consideration to proposed solution

Northern Pass officials today asked the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee to reconsider its denial of the project’s application. In its motion filed today, the project emphasized the SEC’s responsibility to thoroughly evaluate the comprehensive solution proposed by Northern Pass and discharge the committee’s legal obligation to consider all criteria by which an application is to be measured. The SEC is expected to deliberate on the project’s motion on May 24.

“We have presented to the SEC a solution that fully addresses the issues they pointed to in their order denying the permit,” said Eversource New Hampshire President Bill Quinlan. “The solution is a comprehensive set of commitments and conditions, many of which were proposed by Counsel for the Public, that can be imposed to address the SEC’s concerns.”

The SEC on February 1 abruptly ended deliberations on Northern Pass’ application after two-and-a-half days, with no consideration of conditions that were proposed by the project and others, and having voted on just two of the four required statutory criteria.

Key Commitments

In its original SEC application, Northern Pass contemplated the need to further economic development, tourism, community investment and clean energy innovation, and these are the four focus areas for its $200 million Forward NH Fund. Key commitments highlighted by the project include the following specific allocations from the Fund:

  • $25 million to address property value impacts in affected communities
  • $25 million for promoting tourism and recreation in the affected areas
  • $25 million for economic development in host communities to address local impacts

In addition, the proposed commitments include:

  • Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) in the downtown areas of both Plymouth and Franconia to reduce construction impacts to businesses and residents
  • Energy cost benefits for business and low-income customers from the sale of clean energy attributes (up to $300 million)
  • Transmission upgrades in the North Country to promote existing (400MW) and new small-scale renewable generation ($50 million)
  • Dedicated funding for the North Country Job Creation Fund to support economic development and job growth ($7.5 million)
  • Public interest program funding to advance energy efficiency programs for customers ($20 million)
  • Right-of-way lease benefits that will lower customers’ transmission costs and advance distributed generation, energy storage and electric vehicle initiatives ($30 million)
  • The unallocated balance of the $200 million in the Forward NH Fund is available to the SEC for further conditions ($100M)

NP_SEC_Key_Conditions_Chart

Click chart to enlarge

Northern Pass has received the following approvals:

State Approvals

  • NH Department of Environmental Services
    • Wetland final decision
    • Shoreland Protection final decision
    • Alteration of Terrain final decision
    • Section 401 Water Quality certificate
  • NH Department of Transportation
  • NH PUC Authorization to Commence Business as a Public Utility
  • NH PUC Authorization to Cross Public Lands and Waters
  • NH PUC Approval of PSNH Lease

Federal Approvals

  • DOE Final Environmental Impact Statement
  • DOE Record of Decision
  • Presidential Permit
  • U.S. Forest Service Final Record of Decision

Canadian Approvals

  • Québec Provincial Permit
  • Canadian National Energy Board

Three Approvals Remain

  • NH Site Evaluation Committee – Certificate of Site and Facility
  • U.S. Forest Service Special Use Permit (draft issued; final permit expected soon)
  • U.S. Army Corps Section 404 Permit (expected following issuance of SEC permit)

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. 

Eversource (NYSE: ES) is New Hampshire’s largest electric utility, serving more than 500,000 homes and businesses in 211 cities and towns, and also supplies water to approximately 9,300 homes and businesses in Hampton, North Hampton and Rye. Eversource is proud to be recognized as the top contributor to United Way in 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 about 8,000 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of safely delivering reliable energy and water with superior customer service. For more information, please visit our website (www.eversource.com) and follow us on Twitter (@eversourceNH) and Facebook (facebook.com/EversourceNH). For more information on our water services, visit www.aquarionwater.com.

CONTACT:

Martin Murray

603-634-2228

martin.murray@eversource.com

Kaitlyn Woods

603-634-2418

kaitlyn.woods@eversource.com


Posted on April 27th, 2018 by

Posted In: Filings, SEC, Updates

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Posted on March 28th, 2018 by

The following is our statement regarding today’s decision by the Electric Distribution Companies. We remain committed to the success of the project, and will pursue all options for making it a reality.

 

We understand today’s decision by the Electric Distribution Companies (EDCs) to terminate the conditional selection of the Northern Pass Transmission hydro proposal, given the status of the New Hampshire permitting process.  Despite recent delays, we continue to believe that Northern Pass is the best project for the region and New Hampshire, and we intend to pursue all options for making it a reality.

Eversource and Hydro-Québec remain committed to the success of the project.  No other project has obtained the necessary approvals from federal permitting authorities in the U.S. and Canada, and secured agreements with major contractors and the IBEW.

It is because of these achievements that Northern Pass was originally selected as the top bid in the Massachusetts Clean Energy solicitation.

While the decision by the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee has caused delay, we will continue to urge its members to fully evaluate the required statutory criteria, as well as thoroughly consider all of the conditions that could provide the basis for granting approval.

At a time when the region needs new and diverse sources of clean energy, it is vitally important that projects like Northern Pass are considered fully and efficiently and without unnecessary delay.

Northern Pass has received the following approvals:

State Approvals

  • Department of Environmental Services
    • Wetland final decision
    • Shoreland Protection final decision
    • Alteration of Terrain final decision
    • Section 401 Water Quality certificate
  • Department of Transportation
  • PUC Authorization to Commence Business as a Public Utility
  • PUC Authorization to Cross Public Lands and Waters
  • PUC Approval of PSNH Lease

Federal Approvals

  • DOE Final Environmental Impact Statement
  • DOE Record of Decision
  • Presidential Permit
  • U.S. Forest Service Final Record of Decision

Canadian Approvals

  • Québec Provincial Permit
  • Canadian National Energy Board

Three Approvals Remain

  • NH Site Evaluation Committee – Certificate of Site and Facility
  • U.S. Forest Service Special Use Permit (draft issued; final permit expected soon)
  • U.S. Army Corps Section 404 Permit (expected following issuance of SEC permit)

Posted on March 28th, 2018 by

Posted In: Uncategorized, Updates


Posted on March 12th, 2018 by

The N.H. Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) today voted to suspend its oral decision. Our statement is below.

We understand the SEC’s decision to suspend its February 1st oral decision, pending issuance of a written order.

We hope it is an indication that the SEC will evaluate the required statutory criteria, as well as thoroughly consider all of the conditions that could provide the basis for granting approval.  At a time when the region needs new and diverse sources of clean energy, it is vitally important that projects like Northern Pass are considered fully and efficiently and without unnecessary delay. 

Northern Pass is the most advanced clean energy project in the region, having received all major permits from the U.S. and Canadian federal governments after years of rigorous review, as well as approvals from all state permitting agencies other than the SEC (e.g., DOT, DES, DHR, PUC).   It is well-positioned to help New Hampshire and New England address critical energy needs and clean energy goals.

 


Posted on March 12th, 2018 by

Posted In: Permitting, SEC, Updates


Posted on February 8th, 2018 by

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) recently voted after only 2.5 days of deliberations to deny Northern Pass a Certificate of Site and Facility, which would have allowed the project to be built in New Hampshire.  The SEC’s action shocked many engaged in the process and sent a chilling signal to any developer considering siting new energy infrastructure in New Hampshire. Northern Pass will be submitting a rehearing request soon. You can learn more about how you can participate in this process here.

The SEC, by its own admission, chose to stop its deliberations after considering just half of the legal criteria it is obligated to study under the law.  In our view, the SEC failed its most basic responsibility:  to fully evaluate our application, including proposed conditions that would address concerns the committee members may have expressed, and to ensure all committee members understand the legal standard and how to apply it in a manner consistent with the law and past precedent.  We believe we have a very strong case to make in seeking a rehearing with the SEC or with a court appeal.

The SEC’s cursory review and hasty deliberation are in sharp contrast to the extensive effort Northern Pass undertook to demonstrate that it more than satisfied the legal criteria for project approval.  This effort included:

  • 70 days of testimony
  • 21 public hearings and information sessions
  • 20 Northern Pass expert witnesses
  • 15 fact-based analyses and studies showing significant project benefits and minimal project impacts
  • 2 schedule extensions imposed by the SEC
  • Rigorous environmental reviews and approvals from the NH Department of Environmental Services, the US Department of Energy, and the US Forest Service

New Hampshire and the region have been challenged for years with some of the highest electric rates in the country.  This burden has affected Granite State businesses and manufacturers, home owners and communities alike. Northern Pass is the most advanced clean energy project in the region, and able to deliver lower energy costs, improved reliability, and lower carbon emissions—as early as 2020.   In addition, it will provide more than $3 billion in economic and environmental benefits to New Hampshire.

We feel strongly that the merits of the project, including the robust benefits it will provide, are too important for Granite State energy consumers to let the SEC’s recent decision stand.  Northern Pass must be reconsidered fairly, with appropriate conditions, to ensure that it moves forward expeditiously.


Posted on February 8th, 2018 by

Posted In: Filings, Permitting, Updates

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Posted on January 25th, 2018 by

Project will provide clean and affordable power, lower emissions, and local jobs

Officials in Massachusetts announced today that a bid submitted by Eversource and Hydro-Québec (HQ) to utilize Northern Pass Transmission (NPT) to deliver significant amounts of hydropower to the New England grid has been selected in the Massachusetts Clean Energy solicitation. With this decision, Northern Pass is well-positioned to provide a firm delivery of 1,090 megawatts of hydropower year-round that will lower energy costs and reduce carbon emissions in the region.

“The clean, affordable power flowing over Northern Pass into the New England grid in 2020 will provide customers in the Commonwealth and throughout the region with much-needed energy price stability and emissions reductions and will deliver significant economic and environmental benefits to the region for years to come,” said Eversource Executive Vice President of Enterprise Strategy and Business Development Lee Olivier. “We are pleased with the decision announced today, and appreciate the thorough review by the Massachusetts bid evaluation team.”

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 electric grid. More than 80 percent of the line will be located along existing transmission corridors or buried along roadways, eliminating potential view impacts in and around the White Mountain National Forest. Northern Pass will provide a new and robust interconnection path between the Québec and New England electric systems controlled by the regional system operator, ISO-New England.

“This is a major milestone in the energy transition underway in the Northeast. We are pleased and proud to be a part of it,” said Éric Martel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hydro-Québec. “Hydro-Québec’s clean, reliable power, along with our proven delivery capability were highly valued by decision makers.”

The solicitation process was the result of a law passed in 2016 by the Massachusetts Legislature to provide new sources of clean energy by 2020. Northern Pass will provide up to 9.4 terawatt hours of hydropower that the Massachusetts legislation requires on an annual basis, while helping the Bay State achieve its clean energy goals. 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 power plants. Northern Pass will also help reduce reliance on fossil-fueled sources, particularly during the winter months when the gas pipeline system into New England is constrained.

The selected bid is a proposal to build an electric transmission line to bring 100 percent hydropower to the New England electric grid. The bid highlights the project’s advanced development and Eversource’s extensive experience in building and operating the electric transmission grid in the region. Northern Pass will deliver clean hydroelectric energy from HQ’s resources to the New England electric grid.

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, which commits $10 million in funding over 20 years to support low-income energy programs and services for Massachusetts low-income customers.

New Hampshire, as the host state for Northern Pass, 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.

Northern Pass expects to receive all state and federal permits by early 2018. The Province of Québec recently announced that it has granted HQ a permit to construct the hydroelectric transmission line that will connect with Northern Pass at the U.S. border. All major contractor and equipment contracts are fully executed to begin construction by mid-2018. A comprehensive project labor agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has been executed and is expected to generate thousands of jobs during peak construction for both Massachusetts and New Hampshire workers. Northern Pass is expected to be in service by the end of 2020.

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.

Eversource (NYSE: ES) is New Hampshire’s largest electric utility, serving more than 500,000 homes and businesses in 211 cities and towns, and also supplies water to approximately 9,300 homes and businesses in Hampton, North Hampton and Rye. Eversource is proud to be recognized as the top contributor to United Way in 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 more than 8,000 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of safely delivering reliable energy and water with superior customer service. For more information, please visit our website (www.eversource.com) and follow us on Twitter (@eversourceNH) and Facebook (facebook.com/EversourceNH). For more information on our water services, visit www.aquarionwater.com.


Posted on January 25th, 2018 by

Posted In: Updates

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Posted on January 10th, 2018 by

Northern Pass Job & Supplier Fairs for New Hampshire Workers and Businesses

Northern Pass will host its second Job & Supplier Fair in Concord in January to highlight the opportunities available for workers, businesses and those providing services to the many workers who will be needed to build the project.

People interested in working on the project or providing sub-contracting services can meet with the team leading the construction of Northern Pass at the event. Business owners in the hospitality and other service industries should also consider attending to discuss the opportunities available serving the many workers constructing the project.

Northern Pass expects to conclude the federal and state approval process in early 2018, and anticipates construction will begin by mid-April 2018. Some of the opportunities available include:

Construction Jobs — lineworkers, electricians, administrative/office personnel, project managers, traffic control personnel, safety personnel, mechanics, land surveyors, landscapers, laborers, fence installation personnel, building construction personnel, steel erection personnel, fiber-optic splicers, heavy equipment operators, truckers, material managers, welders, testing/commissioning personnel, traffic control, road building personnel, clearing/grubbing contractors, paving contractors, matting contractors, loggers, well/HDD drillers

Logistics/Services Jobs — lodging, campgrounds, restaurants, graphic design, environmental testing, equipment rental and maintenance, printers, office supply, security, photographers, snow removal services, caterers, apartment rentals, Porta-John rentals, portable office rentals, waste disposal, fuel suppliers, gravel/aggregate suppliers, hay suppliers, groundwater consultants, concrete and cement suppliers, asphalt suppliers, sign companies, hardware suppliers, lumber suppliers, street sweeping, material stockpiles and laydown yards

For a full list, go to www.northernpass.us/job-registration.htm, and for more information about job opportunities available through Northern Pass, call 1-855-NPT-JOBS or email nptjobs@northernpass.us.

 

Northern Pass Meets with North Country Workers in Whitefield

Northern Pass hosted its first Job & Supplier Fair in Whitefield on December 13, drawing more than 200 people to the Mountain View Grand to learn about the opportunities available to workers and businesses in the region. On hand were the project’s general contractor, PAR Electrical Contractors, Inc., as well as Quanta Services and M.J. Electric LLC, to discuss the kind of positions they are looking to fill when construction of Northern Pass begins. Representatives from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the union’s apprentice programs also attended. Northern Pass has signed a project labor agreement (PLA) with the IBEW, agreeing to hire local workers first.

People who attended spoke with contractors, construction companies and organizations, including the Coös County Business and Employers Group, Realtime Utility Engineers, Inc., Milwaukee Tools and Buckingham Tools.

Local businesses in the service and hospitality industries also met with representatives from Northern Pass about joining the Business Directory, a list of local services available to the project’s many workers, such as restaurants, gas stations, retail stores, laundromats, auto repairs, hotels and recreational opportunities. A copy of the business directory will be given to everyone working on the Northern Pass project.

 

SEC Review of Northern Pass Nears Completion

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) issued a notice of deliberations in November, signaling the final stage of the state permitting process for Northern Pass. Twelve days of public deliberations will begin January 30, leading to an oral decision by February 23, and a final written decision by March 31. With the state, federal and Canadian permitting processes nearing completion, Northern Pass is on track to begin construction by spring 2018 and in-service by the end of 2020.

Testimony Concludes at Final Hearings

The final hearings before the SEC finished in December, concluding the testimony and cross-examination of more than 120 witnesses. Briefs from the parties including their final arguments, will be filed with the SEC in mid-January. Counsel for the Public and intervenor briefs are due January 12 and Northern Pass’ brief is due January 19.

 

2017: Major Progress as Northern Pass Nears the Finish Line

Northern Pass achieved a number of milestones this year, positioning itself as the most advanced clean energy project in New England. From the issuance of the Presidential Permit to securing major contractors, Northern Pass enters 2018 expecting the conclusion of the state and federal permitting process and construction to begin in the spring.

JANUARY

The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled that the proposal by Northern Pass to use public highways for underground installation of electric transmission lines is clearly allowed under state law. The decision upholds a previous ruling by the NH Superior Court that dismissed a claim by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

MARCH

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services issued four key approvals of the project pertaining to the Wetland, Shoreland and Alteration of Terrain permits, and the 401 Water Quality Certificate.

APRIL

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation issued its final report to the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) recommending approval of the project.

JUNE

The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved a request by Northern Pass to cross public waters and public lands to construct the 192-mile hydroelectric transmission line project. In granting the licenses, the PUC found that the crossings will not interfere with the public’s use of the land and waters affected by the crossings.

JULY

Eversource and Hydro-Québec submitted two proposals in response to the Massachusetts Clean Energy solicitation. Both proposals would use the Northern Pass Transmission project to deliver significant amounts of clean energy to the New England grid, interconnecting in New Hampshire.

AUGUST

The DOE issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Northern Pass transmission project, concluding that the proposed route is the “preferred alternative,” that the project provides substantial benefits, and will result in only minimal impacts.

The SEC hosted a public comment session, the last of 26 state and federal public comment sessions held on Northern Pass during which residents could share their thoughts on the project with officials.

The DOE finalized a Programmatic Agreement regarding Northern Pass that prescribes the steps necessary to complete the federal and state agency review of historic and archeological resources, including addressing any adverse effect.

Eversource, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Quanta Services, Inc., and ABB Inc. finalized a comprehensive Project Labor Agreement and reaffirmed its commitment to hiring local workers first.

The U.S. Forest Service released its draft Record of Decision recommending that the agency issue a special use permit allowing Northern Pass to bury approximately 11 miles of transmission lines in areas along existing roads through the White Mountain National Forest.

NOVEMBER

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) approved the Presidential Permit for the Northern Pass allowing the project to construct transmission facilities at the U.S./Canada border in Pittsburg.The staff of the PUC, the New Hampshire Office of the Consumer Advocate, Eversource, and Northern Pass reached a settlement that will enable Northern Pass to lease transmission rights-of-way from Eversource and sets aside $15 million for New Hampshire electric customers for “programs, projects or other purposes that provide benefits to New Hampshire distribution customers.”

DECEMBER

The SEC concluded the final hearings on Northern Pass on December 20, after approximately 70 days of testimony.

The Province of Québec granted Hydro-Québec (HQ) a permit to construct the hydroelectric transmission line that will connect with the Northern Pass project at the U.S. border.


Posted on January 10th, 2018 by

Posted In: Jobs, Updates


Posted on December 21st, 2017 by

The final hearings before the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) were completed today, concluding the testimony and cross-examination of more than 120 witnesses over an eight-month period.  Briefs from the parties including their final arguments, will be filed with the SEC in mid-January. Counsel for the Public and intervenor briefs are due January 12, 2018, and Northern Pass’ brief is due January 19, 2018.

In November, the SEC issued a notice of deliberations, signaling the final stage of the state permitting process for Northern Pass.  Twelve days of public deliberations will begin January 30th, leading to an oral decision by February 23rd, 2018, and a final written decision by March 31, 2018.  With the state, federal and Canadian permitting processes nearing completion, Northern Pass is on track to begin construction by spring 2018 and in-service by the end of 2020.


Posted on December 21st, 2017 by

Posted In: Permitting, Updates

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Posted on November 20th, 2017 by

People from around New Hampshire are voicing their support of Northern Pass. Whether from the business community, the North Country, the labor community or elected officials, supporters tout the benefits Northern Pass will bring to New Hampshire.

N.H. Gov. Chris Sununu

“Today, New Hampshire is one step closer to lowering energy rates across the Granite State. After years of careful review, the Department of Energy has approved the Presidential Permit for the Northern Pass Transmission Line project, which will deliver 1,100MW of clean, renewable energy to New Hampshire: a home-run for small businesses, rate-payers, and clean energy advocates. Shovel-ready projects like Northern Pass stand ready to deliver the clean, baseload electricity that Massachusetts should be actively pursuing in their Clean Energy RFP.”

Tony Giunta

Mayor-elect, City of Franklin, NH

“Issuance of the Presidential Permit for the Northern Pass project is great news for the City of Franklin and other municipalities that will directly benefit from the millions of new dollars being invested in our communities.  We greatly appreciate the thoroughness and speed at which the U.S. Department of Energy acted on this critical renewable energy project.”

Guy Montminy

Senior Vice President and Deputy General Manager, BAE Systems Electronic Systems, Nashua, NH

“News that the Northern Pass project is now one step closer to providing clean, renewable, reliable, low-cost power to New Hampshire and New England is encouraging.  BAE Systems saw its energy costs in New Hampshire grow by 24 percent per kilowatt hour from 2014 to 2016.  If these cost increases continue, they threaten New Hampshire’s economic growth.  There is no dispute that the best way to definitively lower electricity costs is to bring more reliable, affordable electricity into the New England power market.  The clean, renewable power Northern Pass will bring to the region will help address these cost increases while appropriately protecting environmental resources.  The state Site Evaluation Committee should follow the lead of federal regulators and approve this project without any further delays.”

Brian Murphy

Business Manager of IBEW Local 104 of Barrington, NH

“The issuance of the federal Record of Decision and Presidential Permit by the U.S. Department of Energy represents a major milestone for the Northern Pass project and the thousands of New Hampshire working families that will benefit from this project.  After conducting scores of public hearings and receiving thousands of public comments, the U.S. DOE correctly concluded that this project provides great benefit to the people of New Hampshire and New England.  IBEW applauds the thorough and efficient permitting work of the U.S. Department of Energy, and we look forward to getting to work building this critical energy infrastructure project.”

Tracy Hatch

President & CEO, Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce, Nashua, NH

“As New Hampshire businesses look to expand and grow, and as out-of-state and international companies look to relocate to New Hampshire, one of the biggest challenges they all face is the high and too often volatile cost of energy.  From manufacturing to health care, and from hospitality to retail to high-tech software development, virtually every industry we have and want to attract needs a reliable source of energy at a price they can afford with the capacity to meet their needs. Northern Pass promises to provide all that and more.  Our Chamber strongly supports Northern Pass and applauds this major step forward.”

Michael Skelton

President & CEO, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Manchester, NH

“Growing New Hampshire’s economy is directly tied to availability of low-cost and reliable sources of energy.  The GMCC has supported Northern Pass for years as we know an energy project of this scale will deliver tremendous value to our economy and help attract and retain businesses and jobs to the Granite State, especially from the manufacturing sector. We are pleased to see Northern Pass achieve this important milestone.”


Posted on November 20th, 2017 by

Posted In: Updates

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Posted on November 16th, 2017 by

Permit Follows Record of Decision and Concludes Environmental Review of the Most Advanced Clean Energy Project in New England

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) and approved the Presidential Permit for the Northern Pass hydroelectric transmission project (NPT) that will allow NPT to construct transmission facilities at the U.S./Canada border in Pittsburg, New Hampshire.  This approval is the culmination of a thorough review of the project that involved numerous federal agencies, extensive public involvement, and detailed consideration of approximately a dozen different alternatives.

“We are pleased to see the DOE permitting process for Northern Pass draw to a close, and appreciate the years of diligent work done by the federal agencies in reaching this critical project milestone,” said Eversource New Hampshire President Bill Quinlan.  “With the New Hampshire and Canadian permitting processes also nearing completion, and considering we have all major contractor, equipment and labor agreements in place, Northern Pass is on track to begin construction by mid-2018.  This is good news for customers, and for the broad and diverse group of New Hampshire stakeholders who support this project for the many benefits it will bring to the state and the region.”

(See more quotes below.)

In approving the Presidential Permit for NPT, DOE found that the permit was in the public interest and that the project would have no adverse impacts on reliability of the U.S. electric power system, particularly in New England.  As required, DOE also obtained favorable recommendations from the U.S. Departments of State and Defense.  The extensive review of NPT was led by DOE and involved the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service – White Mountain National Forest, the New England District of the Army Corps of Engineers and the New Hampshire Office of Energy Planning as cooperating agencies.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also participated in the review of potential impacts on threatened and endangered species.

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is expected to issue a separate final ROD soon in response to NPT’s application for a special use permit to allow burial of the transmission line through the White Mountain National Forest.  In a draft ROD issued in September, the USFS proposed to approve NPT’s application, concluding that the short-term construction impacts of the project are “more than outweighed by the benefits of bringing additional hydropower to the New England grid.”

Northern Pass will result in up tp 3.2 million metric tons of avoided CO2 emissions per year in New England.  Estimated wholesale electricity market benefits are approximately $600 million annually for New England and $62 million annually for New Hampshire.  Northern Pass will create a significant increase in New Hampshire’s Gross Domestic Product, estimated to be $2.2 billion over the project’s construction period and in the first 10 years of operation, and the project will create 2,600 jobs in New Hampshire during construction.

Beyond its clean energy benefits and energy cost savings, Northern Pass will provide a number of benefits unique to New Hampshire, including about $30 million annually in additional tax revenue to communities along the route; $7.5 million to the North Country Job Creation Fund to develop and retain jobs in the North Country; thousands of acres set aside for conservation, recreation and mixed-use; and the $200 million Forward NH Fund to support clean energy innovations, economic development, community investment, and tourism.

The Northern Pass transmission line begins at the Canadian border in Pittsburg, New Hampshire and extends 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.  Northern Pass 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-New England.

Broad Support in New Hampshire

Tony Giunta

Mayor-elect, City of Franklin, NH

“Issuance of the Presidential Permit for the Northern Pass project is great news for the City of Franklin and other municipalities that will directly benefit from the millions of new dollars being invested in our communities.  We greatly appreciate the thoroughness and speed at which the U.S. Department of Energy acted on this critical renewable energy project.”

Guy Montminy

Senior Vice President and Deputy General Manager, BAE Systems Electronic Systems, Nashua, NH

“News that the Northern Pass project is now one step closer to providing clean, renewable, reliable, low-cost power to New Hampshire and New England is encouraging.  BAE Systems saw its energy costs in New Hampshire grow by 24 percent per kilowatt hour from 2014 to 2016.  If these cost increases continue, they threaten New Hampshire’s economic growth.  There is no dispute that the best way to definitively lower electricity costs is to bring more reliable, affordable electricity into the New England power market.  The clean, renewable power Northern Pass will bring to the region will help address these cost increases while appropriately protecting environmental resources.  The state Site Evaluation Committee should follow the lead of federal regulators and approve this project without any further delays.”

Brian Murphy

Business Manager of IBEW Local 104 of Barrington, NH

“The issuance of the federal Record of Decision and Presidential Permit by the U.S. Department of Energy represents a major milestone for the Northern Pass project and the thousands of New Hampshire working families that will benefit from this project.  After conducting scores of public hearings and receiving thousands of public comments, the U.S. DOE correctly concluded that this project provides great benefit to the people of New Hampshire and New England.  IBEW applauds the thorough and efficient permitting work of the U.S. Department of Energy, and we look forward to getting to work building this critical energy infrastructure project.”

Tracy Hatch

President & CEO, Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce, Nashua, NH

“As New Hampshire businesses look to expand and grow, and as out-of-state and international companies look to relocate to New Hampshire, one of the biggest challenges they all face is the high and too often volatile cost of energy.  From manufacturing to health care, and from hospitality to retail to high-tech software development, virtually every industry we have and want to attract needs a reliable source of energy at a price they can afford with the capacity to meet their needs. Northern Pass promises to provide all that and more.  Our Chamber strongly supports Northern Pass and applauds this major step forward.”

Michael Skelton

President & CEO, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Manchester, NH

“Growing New Hampshire’s economy is directly tied to availability of low-cost and reliable sources of energy.  The GMCC has supported Northern Pass for years as we know an energy project of this scale will deliver tremendous value to our economy and help attract and retain businesses and jobs to the Granite State, especially from the manufacturing sector. We are pleased to see Northern Pass achieve this important milestone.”

 

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.

Eversource (NYSE: ES) transmits and delivers electricity and natural gas to more than 3.7 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 at Eversource.com and follow us on Twitter (@eversourceNH) and Facebook (facebook.com/EversourceNH).

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CONTACT:

Martin Murray

603-634-2228

martin.murray@eversource.com

 

Kaitlyn Woods

603-634-2418

kaitlyn.woods@eversource.com


Posted on November 16th, 2017 by

Posted In: Permitting, Uncategorized, Updates

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Posted on November 13th, 2017 by

Northern Pass Reaches Agreement to Lease Rights-of-Way

$15 million in clean energy benefits to New Hampshire customers

The Staff of the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC), the New Hampshire Office of the Consumer Advocate (OCA), Eversource, and Northern Pass have reached a settlement that will enable Northern Pass to lease transmission rights-of-way from Eversource. The agreement, now pending final approval by the NHPUC, will provide significant customer benefits and complete the last of several NHPUC approvals needed for Northern Pass to proceed.

“We appreciate the effort and collaboration the PUC staff and the OCA put into this settlement, which will provide significant benefits to New Hampshire customers and will also move this important clean energy project forward,” said Eversource New Hampshire President Bill Quinlan. “Based on the terms of the agreement, New Hampshire residents will have greater access to clean energy technologies of the future.”

Under the proposed agreement, which the parties agreed is in the public interest, Northern Pass will make annual lease payments to Eversource, which will be used to off-set Eversource’s transmission costs. Additionally, Northern Pass has committed to making annual payments, which will total $15 million over the lifetime of the project. The funds will be under the control and direction of the NHPUC for “programs, projects or other purposes that provide benefits to New Hampshire distribution customers.” These programs may include investments in distributed generation, energy storage, electric vehicles, demand response and other initiatives.

The settlement agreement follows an order in April from the PUC stating Eversource has shown that it has the right to lease the use of its existing rights-of-way to Northern Pass. Hearings on the project are continuing before the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC), with a decision on NPT’s application for a Certificate of Site and Facility expected from the SEC in early 2018.

 

Northern Pass Concludes Its Case-In-Chief Before the SEC

The final witnesses for Northern Pass completed testimony before the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) on October 2, marking the conclusion of Northern Pass’ witness presentation before the SEC. Northern Pass presented 25 witnesses over 43 hearing days, describing in detail the following aspects of the project.

■ Forward NH, Project Route, Clean Energy RFP

■ Financial

■ Public Health & Safety

■ System Reliability

■ Construction

■ Environmental

■ Tourism

■ Property Taxes

■ Property Values

■ Historical/ Archeological

■ Aesthetics

■ Orderly Development

 

What’s Next for Northern Pass

The Counsel for the Public and intervenors will continue presenting witnesses before the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC).

The SEC is expected to issue a decision on Northern Pass in early 2018.

The U.S. Forest Service is expected to issue its final Record of Decision later this year. In September, the Forest Service issued a draft Record of Decision recommending a special use permit to bury transmission lines along existing roads in the White Mountain National Forest.

The Dept. of Energy is expected to issue its Record of Decision and Presidential Permit this year.

Northern Pass representatives continue to meet with business owners along the route to discuss any concerns regarding the construction process.

Partners for NH's Fish and Wildlife Grant Award Ceremony, October 3, 2017

Partners for NH’s Fish and Wildlife Grant Award Ceremony, October 3, 2017

National Fish and Wildlife Grantees Announced at UNH Manchester Event

For the third consecutive year, Eversource’s and Northern Pass’ continued partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is helping environmental grant recipients to restore and preserve New Hampshire’s and New England’s forest and wildlife habitats. On October 3 at the University of New Hampshire Manchester campus, Eversource New Hampshire Operations President Bill Quinlan joined NFWF leaders in awarding four grants totaling nearly $400,000 funded through the Eversource-NFWF “Partners for New Hampshire’s Fish and Wildlife.”

NFWF works with a variety of stakeholders — private landowners, government agencies, academic institutions and conservation groups — to cultivate science-based conservation strategies and cost-effective on-the-ground projects.

“Partners for New Hampshire’s Fish and Wildlife is a proven example of the good that can happen when businesses and nonprofits link arms, and is in perfect step with Eversource’s commitment to environmental sustainability.” — Bill Quinlan

The 2017 Partners for NH’s Fish and Wildlife grant recipients are:

Vermont Center for Ecostudies, Inc. — this project will document how Bicknell’s thrush uses young forest habitat in managed commercial forest stands in Coös County and Maine. The project will use the data collected to revise and update the existing best management practices in timber forests.

University of New Hampshire — this project will develop forest management practices to benefit priority forest birds, including wood thrush and the black-throated blue warbler. The project will enable 82 landowners in the upper Androscoggin and Saco River watersheds to implement the appropriate management practices to improve the care of 1,500 acres of early successional and late successional habitat.

University of New Hampshire — for the first time, this project will document how New England cottontail and other young-forest-dependent species respond to planned early successional forest habitat management activities in Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine. The project will result in the development of a landscape scale model to predict future abundance on 28,800 acres of restored habitat.

Belknap Conservation District — this project will restore instream habitat structure that will create pools and spawning habitat for Eastern brook trout on Poorfarm Brook in the Gunstock Recreation Area. The project will restore two miles of historic habitat to be used as a demonstration of the effectiveness of the technique.


Posted on November 13th, 2017 by

Posted In: newsletter, Permitting, Updates

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