The SB 361 Commission recently adopted its final report, and once again voted to reject controversial recommendations that a majority of its members believed were outside the scope of the Commission.
This follows a vote last month by the Commission members to adopt a draft report authored by the NH State Department of Transportation (NHDOT). That version of the report omitted controversial language from the original draft which had drawn criticism from State officials and members of the business community.
In the final report, the commission voted overwhelmingly against two recommendations:
Members pointed out that both of these recommendations were well outside the mission and scope of the commission. Additionally, we believe these recommendations would result in costly and unintended consequences for New Hampshire consumers and businesses.
The Commission’s findings include input from NHDOT on what possible corridor options currently exist. While the findings state it may be possible to place energy infrastructure in these designated corridors, the commission ultimately could not speak to whether such plans are economically feasible or whether they are technologically and environmentally sound ideas. The Commission also points out that these questions are often “typically site and project-specific.”
We look forward to continued discussions regarding New Hampshire’s energy future. Northern Pass will not only move us toward a renewable energy future, but will also reduce energy costs for customers and increase the diversity of our energy portfolio. We look forward to continuing our work with communities, policymakers, and other stakeholders to address concerns and determine the best path forward.
National Grid and Bangor Hydro Electric Company recently announced a proposed “Northeast Energy Link,” that could transmit 1,100 megawatts of energy along a 220 mile long High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) line that may be placed underground.
We see this filing as a positive step toward the development of wind energy resources in Maine, and we’re also pleased that NEL has adopted the “participant funded” approach that originated with The Northern Pass. (Costs associated with the transmission line construction will be recovered through the sale of energy, instead of through a transmission charge.)