Canada approves disputed Northern Pass transmission line
- Canada's National Energy Board has approved Hydro-Quebec's application to construct an international transmission line to New Hampshire as part of the disputed Northern Pass transmission project.
- In January, Massachusetts selected Northern Pass to help the state meet its clean energy goals, but the project was rejected unanimously by the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee the following month.
- Massachusetts has since indicated that it will select Central Maine Power's New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) transmission line to replace Northern Pass if it doesn't secure a permit from New Hampshire in the next three weeks. Both projects involve partnerships with Hydro-Quebec to deliver clean energy from Canada to the U.S.
Hydro-Quebec needed permits from both the federal NEB and Québec, but this specific iteration of the project may be moot without some help south of the border. Massachusetts has given Eversource Energy until March 27 to get approval from New Hampshire, or it will move on.
For Hydro-Quebec, it may be six versus a half-dozen, as it is the supplier of hydroelectricity to both projects now under consideration. This proposal calls for a 320-kV DC transmission line, connecting the Des Cantons substation in Val-Joli, Quebec, to the Franklin substation in southern New Hampshire.
Eversource has asked New Hampshire officials to set aside their recent denial and to restart its deliberations. The company affirmed several commitments that address project concerns that were made throughout the previous permitting process, which include a $200 million Forward NH Fund to encourage economic development, tourism, community investment and clean energy innovation.
Eversource's proposal calls for a transmission line to begin at the Canadian border in Pittsburg, N.H., and to extend 192 miles to the point where it connects to the New England electric grid. Sections of the line would also be buried along roadways to reduce the impact of views around the White Mountain National Forest.
Massachusetts is seeking clean energy projects to supply 9,450,000 MWh of renewable energy annually to the state's utilities in order to meet goals established in comprehensive legislation passed two years ago to meet greenhouse targets outlined in the Global Warming Solutions Act that was passed in 2008.
Correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly said that Northern Pass developers proposed the NH Forward fund to help procure a permit after state regulators rejected it. The post also incorrectly said Massachusetts' clean energy goal was part of the Global Warming Solutions Act.
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