Eversource vows to appeal NH Northern Pass rejection
- Eversource Energy, one of the developers of the Northern Pass transmission project say they will appeal last week's rejection by a New Hampshire siting board. But that process is lengthy and officials in Massachusetts indicate they may simply move on to another project, the New Hampshire Union Leader reports.
- In January, Massachusetts chose the Northern Pass transmission project to help meet the state's renewable energy goals, but New Hampshire's rejection has thrown the project into doubt as a lengthy delay is now inevitable.
- But Eversource Energy is also on the committee, which will determine whether or not Massachusetts waits out the appeals process or simply move on to another project.
Northern Pass developers were defiant, following rejection by a New Hampshire siting board. "We are shocked and outraged," the company said in a statement vowing to appeal. But it could send Massachusetts back to the drawing broad, since part of the project's appeal was its accelerated timeline.
Following the New Hampshire decision, the Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs indicated the Northern Pass selection is contingent on it receiving other required approvals.
"Massachusetts’ recently selected clean energy procurement project remains conditional on necessary siting approvals," the department said in a statement, "and EEA will continue to monitor and evaluate developments in New Hampshire as the administration works to ensure a clean and affordable energy future that progresses toward greenhouse gas emissions reductions."
Commonwealth Magazine reports that should Eversource appeals the New Hampshire committee's unanimous rejection and loses, it would punt the decision to the state's Supreme Court. In that scenario, a decision is unlikely to happen within a year.
But a Massachusetts law has given the utility a say in what project is chosen, giving Eversource an edge. The state mandated that state's utilities be involved in the selection process. National Grid, Eversource Energy and Unitil Corp. were all a part of Northern Pass' initial selection.
The project would run 192 miles from Hydro-Quebec dams in Canada to a substation in Deerfield, N.H., and would provide up to 9.4 TWh of hydropower annually. Northern Pass was one of several projects proposed to bring new sources of clean energy to the state by 2020, to meet the state's clean energy goals. Developing Northern Pass is estimated to increase Massachusetts’ electricity supply to nearly 50% clean energy resources.
Correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly said the Global Warming Solutions Act mandated the state to allow utilities to participate in the project selection process. It was a different piece of legislation allowing utilities to partake.
- New Hampshire Union Leader N. Pass not giving up; others might
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