- Days after Massachusetts selected Northern Pass transmission project to help it meet renewable energy goals, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy has announced she will review the process which led to Northern Pass' selection.
- By law, the state's utilities were involved in the selection process, the Concord Monitor points out. National Grid, Eversource Energy and Unitil Corp. were among those who submitted proposals; Eversource is building the Northern Pass project, which would run 192 miles from Hydro-Quebec dams in Canada to a substation in Deerfield, N.H. The project will provide up to 9.4 TWh of hydropower annually.
- The Northern Pass project still requires approval from other states, with the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee slated to make a decision by the end of March, according to the Concord Monitor.
The fact that Eversource's proposal was not the cheapest proposal is helping to fuel suspicions, The Republican reports, despite state law outlining who would be involved in making the decision. Eversource's rapid timeline for the project, two years ahead of other proposals, may have made the difference, according to media reports. An independent evaluator was also involved.
The Conservation Law Foundation issued a statement saying the process was "corrupted by the heavy hand of our region’s largest utility." The group said it would be actively participating in the Department of Public Utilities’ review of the proposed contract and is currently participating in the siting process.
The project was one among five submitted for a Request for Proposals to meet a state goal of 9,450,000 MWh of renewable energy annually. Massachusetts has embarked on ambitious goals to procure and build more renewable energy — this project is one such goal.
Apart from the state, the New England region is hungry for additional clean energy. Central Maine Power said despite losing out on the Massachusetts contract it still intends to construct the transmission line it proposed. The 1,200 MW New England Clean Energy Connect transmission line, would run from the Canadian border to a substation in Lewiston, Maine.