Northern Pass developers ask New Hampshire to reconsider permit denial
- Developers of the proposed Northern Pass transmission project have asked New Hampshire officials to set aside their recent decision to deny the project and to resume deliberations while considering a series of commitments that would respond to concerns from several state agencies.
- Eversource Energy, the project's developer, would also develop a $200 million Forward NH Fund to encourage economic development, tourism, community investment and clean energy innovation, in New Hampshire.
- Northern Pass was selected to help Massachusetts meet its clean energy goals, but the project was rejected unanimously by the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Commitee (SEC) earlier this month. Massachusetts officials have indicated they will move on to an alternative project by end of March if Northern Pass developers fail to secure the necessary permits.
With the clock ticking, Northern Pass developers are scrambling to revive their project before Massachusetts officials replace it. The state has said it will select Central Maine Power's New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) transmission line to replace the Northern Pass project if it doesn't secure a permit by New Hampshire by March 27.
Eversource New Hampshire President Bill Quinlan in a statement said the company wants to present a solution that would take into account existing conditions already agreed to earlier in its process to secure necessary permits. The company would also introduce a fund that would include $25 million each to address property value impacts, economic development in host communities, and tourism. Another $20 million would go towards efficiency programs, and the SEC would consider where the other $100 million would be directed.
Developers would also agree to horizontal directional drilling in the downtown areas of both Plymouth and Franconia to reduce construction impacts to businesses and residents and would designate up to $300 million in energy cost benefits for business and low-income customers from the sale of clean energy attributes.
In total, developers say the Northern Pass project could provide $3 billion in economic and environmental benefits to New Hampshire.
Jim Roche, president of the New Hampshire Business and Industry Association, said in a statement that the group hopes the siting committee will reconsider, given that the state's electricity prices are 50% higher or more than the national average.
Northern Pass would run almost 200 miles and would move power from Hydro-Quebec dams in Canada to a substation in Deerfield, N.H.
Massachusetts is seeking 9,450,000 MWh of renewable energy annually to meet goals in the Global Warming Solutions Act passed two years ago. Central Maine's alternative project is the $950 million New England Clean Energy Connect transmission line, a joint bid with Hydro-Québec to deliver renewable energy from Québec to the New England grid.
- New Hampshire Union Leader Northern Pass officials push to get project approval
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