- According to Boston Business Journal, New Hampshire regulators have delayed a final decision on Eversource Energy's Northern Pass Transmission system, a 192-mile line that would move hydroelectric power from Canada into the Granite State.
- A decision had been due by the end of this month, but the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee has extended its review six months. Project backers say they are disappointed but remain confident.
- Last month, the project got a vote of confidence from the U.S. Department of Energy, which issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement concluding the system is the “preferred alternative" and will result in minimal impacts.
Northern Pass has been in front of siting regulators for almost two years now, but developers say they are confident the project will proceed despite the new delay.
"Northern Pass is disappointed in today’s decision considering this review process was already extended by nine months, from what was originally a 12-month process under recently enacted NH law," the project developers said in a statement. "We’re encouraged by the SEC’s willingness to pursue options for concluding the review in advance of the new deadline."
Northern Pass Transmission is owned by Eversource Energy Transmission Ventures, a unit of Eversource Energy. The company is developing the line in partnership with Hydro-Quebec. The companies say they are "confident in our ability to achieve a 2020 in-service date ... we continue to believe that we will be in a position to start construction in the second quarter of 2018."
In addition to DOE's approval last month, project developers reached a settlement late last year with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission to allow Northern Pass Transmission to operate as a public utility once its secures the federal and local approvals necessary for its power transmission project. Also earlier this year, Eversource submitted the project as part of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Request for Proposals that would direct utilities to procure 9,450,000 MWh of renewable energy.
There are several projects that would move carbon-free energy from Canada to Northeast markets, but Eversource says Northern Pass is the "most mature project" thus submitted for the RFP.