Welcome to our special page to provide information on the Northern Pass transmission line project which would run high voltage power lines supported by 130' tall towers to run from Quebec to Franklin, NH and over to Deerfield, NH.
Information contained on this page is for informational and reference of issues discussed on the Bulldog Live! radio show and is not affiliated with any group, organization, company or government entity. Hopefully you find the information and opinions expressed and linked on this page to be helpful in your overall examination of this very important issue that could affect a large portion of New Hampshire's landscape and population.
Towns that have sent letters to Quebec Premier Jean Charest and HQ
Campton, Easton, Landaff, Stewartstown, Stratford, Sugar Hill and Woodstock.
Some of the state forests that could be impacted: There are two state forests in Campton abutting Route 175. The lines are just on the other (West) side of 175; Blair State Forest and Livermore Falls State Forest, Scribner-Fellows State Park, (New Hampton), Bear Brook State Park, (Allenstown), Cape Horn State Forest, (Northumberland). Also: Nichols Natural Area, (Concord) (within view of the lines, it looks like), an unnamed park just north of that, The Rocks Estate, (Bethlehem), Hicks Hill Wildlife Management Area (Ashland), Webster Lake Wildlife Management Area, (Franklin), Great Gains Memorial Forest, (Franklin), and the Sugar Hill Town Forest.
Site Evaluation Committee hearings are concluded.
Section 106 Review-
DOE is changing the public notification procedures for consultation under the National Historic Preservation Act for the Northern Pass Transmission Line Project effective June 14, 2017. Read more...
Section 106 consultation under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA) is a separate regulatory requirement and process from the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) environmental review. It requires federal agencies, including the Department of Energy (the Department), to identify and consider the potential effects of its actions on historic properties through a collaborative framework for seeking, discussing and considering the views of consulting parties on how potential adverse effects on historic properties from a proposed Federal action should be addressed.
The Department of Energy is committed to conducting a thorough and open review of Northern Pass’s permit application and is coordinating with the New Hampshire State Historic Preservation Office, the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources (NH DHR), on the Section 106 consultation process—as required by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The Department is in the early stages of this process, which includes a number of initial steps such as notifying the State Historic Preservation Officer, identifying consulting parties and developing a plan to notify and engage the public. Further steps in the Section 106 consultation process include identifying historic and cultural resources and assessing and resolving potential adverse effects from a proposed project on historic and cultural resources.
While there is no predetermined length for the Section 106 consultation process, the Department is committed to ensuring that each of these steps is fully met and is coordinating closely with NH DHR throughout the process.
State's Coming Northern Pass Decision Could Drag Out the Fight
The SEC will now go through all this evidence, months of testimony and years of other related documents. Those include more than 4,500 written comments and petitions, fewer than 200 of which were in favor of Northern Pass, according to the counsel for the public’s final brief.
D-Day Approaches for Northern Pass
“Today, Northern Pass apparently only works for Hydro-Quebec if the ratepayers of Massachusetts were to pay the cost of building the line. New Hampshire would bear the burden of siting the project and all of the unreasonable adverse impacts the project creates,” Savage said. “So the Mass RFP is important to Northern Pass. It’s not critical to Massachusetts since there are other options for getting power out of Quebec.”
Pros and cons filed with panel deciding project's fate
Union Leader 1/14/18
The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests said Northern Pass had created a view "of merely a few, scattered impacted scenic, historic, and cultural landscapes, with only marginal potential adverse effects that can be simply mitigated," said attorneys Amy Manzelli and Jason Reimers in a 203-page memorandum. Northern Pass "exceeds credulity" in asking the state committee "that this proposed project would have virtually no effect on the iconic landscapes of New Hampshire," they wrote.
ACT, AMC, CLF Weigh in at SEC on Northern Pass
Society for the Protection of NH Forests 1/13/18
The Applicants have failed to meet their burden of demonstrating that the Project will not unduly interfere with the orderly development of the region. The regional capacity market and greenhouse gas impacts alleged by the Applicants have been disproven and fail to establish benefits to employment or the economy. On the contrary, if completed the project would likely have negative impacts on the orderly development of the region by displacing or deferring the development of local clean energy resources. In addition, the proposed decommissioning plan fails to comply with Site 301.08(d)(2)b.
Eversource Completes Sale of NH Fossil-Fueled Power Plants
The sale of Eversource's power generation facilities was a component of a comprehensive restructuring and rate stabilization agreement entered into in 2015. The sales were completed in adherence to an auction process established by the N.H. Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC), which chose J.P. Morgan as its auction manager. The NHPUC on November 28 approved the sale of the fossil fuel facilities to Granite Shore Power LLC.
Granite State Power Link promises $20m economic development initiative
NH Business Review 1/10/18
Just as the developers of the proposed Northern Pass electric transmission project have done, the people behind the Granite State Power Link plan have unveiled what they call a “significant benefits package to support economic growth and opportunities along the project’s route in New Hampshire.”
White Mountain National Forest Record of Decision
U.S. Forest Service 1/5/18
This decision only approves this project on NFS lands, while the decision to approve the remaining portions of the project on state and private lands is the responsibility of the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee. The decision to cross the international border rests with the Assistant Secretary of Energy.
Uncertainty Swirls Around Local Roads, Construction Date
Caledonian Record 1/3/18
“Due to the limited resources available to conduct normal operation, the department intends to contract this work to private firms with limited oversight by the department,” said Cass. “The department does not have the resources to monitor the work on municipally maintained local roads, which would require knowledge of local ordinances and municipal operations, which the department does not have.”
SEC Northern Pass Hearings Come to a Close
Society for the Protection of NH Forests 12/22/17
The Site Evaluation Committee has formally closed its evidentiary hearing on the Northern Pass project. The next step in the SEC process is for all parties to present the SEC with “post hearing memos” summarizing their respective arguments. The Counsel for the Public and all interveners have until January 12 to submit their memos, and the applicant has until January 19. The SEC starts public deliberations on January 30. A full 12 days have been scheduled for deliberations, all of which are open to the public.
State Committee Completes Northern Pass Hearings
Valley News 12/22/17
Hearings were completed on Thursday. The committee’s scheduled to start 12 days of public deliberations on Jan. 30, leading to an oral decision on Feb. 23. A final, written decision is due by March 31.
Eversource spending on NP approaches $250m
Union Leader 12/21/17
“If they spent $249 million burying more of the line, they might already have it operational by now,” said project foe Jack Savage from the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.
Québec-New Hampshire Interconnection Project Gets Government Green Light
The Québec government has granted the authorizations needed to carry out the Québec–New Hampshire interconnection project, which calls for the construction of a 320-kV direct-current transmission line about 80 km long that will be extended into the U.S. to connect Des Cantons substation in Val-Joli to Franklin substation in southern New Hampshire.
New England Panelists Talk ‘Trust’ in Power Project Siting
RTO Insider 12/17/17
“There was inadequate public engagement on the Northern Pass side,” Campbell said. “There were many, many points at which Eversource New Hampshire lost credibility with the public by not disclosing or by making representations that later turned out to be inaccurate, and the minimization process was entirely without significant stakeholder input. As a result of that you have an absolutely oppositional circumstance, which is going to affect the state of the project.”
Forest Society and Easton Officials Testify Against Northern Pass
InDepth NH 12/11/17
“It has come up for years and the town has repeatedly voted to put $50,000 in and pay lawyers to fight this,” Thibault said. “We will not be sacrificed at any price, especially with a company that will do everything (it) can to reduce their tax payments.”
Ashland looking at ordinance to stop Northern Pas
Laconia Daily Sun 12/8/17
Migliore has co-sponsored legislation seeking a community rights constitutional amendment, CACR19. Currently, rights-based ordinances have no legal standing, and an amendment would embed those rights in the New Hampshire Constitution. To make the case for that bill, Migliore said, it would be helpful to be able to say that his constituent towns had adopted rights-based ordinances.
New Hampton Selectman: Northern Pass Scar ‘Not Worth It’
InDepth NH 12/6/17
New Hampton has properties that are assessed a view factor (view tax) in determining their property assessment, Irvine said. “If their viewshed is affected, I anticipate they will want to have the view factor removed from their assessment,” he said. “A certain amount of taxable value could be reduced.”
Electricity landscape: Eversource customers on the hook in biomass deal
Union Leader 12/3/17
The Berlin power purchase agreement provided a contractural kilowatt hour price, but with natural gas prices suppressing the wholesale market price during some years, that increased the gap between the market rate and the kilowatt hour price set in the contract, said Tom Frantz, director of the PUC's electric division.
Regulators Release Northern Pass Business Directory
Northern Pass/Eversource compiled the list of 208 businesses to give to workers who would build the $1.6 billion project and need to find food, lodging and other services during construction. The project fought public release of the business names saying it would violate their privacy interests and some of the businesses could face retaliation from local people who oppose Northern Pass.
Appraiser Sansoucy Criticizes Northern Pass Property Valuations
InDepth NH 11/21/17
The two debated whether the need for project was a requirement for its approval with Needleman maintaining there is no requirement the Site Evaluation Committee find a need to issue a certificate. “If there is no need, what are we doing here,” Sansoucy said. “The only reason to approve a project of this magnitude, with this much disruption is if it is in the public’s interest.”
Colebrook tavern owner irked by Northern Pass listing
Union Leader 11/21/17
Project opponent Jack Savage from the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests said Northern Pass “fumbled the ball by suggesting to the SEC that this list of businesses was an indication of support for their proposed project. “When they were asked to produce the list, they balked, were ordered to produce it, and now three months later, made it public,” Savage said. “No surprise that nearly a quarter of those businesses are in Franklin, the one town out of 30 that has supported Northern Pass.”
AFNQL Chief Ghislain Picard on Moccasin Tracks
Deb Reger's Podcast 11/17/17
Please find below the link to Chief Ghislain Picard’s interview at WRUV FM, Burlington. The interview was conducted on November 15. Chief Picard is highlighting Pessamit’s historical battle with Hydro-Québec as well as the potential current impacts of the Northern Pass project on the traditional territory and the essamit’s population. The interview will also be rebroadcast by WRUV FM affiliated stations.
Lawsuit Claims Eversource, Avangrid Caused $3.6B in Excessive Electricity Costs
InDepth NH 11/17/17
The two energy suppliers routinely request much more than their needed space in the pipeline, taking up space other competitors could use and reducing supply. Then, the two wait until the last possible moment to reduce their requested space to avoid a penalty for over-use. This timeframe leaves no way for competition to use the pipeline, limiting the amount of gas that flows to power plants, restricting supply, and raising costs across New England.
Families Testify That Northern Pass Would Change Their Lives and Properties
InDepth NH 11/17/17
“We are at a crossroads of what to do with this property,” said Dana. “It’s our family camp where our kids have grown up.” She said she works in the engineering field and the visual impact of the project will be devastating. “Most people don’t realize the visual impact that this project will have,” she said.
Northern Pass gets key OK from feds
Union Leader 11/17/17
“The project can have 10 presidential permits, but if it doesn’t have a SEC permit, it doesn’t get built in New Hampshire,” Abbott said.
Federal Permit for Northern Pass an Affront to New Hampshire Interests
Conservation Law Foundation 11/16/17
“The people of New Hampshire have been loud and clear that we do not want this project slicing through our state, yet the federal government has turned a deaf ear,” said CLF New Hampshire Director Tom Irwin. “Northern Pass is an empty promise when it comes to its claims of clean, ‘green’ power, and it only threatens to harm the communities and natural places it seeks to run through. From the beginning, the federal review process has had the feel of a rubber-stamp exercise in bureaucracy, failing to address key problems with the project. Regardless of the president’s approval, we will continue standing alongside the people of New Hampshire to fight this ill-conceived proposal.”
Department of Energy Approves Presidential Permit for Northern Pass Transmission Line Project
U.S. Dept. of Energy 11/16/17
“Smart energy infrastructure development projects like Northern Pass – which support a reliable and resilient grid, promote economic growth, lower energy costs and benefit the environment we all share – shouldn’t take this long to approve,” said Secretary Perry. “This Administration is committed to improving our nation’s energy infrastructure while also reforming the federal permitting process so that projects like Northern Pass receive full, and prompt, consideration.”
U.S. Department of Energy Approves Presidential Permit for Northern Pass
“We are pleased to see the DOE permitting process for Northern Pass draw to a close, and appreciate the years of diligent work done by the federal agencies in reaching this critical project milestone,” said Eversource New Hampshire President Bill Quinlan. “With the New Hampshire and Canadian permitting processes also nearing completion, and considering we have all major contractor, equipment and labor agreements in place, Northern Pass is on track to begin construction by mid-2018. This is good news for customers, and for the broad and diverse group of New Hampshire stakeholders who support this project for the many benefits it will bring to the state and the region.”
Americans for Prosperity: NH should dump energy-efficiency efforts
NH Business Review 11/14/17
In fact, in a separate section, the report highly recommends the construction of the Northern Pass project, to bring in hydropower from Quebec to the region. The report doesn’t mention other proposals to bring Canadian hydro to New England via other states, or a similarly sized project to bring Canadian wind power through New Hampshire.
OP ED: A Northern Pass Ratepayer Victory
InDepth NH 11/12/17
We did the math. If our director of finance is right and the lease is really worth $4.1 million a year, the share for New Hampshire customers is $410,000. Multiply that by 40 years and you get $16.4 million. We got most of that via our settlement, thanks to the $15 million fund plus lease payments that will fall halfway between the results adopted by the two rival appraisers.
Bring checks and balances to the SEC
NH Business Review 11/10/17
Most of the members of the SEC are state commissioners who owe their state jobs to nominations by the governor with confirmation by the Executive Council. Governor Sununu’s election campaign was funded in part by Eversource, and the governor is an outspoken advocate of the Northern Pass. No matter how well-intentioned the members of the SEC are, they are not independent.
Hydro-Quebec's Reservoir Management - A planned catastrophe
Pessamit Innu 11/17/17
In the wake of these "exceptional" measures, the Betsiamites River, the principal access for the Pessamiulnut to their traditional territories, over-flowed its banks into wooded areas made up of centenary trees that had never before been inundated. Debris of all sizes, including a great number of whole trees, were driven into the river. Clay embankments were also washed out by the flow, creating foreseeable damage to Atlantic salmon spawning sites (spawning season being about to begin). Furthermore, at least six traditional camp sites located in wooded areas were greatly damaged or totally destroyed, including the total loss of the Unikamit site, managed by a Pessamit company called Mashkuss Aventures.
Regulators Want Proof Northern Pass Is Financially Viable
InDepth NH 10/27/17
On Friday, SEC vice chair Kathryn Bailey wanted to know why the two financial estimates were different noting the project’s ability to compete in the forward capacity market is critical to its decision whether to grant the project a permit. “We have to figure out whether the project clears the capacity market,” she told Samuel Newell and Jurgen Weiss of the Brattle Group of Cambridge, Mass.
Northern Pass noise claims challenged
Union Leader 10/23/17
Pacik said project officials are trying to reach memoranda of understanding with officials from communities along the route that would allow for the option of Sunday construction work and permit heavy equipment to use local roads, even during times when weight limits apply.
Counsel Raises Questions About Road Closures During Northern Pass Construction
InDepth NH 10/23/17
“In urban areas, the temporary increase in noise levels due to construction or other disruptive factors may be seen as a relatively minor increase in the overall noise level and may be ignored or generally tolerated as long as the impact is understood to be short term,” Zysk wrote. “Along much of the proposed route, however, the project is routed to pass through rural or lightly developed areas where the ambient noise level is quite low. In these areas the impact of the proposed construction will be significant.”
Video’s North Country 10 Testify On Northern Pass’ Impact
InDepth NH 10/20/17
As a result, Mcallaster found some sudden celebrity and easily got the most laughs with his quick, dry wit of any witness before the committee that will decide whether to grant Northern Pass permission to go ahead with a $1.6 billion plan to bring Hydro-Quebec electricity to the New England grid. And these can usually be counted on as staid, predictable, tense-at-times, trial-like proceedings.
Folks ‘With Everything To Lose’ Testify Against Northern Pass
InDepth NH 10/19/17
“You have been listening to four months of experts and others who had something to gain from their testimony,” Attorney Arthur Cunningham, representing the Percy Lodge and Campground in Stark, told the Site Evaluation Committee. “My clients have everything to lose.”
Blasting Media Coverage As ‘Skewed,’ IBEW To Report Daily On Northern Pass Hearings
InDepth NH 10/19/17
IBEW is an intervenor in the Site Evaluation Committee hearings and has testified in favor of the proposed 192-mile transmission project from Pittsburg to Deerfield to bring Hydro-Quebec power to the New England grid. IBEW Local 104 members will construct the majority of the Northern Pass transmission line, according to Murphy.
Without Action, Northern Pass to Cut Straight Through Plymouth
The Clock 10/17/17
The line would go under the road stretching from the roundabout to Green Street. The construction process that would put Main Street out of commission for an estimated six months, though this could go longer. This would be a huge blow to the local economy, according to business owner Alex Ray. He said, “It’s the main business hub for 10 smaller towns." Indeed, over 50 businesses would be within 20 feet of the construction site for the lines. Eversource has not answered the question of whether or not business owners would be compensated for the loss of revenue.
Public Counsel Expert: Northern Pass Doesn’t Reduce Scenic Impacts Enough
InDepth NH 10/16/17
One of the easiest ways to block views of power lines is vegetation and there is little use of that along the project route, or reconfiguring and consolidating new and existing lines on fewer towers, or lowering the height, or changing locations or using less visible material for the towers and wires, he said.
SPNHF's Objection to WMNF's Draft ROD
Bury Northern Pass 10/13/17
The draft ROD fails to consider alternatives which could transmit electric power from Hydro-Quebec to consumers in New England with little or no impact on the White Mountain National Forest. For this reason alone, the Regional Forester should return the draft ROD to the WMNF Supervisor for reconsideration.
Hearing Debate: How Scenic Resources Impacted By Northern Pass Determined
InDepth NH 10/12/17
“We found significant errors in the applicants’ approach to identifying scenic resources, which in itself, renders the NPT (visual impact assessment) unreliable for decision-making,” according to the Boyle report. “In addition, our independent review of a selection of scenic resources found the visual impacts to be much greater than DeWan & Associates recognized; many were clearly unreasonable.”
Report: Artifical natural gas scarcity cost ratepayers $3.6 billion
Hartford Business Review 10/12/17
The economists, from the Environmental Defense Fund, UC Santa Barbara, the University of Wyoming and Vanderbilt University, analyzed public data from delivery nodes on the pipeline, finding that the utilities "routinely" ordered large deliveries, "then sharply reduced those orders at the last minute."
Granite State Power Link To Brief NH Officials on Wednesday; No Press Allowed
InDepth NH 10/10/17
There are key differences between the two, Baxevanis said. GSPL will cost $1.1 billion to build compared to $1.6 billion for Northern Pass. GSPL would reduce far more carbon emissions than Northern Pass because it is a wind project, she said. “We’re proposing to build it adjacent to or within the existing right of way,” Baxevanis said.
Questions Raised About Northern Pass, GSPL and Mass. Bids at NH Energy Summit
InDepth NH 10/10/17
But Grace and Aaron Geschiere, principal analyst for Sustainable Energy Advantage, both told the summit there are other viable transmission projects, including National Grid’s Granite State Power Link, which would use all new wind power and existing transmission line right-of-ways through Vermont and New Hampshire.
Portsmouth Photographer’s ‘Power of Place’ Explores Northern Pass
InDepth NH 10/8/17
Monkman spent months in the field applying his signature landscape photography style to filming the places in the path of the project, including the Appalachian Trail and the White Mountain National Forest. Monkman updated the 2015 film last year. Both are available on Vimeo.
Les Otten: $5M Balsams Loan Required His Testimony For Northern Pass
InDepth NH 10/7/17
Otten acknowledged that he received an “investment loan” from Northern Pass’s Forward NH Fund of up to $5 million in February 2016 that he called “extraordinarily important to the Balsams redevelopment. It’s a very depressed area of the state and (the loan) is a big help to get redevelopment moving.” Pappas asked if there was any documentation to follow or agreements the Balsams had to do in order to receive the loan. Otten said he did agree to provide testimony in support of the project and supplemental testimony and to testify before the committee.
Plymouth: No to Northern Pass
Laconia Daily Sun 10/4/17
Rep. Steve Rand, D-Plymouth, whose family has owned a hardware store on Main Street in Plymouth for 109 years, said the downtown area is the heart of the community and must be protected. “Northern Pass is not a knife in the heart, but it would sever our carotid artery,” he said. “This surgery is not necessary and we don't need the energy, but they are willing to operate on us for more profit.”
Northern Pass panel pays a visit to proposed project sites
Union Leader 10/3/17
Holding a sign that said “Ask Me,” Alex Ray — founder of the Common Man family of restaurants — handed out leaflets saying that 50 businesses are within 20 feet of the Northern Pass line. Plymouth is a regional business hub, he said; there is no “reasonable alternative” to people who drive into town to access its many amenities.
Plymouth Protesters Say No To Northern Pass as State Regulators Pass By Unnoticed
InDepth NH 10/3/17
Well-known Plymouth businessman Alex Ray was disappointed that he didn’t get to see the committee members as they passed. He wanted to at least hand them a piece of paper on which he had jotted down his thoughts about the project. Ray did speak to the crowd from the gazebo, asking them to communicate one-on-one with their friends and elected officials and he stressed the importance of voting.
Opinion: IBEW Business Manager Dismayed By InDepthNH Story About Non-Public Sununu Visit
InDepth NH 9/30/17
As such, I was dismayed by Nancy West’s InDepth article about Governor Sununu’s recent visit with our apprentices at Manchester Community College (MCC) on Wednesday. Instead of reporting on a leading-edge public-private partnership aimed at educating and training men and women for lifelong careers as linemen, West chose to use the event as an opportunity to float conspiracy theories. Her failure to report on the actual event, the growing career opportunities in the field and the professional collaboration that is taking place is a disservice to InDepth readers and those that fund her media company.
Northern Pass: EPA Support for 40 More Miles of Line Burial Won’t Delay Wetlands Permit
InDepth NH 9/29/17
Murray said it is also important to note that Northern Pass does not require a permit from the U.S. EPA. “The agency’s letter this week was directed to the ACOE, which is expected to issue a required wetlands permit to Northern Pass before the end of the year,” Murray said. But Savage said, “Northern Pass is missing the point. The EPA is throwing Northern Pass a lifeline by suggesting how the proposal could avoid being shot down entirely due to the mounting evidence of adverse impacts.”
Echoes Of DAPL: New Hampshire’s Northern Pass Dilemma – America’s Lawyer
The Ring of Fire Network 9/29/17
Even emminent domain is another issue that could cross between this and other projects where a company wants to come in and just do a land grab based on right of way in order to serve the public need, the greater good. But in this case, the entire state was so opposed to it that the New Hampshire legislature took the step in 2012 of basically outlawing the process of emminent domain when it came to power lines. I mean, there were some caveats.
Sununu’s Visit With EversourceNH’s Bill Quinlan, IBEW Not On His Public Agenda
InDepth NH 9/37/17
According to Sununu’s public schedule for Wednesday that was sent to reporters on Tuesday, he was going to attend the Executive Council breakfast and regular Governor and Council meeting on Wednesday morning and meet with his new Governor’s Millennial Advisory Council in the evening. But according to an Eversource press release, Sununu visited the electrical lineworker training program at the Manchester Community College some time during the day.
Union Reps Tout Northern Pass Jobs
InDepth NH 9/26/17
Attorney Thomas Pappas, representing Counsel for the Public, noted the hiring priority ranking was changed from a 2013 agreement. Under the earlier agreement, the first hiring priority was New Hampshire union workers, then New Hampshire non-union workers and then union workers from the three surrounding states. Massachusetts union workers jumped ahead, Pappas said, noting the new agreement was signed days before Eversource and Hydro-Quebec submitted its bid to the Massachusetts Clean Energy project.
Grafton County’s Lara Saffo Asks: Should Landowners Trust Northern Pass?
InDepth NH 9/24/17
Saffo also questioned whether property owners should trust Northern Pass after the project first told them the cables would be buried under the roadway and didn’t correct that information when it changed. Altogether 60 of the 192 mile high-voltage lines from Pittsburg to Deerfield would be buried; the rest would be overhead.
Ex-SEC Chairman Varney Grilled As Northern Pass’ Land Use Expert
InDepth NH 9/19/17
Still no ruling, either, on whether the subcommittee will order Northern Pass/Eversource to turn over to the public counsel the unredacted bid it submitted to the Massachusetts Clean Energy RFP, along with other legal wrangling that goes on long after the lights are turned off at the end of hearing days at 49 Donovan St. in Concord.
Northern Pass foes expected at Plymouth site tour
Union Leader 9/17/17
“I think it will be real important that the SEC actually gets the visual of that (project) and hears from people who are affected,” said Rand, who worries about losing customers both during and after weeks of construction to bury power lines along Main Street.
Is Hydro-Quebec a criminal organization? The Pessamit problem
McGill Tribune op-ed 9/12/17
However, as their elders fail to achieve public recognition of this social and environmental injustice and its decimation of their nation’s traditional means of subsistence, unemployment in Pessamit communities has skyrocketed, and Pessamit youths betray defeat. The suicide rate for Pessamit young adults is five times higher than for Canadians of the same demographic.
Gov. frustrated by due process
Foster's Daily Democrat 9/10/17
“I think the people of New Hampshire deserve an answer,” he said. “We should’ve had an answer about this a year ago. What’s going on over there?”
Errors in Northern Pass plan irk DOT
Union Leader 9/8/17
The state Department of Transportation has expressed frustration with the fact that errors and inaccuracies in Northern Pass route details are making the review take longer and diverting resources from routine highway maintenance and other DOT projects, especially during the busy construction season.
31 Northern Pass Hearings Added; Delay Prompts Lively Facebook Exchange
InDepth NH 9/5/17
Spradling, a former WMUR reporter, runs The Spradling Group and does public relations work for Eversource. In a Facebook exchange on Spradling’s personal Facebook page, he was called out by Concord real estate developer and GOP activist Steve Duprey as to whether Spradling disclosed his relationship with Eversource to his Facebook friends.
Eversource is losing its head start on power line
Boston Globe 9/1/17
Massachusetts regulators — working alongside Eversource and National Grid — plan to award a huge clean energy contract, probably including a new power line, by the end of January. Hydro-Quebec teamed up with Northern Pass on two bids. But the hydropower giant hedged its bets with bids with other companies. Smart thinking, Hydro-Quebec. Eversource had wanted this valuable state permit by sometime this fall, in advance of the January deadline. Without it, the company has a weaker position in the competition.
State committee delays Northern Pass decision until 2018
Union Leader 8/31/17
"Nobody wants this to go on forever, but due process and the size of the project and the relative incompleteness of the Northern Pass information so far is extending it," said project critic Jack Savage, vice president of communications/outreach for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.
Northern Pass dealt a regulatory blow
Commonwealth Magazine 8/31/17
The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee’s postponement raises some tricky issues for the $1.6 billion Northern Pass project, which is designed to carry hydroelectricity and/or wind power from Quebec into New England. Massachusetts officials are planning to select the winning bids for the clean energy contract on Jan. 25 and execute contracts with winners by March 27. While the New Hampshire postponement decision isn’t fatal to Northern Pass, it means Massachusetts officials will have to award the contract without knowing whether the project has cleared its major hurdle in New Hampshire.
Panel Postpones Northern Pass Decision For Five More Months
InDepth NH 8/31/17
The Site Evaluation Committee originally had a Dec. 18, 2016, deadline to make a decision, one year after it deemed Eversource’s application for the 192-mile, high-voltage transmission line complete, but last year moved that deadline to Sept. 30, 2017.
Committee Blasts Eversource For Late Access To ‘Crucial’ Northern Pass Agreement
InDepth NH 8/31/17
Several members of the SEC said the legally binding document should have been available while experts on historic preservation and archeological resources were before the committee, saying it is crucial to preserving sites and minimizing impacts from the construction and operation of the transmission project between Pittsburg and Deerfield.
State committee delays Northern Pass decision until 2018
Union Leader 8/31/17
The Site Evaluation Committee on Thursday said it was pushing back its Sept. 30 deadline for making a decision on the project. It now plans to make an oral decision by Feb. 28 and a written decision by March 30.
The Legislature Should Bar Northern Pass from Tearing Down People’s Stone Walls
Protect the Granite State 8/30/17
But there’s a backdoor way Northern Pass might still be able to take people’s stone walls, fences, trees, shrubs and even houses, and the legislature needs to close that door, too.
Northern Pass would like to bury some of its 192-mile high voltage transmission line under state roads. The state Department of Transportation has given Northern Pass preliminary approval to do that, with 50 conditions, including the line cannot be buried under the paved part of the roads and Northern Pass must provide a survey meeting NHDOT’s standards establishing the boundary lines of these roads.
Executive Councilor: Sununu Needs To Do More Outreach On Northern Pass
It's my judgment that he needs to go into the North Country on a listening tour to speak to people directly about this project. Whether they are for or against, they expect representation on the issue. And I have not seen the governor specifically speak on that topic, which he should in my judgment.
Why Yale Owns a Forest
From a mud-splattered pickup, Samson, a 71-year-old Coos County commissioner wearing sunglasses, shorts, and a moose T-shirt, watches with disapproval as a pincer mounted on the back of a truck drops logs into another truck at the edge of a clearing about the size of a football field. The area is part of the thousands of acres the university owns in the state. Samson and his passenger, Wayne Montgomery, a 40-year forest industry veteran clad head to toe in khaki, blast Yale’s methods. “They’re cutting everything, even the growing stock,” Montgomery says as he watches the trucks.
Intervenors Grill Northern Pass’ Historic Preservation Expert
InDepth NH 8/29/17
Boeppe noted that near Widell’s home in Maryland she volunteers her expertise to testify on a proposal to say adding a new cell phone tower near a rural, residential historic district would have an unreasonable impact on that community although only 15 percent of the tower would be visible.
Preserving the legacy of the Weeks Act
Stuart Sinclair Weeks, Union Leader op-ed 8/28/17
As the “Garden State” of New Jersey reveals, once such degradation begins — creeps in with the first towering transmission lines — it is the beginning of the end. How many tourists stop on the Garden State Parkway these days to admire the scenery? We’re just a hop, skip, and jump up the road.
Hydro-Quebec cannot rewrite history
Concord Monitor op-ed 8/27/17
It is our firm intention to denounce Hydro-Quebec’s disinformation machine throughout New England. In this regard, Pessamit gives its unconditional support to the New Hampshire citizens in search of true answers concerning the ethical and environmental aspects of Hydro-Quebec’s so-called 'clean energy'.
Pamela Martin: Looks aren't everything for Northern Pass opponents
Union Leader op-ed 8/22/17
If the Union Leader truly wanted to know what Northern Pass is all about, they could have attended some of the endless DOE meetings throughout the state over the past seven years. They could have attended this summer’s SEC meetings and listened to the refuted testimony of Eversource’s paid consultants and the over 28 hours of public comments to the SEC. They could have attended the public meetings in Plymouth, Concord and Nashua where members of the Pessamit Innu Band Council explained how Hydro-Quebec’s industrial hydro has devastated their homeland and the fish and wildlife of Northern Quebec. They could have read the approximately 2,000 public comments on the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee website, which are running approximately 12 to 1 against Northern Pass. They could have read in their own newspaper the countless letters to the editor by members of the public who are opposed. If they had done even a few of those things they would know that Northern Pass is not “all about aesthetics” as they framed it in their one-dimensional thinking.
Sununu Heads North, But Not To Keep ‘Promise’ To Discuss Northern Pass
InDepth NH 8/21/17
“By doing so, he will be accountable to no one. By his own admission on an NHPR interview, Governor Sununu stated it was his job to listen to all people. That being the case, he is not doing his job. I have a question for Governor Sununu, Why do you support ‘one’ greedy private corporation that will destroy this beautiful state over the will of thousands and thousands of residents?” McPhaul said.
My Turn: Sununu doesn’t have the facts on Northern Pass
Dolly McPaul oped, Concord Monitor 8/21/17
Gov. Sununu, if Northern Pass gets built, it will be on your watch. You will own it. History will associate your name with the hideous towers and destruction of our beautiful views. Are you confident that you are hearing the whole truth about this project? Your “facts” suggest you are not.
Up to 145 more witnesses for Northern Pass hearings
Union Leader 8/16/17
And a Northern Pass spokesman told the Union Leader that the project will shift the underground route in several places after the state Department of Transportation questioned the route going near two cemeteries — in Woodstock and Thornton — as well as a World War II monument in Thornton.
A New Solidarity in the North Country
New Republic 8/10/17
An unlikely coalition of Trump voters, lefty activists, and indigenous people is trying to stop the construction of a power line in New Hampshire. What does it bode for the future of politics?
IBEW reaches Northern Pass labor agreemen
NH Business Review 8/9/17
Mike Monahan, vice president of the IBEW Second District, said the agreement “confirms Northern Pass’ commitment to utilize a local labor force for its advanced, shovel-ready project. We are pleased to have a fully executed PLA in place that will provide substantial work opportunities — as early as the spring of 2018 — for our members in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and other parts of New England.”
Union, Eversource and other companies reach a Northern Pass labor deal
Union Leader 8/7/17
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ Second District announced Monday that it recently finalized a labor agreement with Eversource, Quanta Services Inc., and ABB Inc. that ensures a trained worforce will be used and that there will be apprentice opportunities for the union’s members and other construction trades to build the 192-mile project.
Rumney Ex-Sen. Wayne King Writes ‘Sacred Trust,’ a Novel About a Powerline Battle
InDepth NH 8/5/17
“Sacred Trust” is a vicarious, high-voltage campaign to stop the Granite Skyway power transmission project and its short-sighted and in some cases greedy corporate sponsors, intent on using political muscle and money to lock up the region’s energy production and distribution, short-circuiting efforts to bring about an energy future based on sustainable, and renewable energy deployed through micro-grids, smart-grids and a competitive environment that makes energy more – not less – affordable.
Northern Pass Real Estate Expert Concedes Power Lines ‘Thin The Market’
InDepth NH 8/2/17
Amy Manzelli, an attorney representing the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, asked Chalmers if it was possible that some developments did not happen because of the Northern Pass project. He replied it was possible but he was not aware of any specific examples. “You did no analysis regrading this possibility,” Manzelli asked. Chalmers responded: “That is right.” She and others questioned why no work was done to determine if tourism facilities along the proposed corridor would lose value.
Northern Pass’ Real Estate Expert Questioned About Data Accuracy
InDepth NH 8/1/17
“View premiums are very common and appropriate and should be reflected in (property) values,” Chalmers said, “they influence market value.”
Menard said Chalmers’ report has a 100-foot limit for properties to be included in his model, yet many properties with view assessments are well beyond the limit. Once Northern Pass is built those property owners could seek a reduction in property value well beyond the 100-foot range, she suggested. “They could,” Chalmers said.
Public Counsel Grills Northern Pass Expert On Property Value Impact
InDepth NH 7/31/17
Pappas asked Chalmers if he relied on Underwood’s accuracy, credibility and judgement in reaching his conclusion, and Chalmers said he did. Then Pappas asked if Chalmers knew Underwood had financial problems and filed for bankruptcy or of allegations he provided false testimony, and Chalmers said he did not. Underwood was the chair of the appraisers board when Northern Pass filed a complaint against North Country appraiser James Walker who told a Dalton couple the project would reduce the value of their 130-plus acre property by 63 percent.
Northern Pass: trouble overhead
The group’s main concern is the visual impact of the project, and what this would mean for tourism and the economy. “With towers placed roughly every 800ft, the Northern Pass will cut a swathe through some of New Hampshire’s most scenic landscapes, such as the White Mountains National Forest, the Pondicherry division of Silvio O Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, private conservation lands, numerous wetlands, and other areas,” the Say No to Northern Pass website claims.
Northern Pass in-service date pushed back
Union Leader 7/28/17
“Announcing a delay is wildly optimistic given that the doubt over whether they can even get a permit in any time frame,” said Jack Savage, a project opponent with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. “The question isn’t when. The question is if.”
What’s Been Proposed So Far For Massachusetts’ Giant Clean Energy RFP?
North American Windpower 7/28/17
Hydro-Québec is proposing six options – either 100% hydropower or a hydro-wind blend – offered over one of three proposed new transmission lines: the Northern Pass Transmission project (Eversource Energy), New England Clean Power Link project (Transmission Developers Inc.) and New England Clean Energy Connect (Central Maine Power).
Northern Pass competes for Mass. energy deal
Concord Monitor 7/28/17
Without the power purchase agreement, Northern Pass has little to offer New Hampshire, according to consumer advocate D. Maurice Kreis. Kreis said what he found newsworthy was the announcement that Hydro-Quebec and Eversource have so far been unable to come up with a new agreement.
Northern Pass gets SEC scrutiny
Union Leader 7/28/17
Site visits, said Peter Roth, a Senior Assistant Attorney General who has been appointed Counsel for the Public in the Northern Pass application, are an opportunity for SEC members to understand how involved some of the construction will be. For example, to bring Northern Pass across Route 3 from Pittsburg would entail going deep beneath the bed of the Connecticut River. The work would also probably force the extended closure of Old Canaan Road, said Roth, something that concerned Haven Haynes, a selectmen in neighboring Canaan, Vt.
Eversource and Hydro-Québec Offer Two Proposals to Clean Energy Solicitation
The 100 percent hydropower option included in the Northern Pass bid would deliver 1,090 megawatts of clean hydroelectric energy and the associated environmental attributes from HQ’s existing resources. A second option would combine predominantly firm hydropower from HQ with new wind generation located in Québec, provided by a partnership of wind developers, Gaz Métro and Boralex. The wind power will be backed by hydropower and includes Class I Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). Both options guarantee a firm delivery of 1,090 megawatts of clean energy year round, including winter and summer days when demand for energy is greatest.
Northern Pass site visits begin in the North Country
Union Leader 7/27/17
As part of its Northern Pass application review, the NHSEC has previously held several site visits and today its members, along with a number of intervenors, are taking a bus from the Mountain View Grand Hotel here up Route 3 to the Pittsburg/Clarksville town line for a “walkaround.” Other walkarounds will be held in Stewartstown at Old County Road, the intersection of Creampoke and North Hill roads; Bear Rock Road; and at Coleman State Park.
Snubbed by Northern Pass tour, towns from Plymouth to Deerfield seek stops
Concord Monitor 7/26/17
The sites that would otherwise be ignored on this trip include downtown Plymouth, “where the line will disrupt a major access route through the center of town (which is a dense commercial and residential area),” and Concord, “where the line will go through its most densely populated area and dense commercial and industrial zones,” according to a filing before the Site Evaluation Committee.
Northern Pass to withdraw purchase power agreement
Union Leader 7/26/17
Jack Savage, a project opponent with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, said “it sure does sound like smoke and mirrors.” “The purchase power agreement was the smoke and the press release (about forging a new agreement) was the mirror of the proposed benefits of Northern Pass,” Savage said.
Canadian tribe opposes proposed Northern Pass powerline project
Conord Monitor 7/20/17
As a result, hunting grounds were flooded and conditions of the Betsiamites River, where tribe members fish for salmon, have worsened, the tribe claims. The waters have become more turbid, and the tribe blames the two power stations for fluctuating flow rates that sweep away young salmon to their death and destroy their eggs.
Indigenous Community Airs Long-Standing Grievances at Northern Pass Hearing
In 1998, the band council filed suit, claiming this agreement was abusive and the federal government had failed in its fiduciary duty to protect the Pessamit. The suit asked for damages in excess of $10 billion dollars. The case has been working its way through the courts ever since, and remains unresolved.
Site Evaluation Committee Members Criticize Northern Pass Expert on Tourism
InDepth NH 7/19/17
Way was also critical of Nichols for not meeting with representatives from the Parks and Trails division, for not engaging a broader array of representatives from different tourism segments during listening sessions around the state and for a survey of prospective visitors that he said “did not ring true.”
Concord officials urge comments on Northern Pass
Concord Monitor 7/18/17
“This process is actually critical for people to have their voices heard,” said Deputy City Solicitor Danielle Pacik, who is tasked with representing the city before the SEC, in an interview with ConcordTV. “The committee reads every single one of those letters, and it looks at them and considers them in making its decision.”
Pressure Mounts As Northern Pass Hearings Continue
InDepth NH 7/13/17
The Pessamit Innu First Nation of Quebec will speak out against the controversial project and National Grid’s recently announced transmission project is holding “community meetings” hoping to also import electricity from Canada to the New England power grid.
Public meetings start for Granite State Power Link, a Northern Pass-like proposal
Concord Monitor 7/12/17
Granite State Power Link is proposed by National Grid, which has electric and natural gas business in Massachusetts and New York, in partnership with Citizens Energy, a Massachusetts nonprofit. Citizens Energy helps develop “clean transmission projects” and uses revenue from selling the power to aid low-income families with their energy needs. It said it plans to use 50 percent of the money it makes from Power Link to fund energy assistance for families in New Hampshire and Vermont. Northern Pass, on the other hand, would be owned by Eversource and HydroQuebec, which is owned by the province of Quebec. It would sell HydroQuebec power on the open market.
Concord adamant on burial of Northern Pass power lines
Concord Monitor 7/8/17
Although the line would be in a right of way, Northern Pass towers would be much taller than existing powerline towers because they carry considerably more electricity, making them more visually intrusive. The city hired a consultant to do what is called a viewshed analysis, to judge who could see the new towers. It found that some towers could be seen in parts of the city as far west as Diamond Hill, near Hopkinton, while others would be visible from the second or higher floors of some downtown buildings on Main Street.
NH DOT Commissioner Sheehan Tours Storm-Damaged Rte. 116, Easton
Bury Northern Pass 7/4/17
Storm damage on Easton's Route 116, a state road that Northern Pass proposes to bury its cable alongside. You'll see just how poorly built and situated this ancient road is for a high tech HVDC installation. Does this make sense to you?
DOT Should Follow NH Law for Northern Pass Burial Route
Nancy Martland, InDepth NH OP-ED 7/2/17
Direct burial can be used along wider, limited access corridors such as interstate highways – a 4 foot wide trench dug 4 feet deep, with cable laid directly in the ground covered by heat-dissipating sand with a thin concrete warning layer. Smaller roads with narrow shoulders necessitate a more intrusive type of burial involving deeper trenches and beefed-up duct banks in concrete casing. It would be just about impossible for an HVDC line to be buried in this fashion using a road easement right of way narrower than four rods (66 feet.)
Northern Pass officials seek more hearing days
Union Leader 6/30/17
Attorneys for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, a project opponent, said requesting possible evening sessions “is untethered from reality” and that answers from some Northern Pass witnesses “were evasive and time-consuming.”
Eversource PAC donated money to every state senator
Union Leader 6/22/17
The PAC reported $11,132.79 in receipts. The contributions spanned the political spectrum. It includes $1,000 to former Sen. David Boutin, R-Hooksett, who is running in a special election for Senate District 16, a vacancy created with the death of Sen. Scott McGilvray, D-Hooksett. Boutin faces Democrat Kevin Cavanaugh and Libertarian Jason Dubrow in the July 25 contest.
After Long Silence, Yale Responds To Critics About Land Leased To Northern Pass
InDepth NH 6/20/17
Second, Wagner Forest Management did not have the ability to terminate the option to renew under the terms of the lease. Third, as a matter of public record and as reported in the press, the developer of the project has exercised its option to renew the lease and the term has been extended to 2110.
Intervenors: Northern Pass Experts Failed To Identify All Impacted Wetlands
InDepth NH 6/20/17
But Manzelli noted there are no site specific plans to address wetlands damaged temporarily by construction, and Carbonneau said that is true but an overall plan has been developed and environmental monitors on the sties would determine exactly what would be needed to restore the areas.
Forest Society Presses Environmental Benefits of Burying Northern Pass
InDepth NH 6/18/17
“You would agree with me this project would have an adverse impact on wetlands, right?” Manzelli asked Lee Carbonneau, one of Northern Pass’ experts and senior principal scientist with Normandeau Associates, the company hired by the project. Carbonneau: “Yes the project has some impacts to wetlands and I would consider them to be adverse.”
DES nominee takes no position on Northern Pass
Union Leader 6/16/17
“With Gov. Sununu supporting the Northern Pass, I’m afraid he is putting Robert Scott in as commissioner of DES to influence the permits that the DES needs to grant, so I just feel it’s another way of supporting Northern Pass,” said McPhaul.
White Mountain National Forest Supervisor Stepping Down In September
Right, the forest supervisor is the responsible official for this. It would be a special use permit to cross the national forest, to construct and maintain a power line. I’m hoping that before I leave on Sept. 1, that decision is written and ready to be released.
Speaking Out For and Against Northern Pass From Connecticut to Concord
InDepth NH 6/15/17
Several people said they do not object to additional hydro power, but do object to the 20th century approach to building the line, all but about 60 miles on overhead towers. The line will be buried through the White Mountain National Forest and then from Bethlehem to Bridgewater along state roads, including down Main Street in Plymouth.
Northern Pass extends its Bayroot lease for another 93 years
Berlin Daily Sun 6/15/17
A five-page lease, signed on June 2 by Leon J. Oliver, chairman and president of Northern Pass Transmission LLC of Manchester and on June 12 by Tom Colgan, president of Wagner Forest Management of Lyme, was filed on Tuesday afternoon, June 13, at the Coos County Deeds office.
Coös County Commissioner: Yale has the Power to Stop Northern Pass
InDepth NH Op-Ed 6/14/17
Yale’s current lease with Northern Pass expires at the end of June, and since this is likely the only viable route that remains in Coos County, the university has a choice. It can move forward with the lease and enable the development of a transmission line that will permanently scar Coös County and New Hampshire. Alternatively, it can join with the residents of Coös County by stopping the lease and contributing its share of land to the barrier that our residents have constructed against an environmentally unsound project that will not help New Hampshire residents pay their electric bills.
Regulator: Committee Could Consider Conditioning Approval for Northern Pass
InDepth NH 6/14/17
In order to participate in the forward capacity market, the project has to provide information about the project’s costs to the Independent System Operator for New England. The operator then determines what price will allow the developer to recover costs and a reasonable return on investment. If the per megawatt cost is higher than the price generators receive in the forward capacity market for their future energy obligations, then the project would not be able to participate in the bidding or “clear the capacity market.”
Public Statement Hearings On Northern Pass Begin June 15
InDepth NH 6/13/17
Honigberg, wrote: “There is considerable doubt as to whether an order ‘clarifying’ that is necessary, but to avoid confusion, evidence relevant to the ‘public interest’ standard … may be introduced throughout the hearing.”
Speakers lining up to blast Northern Pass
Union Leader 6/13/17
“The point is it’s not just for the period of time that is the construction period,” said Rand, a Plymouth legislator scheduled to speak July 20. “It’s all of the newly formed habits that will be created by (customers) not coming back to us and that can last for decades.”
Portions of Northern Pass Hearings Held In Closed Session, Again
InDepth NH 6/10/17
Julia Frayer, managing director of London Economics International, said her model found no negative impact to businesses during construction along the towns’ main streets because it looked only at the impact to the state as a whole, not at individual communities. She also found no negative impact on jobs during construction.
Mr. Quinlan: tear down this wall
D. Maurice Kreis 6/9/17
In this situation, the PUC’s decision that the PPA is legally impermissible may or may not be appealed. The Legislature’s decision not to take up the question may or may not be revisited. Meanwhile, as the Northern Pass hearings at the SEC reach their critical juncture, Eversource and Hydro Quebec talk about the benefits of their PPA without having to prove what those benefits are. And we, tasked with skeptically assessing those benefits on behalf of the customers who will allegedly receive them, are completely muzzled.
Counsel for the Public: Northern Pass Financial Expert’s Perspective ‘Unnaturally Optimistic’
InDepth NH 6/9/17
“The greatest flaw I saw is that Northern Pass is not a generating facility. It’s a transmission facility so they have no right to bid. That would be up to Hydro-Quebec and they are not a party to the proceedings,” Cunningham said. Cunningham was further angered at the thought that that same issue may be covered during the confidential portion of Thursday’s hearing. “What gives Northern Pass the authority to bid into something they no control over,” he said.
Towns see ‘significant victory’ in tax decision
Laconia Daily Sun 6/3/17
The decision comes after extended litigation that began with an appeal of orders by the Bureau of Tax and Land Appeals in 2015 that rejected the utilities’ requests for tax abatements.
SEC Presses Northern Pass To Contact Plymouth, Franconia Businesses Along Burial Route
InDepth NH 6/2/17
Site Evaluation Committee member Christopher Way, Deputy Director of the Department of Resources and Economic Development, said an aggressive outreach to businesses is lacking. “You’re far enough along now to start making contact,” Way said. “You have to talk face-to-face and walk place-to-place. I would encourage that activity now.”
Intervenor: ‘Frac-Out’ Water Pollution Possible Drilling To Bury Northern Pass Line
InDepth NH 5/31/17
Carl Lakes of Easton noted the horizontal drilling to place the transmission line under water bodies, wetlands or highways could cause a “frac-out” or blow-out that could pollute the water. Would equipment be available to immediately respond if a frac-out occurred, he asked, and Eversource Vice President of Engineering Kenneth Bowes said each location would have a specific plan depending on the site. Some sites may need boats, he noted.
N.H. regulators deny motions for rehearing of April order involving Northern Pass
The commission noted that it stated clearly that the April 6 order should not be construed as determining any property rights among Eversource, NPT, and any of the owners of the properties that are subject to the easements – the commission stated that only a court of competent jurisdiction may determine the property rights of individual owners.
Breakfast With Governor Sununu
Central NH Chamber of Commerce 6/26/17
A few backs stiffened when Governor Sununu mentioned the Northern Pass, the familiar proposal to run 192 miles of new power lines from Canada through New Hampshire. Governor Sununu is in favor of the project because of New Hampshire’s need for renewable energy. “We need every drop in the bucket,” he said. He stated he will pursue the Northern Pass, but he is open to other equally efficient options. Mike Ahern, owner of Glove Hollow Tree Farm, said that he supports bringing energy into New Hampshire, but he is concerned that the line will disrupt all the communities along Route 3 for years to come, creating communal losses greater than any statewide profit.
Commissioner's Corner: Why does Yale care?
Berlin Daily Sun 5/25/17
The general public is beginning to realize that most of what Eversource tells us is misinformation and lies. Do the applicants think that their lobbying and money can buy their way through New Hampshire or repair the massive damage to Quebec. The Bayroot land is key and possibly the only route that will allow Northern Pass to succeed. Does Yale care about the questionable land practices that are and have been used on their land here in Coos County?
Yale dean is placed on leave over offensive Yelp reviews
Associated Press 5/18/17
Pierson Head Stephen Davis sent an email Thursday informing members of the residential college that Chu had been placed on leave after he discovered there were numerous "reprehensible posts," not the two he had been led to believe existed.
Students urge Yale to drop Eversource lease for land along Northern Pass route
Coos County Democrat 5/17/17
Dogan went back to Connecticut with a different perspective, saying "I was very moved by the passion and commitment of the people who are opposing Northern Pass. They are not in this struggle to gain any financial benefits etc; what drives them is a sense of pride in the beauty and the authenticity of northern New Hampshire. One of the moments I distinctly remember is when one of our hosts said, 'This place is now some place, but after Northern Pass it will be just any place.'"
Northern Pass just isn’t worth it
NH Business Review op-ed 5/11/17
So take out your last electric bill, reduce the energy rate by 0.28 cents – that’s less than one penny - and recalculate. Then decide for yourself if that minuscule reduction is worth the damage that Northern Pass will do to our landscape, wetlands and tourism industry as it carves a gash through our forests and communities. The truth? Northern Pass just isn’t worth it.
Yale draws fire from New Hampshire over Northern Pass project
New Haven Register 5/11/17
Liz Wyman, a 2004 graduate of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, who led Wednesday’s event, said Eversource’s lease with Yale is up for renewal this summer for 98 years and they hope Yale does not do so. “Our message to Yale is to drop the Northern Pass lease and open up a broader conversation as well about Yale’s management issues for this property,” Wyman said.
The Northern Pass Project Has Become a Dinosaur and Should Be Rejected
Conservation Law Foundation 5/11/17
Local Clean Energy Resources Are on the Rise. Even better, in the years since Northern Pass was first proposed, we’ve seen energy efficiency and rooftop solar turn a projected region-wide deficit of energy capacity into a surplus. Renewable energy facilities of all types have sprung up like wildflowers across the region to provide us with clean, cheap energy made right here in New England. And now we’ve even seen the nation’s first offshore wind farm rise up on the horizon, right off the coast of Rhode Island. On top of that, we’ve also seen wholesale electricity prices dropping year after year after year, making Northern Pass’s promises emptier and emptier.
New Hampshire Residents Challenge Yale: “Stop Destroying Our Forests”
NH Labor News 5/10/17
On Wednesday Yale students and residents of New Hampshire challenged Yale’s environmental stewardship of woodlands by the University’s endowment at a teach-in in front of Yale University President Peter Salovey’s office. Yale is the largest landowner in Coös County New Hampshire, holding 125,000 acres of prime forestland. Yale has leased 24 miles of that land to a controversial power line project that is opposed by national and local environmental groups, and by 30 of the 31 towns that the line will pass through.
Long-Term Power Legislation Stalls In NH House Committee
InDepth NH 5/10/17
“The problem is that PSNH will have no direct use for 100 megawatts of on-peak power since it is the process of becoming a distribution-only utility – just a poles and wires operation,” Kreis said in an email.
Committee retains bill to give Eversource another shot at Northern Pass power buy
Concord Monitor 5/10/17
Eversource had sought a 20-year power purchase agreement to buy hydropower off Northern Pass and then resell it on the competitive market. Any net losses or gains from the sale would be passed on to customers. The PUC rejected the request, saying the setup would violate state laws deregulating the power industry because the utility’s sale of power is essentially the same as owning a power plant.
Hearings reveal true costs of Northern Pass
Union Leader op-ed 5/10/17
Yet Farrington stated that no traffic management plan has been written, although they will “discuss” how to minimize the impacts. It is amazing that the people wanting to build a project affecting so much of the state are providing less information on traffic impacts than a local planning board would require for a proposed Dunkin’ Donuts.
A Brief Overview of Eminent Domain
Opposition to the use of eminent domain had grown so strong that it resulted in the New Hampshire General Court (the State Legislature) drafting House Bill 648 to effectively prevent the use of eminent domain to acquire land for the project. The bill, of course, was not without its detractors as it was opposed by both the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union and the Small Business and Small Industry Association, which was founded by former state Sen. Bob Clegg. Nevertheless, the bill successfully made it out of the state legislature with overwhelming support and was signed into law.
Northern Pass land purchases questioned
Union Leader 5/8/17
The Union Leader last month interviewed Stewartstown dairy farmer Roderick McAllaster, who said he was offered around $4 million to use some of his property for Northern Pass. He said people he understood to be representing interests of Northern Pass made the offer. “A lot of people were working undercover for them,” McAllaster said.
Don't return to the bad old days on electric rates
Union Leader op-ed 5/8/17
If SB 128 becomes law, it would put at risk the current retail choices and cost-saving benefits enjoyed by New Hampshire’s industrial, commercial and residential consumers as a result of electricity market competition created by the Legislature in 1996. Twenty years ago, New Hampshire lawmakers determined that monopoly regulation, where government officials determine the prices at which utilities sell electricity, would be replaced with competition and market forces, which they rightly concluded would produce better outcomes for consumers. SB 128 would once again allow utilities to make risk-free investments guaranteed by the pocketbooks of New Hampshire electricity consumers.
Power Lines or Pristine Forests?
Yale owns vast tracts of forestland in New Hampshire and Maine through Bayroot LLC.1 Originally much of this land served as timber investments for Yale.2 More recently, Yale’s investment manager has used this land to develop a series of controversial wind farms. Now, after plans for another wind farm failed due to insufficient transmission capacity, it has leased a portion of this land for the development of a high-voltage transmission line that faces objections from environmentalists.
Alex Ray: Northern Pass Disruption In Plymouth Fatal To Business
InDepth NH 5/5/17
“If access were diverted, it would be fatal for our summer weddings, inn and restaurants and the employees who rely on that work,” Alex Ray said in a letter. “In the Monkey alone, the performance center relies heavily on Main St. parking for its concerts of upwards of 450 people and 25 employees– an economic engine that brings people from all over New England for top-name shows such as David Crosby.”
Northern Pass tower heights detailed
Union Leader 5/4/17
Meanwhile, Plymouth was a focus again as an attorney highlighted emails from businesspeople worried about construction hurting their businesses. “The effect of closing (even narrowing or detouring) the Main Street Corridor and eliminating parking is an invitation to disaster,” said an email from James Lurie and David Lurie with the Plymouth Furniture Co. on Main Street. Executives from a firm that studied the economic impact of construction on Plymouth said in filings that construction could lead to 50-plus jobs lost, depending on a total loss of parking spaces and other factors. Kenneth Bowes, Eversource’s vice president of engineering, said project officials will work to “dramatically reduce the time in that downtown area,” perhaps doing night work. Business owners can file claims for reimbursement for lost business due to Northern Pass, he said. Businesses should start collecting sales data “pre-project, so that it makes it that much easier to process a claim in the future,” Bowes said.
Grafton County Attorney Questions Northern Pass On Puzzling Land Buys
InDepth NH 5/5/17
Grafton County Attorney Lara Saffo dropped a bombshell at Thursday’s adjudicative hearing asking Northern Pass experts why the project purchased five North Country properties at highly inflated prices to the tune of $500,000 through four different LLCs instead of directly from the landowners.
Connecticut utility reports drop in electricity consumption
The Hour 5/4/17
Eversource transmits electricity and provides natural gas for 3.7 million customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, with dual headquarters in Boston and Hartford. Across Eversource territories in the first three months of 2017, electricity consumption was off 0.4 percent from a year earlier, while natural gas sales were up 4.6 percent. Overall revenues rose 2 percent to $2.1 billion, with first quarter profits up 6 percent to $259 million.
Safety records a hot topic at Northern Pass hearings
Union Leader 5/4/17
PAR Electrical Contractors Inc. — which will be responsible for overall project management, schedule and cost control for Northern Pass — was cited for eight violations in five states but not New Hampshire, according to the website for Good Jobs First, a national policy resource center that tracks violations. PAR’s parent company, Quanta Services of Houston, faced more than $1.1 million in penalties for health or safety violations as well as wage and hour violations since 2010, according to the website. The figures include fines, settlements and other costs companies might be ordered to pay.
Project Official: Northern Pass Construction Limited To 7 am to 7 pm, Noise Assessed Daily
InDepth NH 5/3/17
Northern Pass officials also agreed to move several tower locations in the final design for towers in the Pembroke area, but said they are somewhat limited in what they can do in that area due to the 150-foot right-of-way. The proposed transmission line would share the right-of-way with the existing distribution lines that have to be separated so they do not interfere with each other. As a result of the separation requirement and the size of the right-of-way, the section of line near the Allenstown boundary has some of the tallest towers along the route ranging from 120 to 140 feet.
Northern Pass assures state it will work with residents along construction zone
Union Leader 5/3/17
"And in that week of construction, we’d go out and knock on the doors again and let the residents know that we were coming, the type of work we would be doing, if there are any issues that we needed to be aware of, and so we work on a case-to-case basis along the right of way to make sure that we try to minimize the impacts. If they have a particular issue that they were dealing with on a particular day, we could stand down for that period of time,”
Eversource’s Chief Quinlan Listed as ‘Host’ For Sununu Fundraiser
InDepth NH 5/3/17
Eversource NH president Bill Quinlan is listed as one of 44 hosts for a fundraising reception for Gov. Chris Sununu on Thursday, which raised ethical questions among some opponents of the company’s controversial Northern Pass high-voltage transmission line project.
Eversource president among 44 co-hosts of Sununu fundraiser
Brian Tilton, a former radio talk show host, emceed a rally against Northern Pass on April 23. “This raises a serious ethical question for me,” he said. “How can Bill Quinlan host a $1,000-a-person fundraiser for a governor who has the power to appoint members of the Site Evaluation Committee and agency heads who are part of the Northern Pass review process?"
Northern Pass Expert: 3 Months of Construction Likely In Downtown Plymouth
InDepth NH 5/2/17
Counsel for the Public Thomas Pappas noted the area has many driveway cuts, shops, restaurants, businesses, government buildings and the university, and is heavily traveled by vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. “This is probably the heaviest traveled section of the underground portion and biggest tourist area,” Pappas noted, and Samuel Johnson, the lead project manager agreed.
Northern Pass officials describe Plymouth impacts
Union Leader 5/2/17
Traffic would be detoured around the roundabout in Plymouth’s downtown and some businesses there would lose parking spaces temporarily if Northern Pass is allowed to build underground lines along Main Street, witnesses testified Tuesday. Northern Pass has sent letters to some Plymouth businesses but hasn’t had face-to-face discussions about how the project might affect them, according to Samuel Johnson, lead project manager for Northern Pass.
Hearing focuses on Northern Pass disruption during construction
Union Leader 5/2/17
“You didn’t analyze whether or not the impacts from (construction-related) traffic will adversely affect businesses along the route, did you?” attorney Thomas Pappas asked a witness before a state committee considering the project. "No," said Lynn Farrington, a licensed professional traffic operations engineer for Louis Berger, who is advising Northern Pass.
Is NH Getting ‘Hoodwinked’ on Health and Safety By Northern Pass?
InDepth NH 5/1/17
It’s not about taking sides on various transmission projects, he said. “The truth is EMF (electromagnetic fields) are bad for you. That’s what the evidence says,” Henshaw said. Henshaw and others questioned how Bailey could tout powerline safety after he served on an international panel 16 years ago that unanimously found electromagnetic fields pose a possible leukemia risk to children.
SEC Allows Video Testimony in Northern Pass Trial
Society for the Protection of NH Forests 4/27/17
"While the videos will be admitted, it will be up to the Subcommittee to determine the weight to accord the videos in the context of this proceeding. The Applicant’s request to strike the videos filed by the Clarksville to Stewartstown Group of Intervenors and Abutting Property Owners Bethlehem to Plymouth Group of Intervenors is denied."
Against the Northern Pass line
Yale Daily News 4/26/17
Additionally, the construction of hydroelectric plants necessitates the creation of massive reservoirs that flood terrestrial ecosystems. By diverting water, these reservoirs destroy wetlands and shallow-water habitats, release toxins from sediments into aquatic food systems and restrict the movement of fish. If Yale fails to block this project, Hydro-Quebec will profit immensely, rewarding them for their irresponsible and destructive land use practices. The salmon populations in the Betsiamites River that the Pessamit Innu depend on as a critical source of food and income will likely be decimated beyond recovery as water levels fluctuate drastically due to the increased demand that would come from the Northern Pass.
More Protests on Northern Pass Project
Union Leader 4/24/17
"How it would affect our tourism industry, which is our biggest driver of jobs and our economy in this state; because people don't want to come here and look at towers up to 155 feet tall," he explained. "If they wanted to do that, they would just stay home."
Northern Pass foes: Fight isn't over
Union Leader 4/24/17
“The time is now to stand up and be counted,” said master of ceremonies Brian Tilton of Hooksett. “We have to tell the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee that is currently reviewing this project that we stand united in saying no to Northern Pass because their big question that they need to know is will this project benefit New Hampshire and what’s your answer.” No,” the crowd roared.
Northern Pass protestors rally at State House
"We are here to stand united; to tell the legislators in this building and to tell the governor that we are universally opposed to this project," Hooksett resident Brian Tilton said.
Hundreds Circle State House To Protest Northern Pass
InDepth NH 4/23/17
Peter Martin of Plymouth spoke to the crowd as well. The people of New Hampshire, its communities and the environment have never been a consideration of Eversource, Martin said. “That was a mistake because Eversource is now facing serious public and financial blowback,” Martin said. He believes Northern Pass is the linchpin for a massive buildout all over New Hampshire. “We are all in danger,” Martin said. “It’s a necessary first step in a massive project,” Martin said.
Northern Pass at the SEC Week Two
Society for the Protection of NH Forests 4/21/17
The question for the SEC would seem to be whether the Northern Pass application is disadvantaged by the lack of any firm market for the electricity that would be delivered if Northern Pass were to be approved and built. This even raised the possibility that Northern Pass could be approved by the SEC, but ultimately never built because it simply isn't competitive. When asked, Bowes stated "I don't know how or where Hydro-Quebec plans to get most of the revenue from the [Northern Pass] project."
Anti-Northern Pass Rally Held at the Statehouse April 23
Anti-Northern Pass activists will be rallying at the Statehouse at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 23, 2017, according to a press release. The org Protect the Granite State has dubbed the event, "Hands Around the State House Rally Against Northern Pass." Attendees will be meeting at the Statehouse Plaza, 107 N. Main St. in Concord at around 12:45 p.m. and after speeches, will encircle the building.
Order Denying Motion for Reconsideration of Power Purchase Agreement
Public Utilies Commission 4/20/17
In light of our precedent (admittedly under appeal by Eversource before the New Hampshire Supreme Court) established by Order No. 25,950, we have concluded that RSA Chapter 374-F prohibits Eversource from entering into the proposed PPA, and we affirm our conclusions that the proposal “goes against the overriding principle of restructuring, which is to harness the power of competitive markets to reduce costs to consumers by separating the functions of generation, transmission, and distribution. Allowing Eversource to use the SCRC mechanism as a ratepayer financed ‘backstop’ for its proposed 20-year PPA would serve as an impermissible intermingling of a generation activity with distribution rates.”
FERC Letter to Sen. Shaheen
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 4/19/17
What this means is that there is no record at FERC that the two parties to the TSA have actually agreed to amend the agreement to fund the project now before the SEC - the project with 60 miles buried. The expired TSA on record with FERC agrees to bury the 8 miles in Coos only.
Are long-term power deals a bad deal for ratepayers?
Don’t tinker with New Hampshire’s electric utility restructuring law to enable Eversource to lock customers in to a 20-year contract for Northern Pass power that the Public Utilities Commission has rejected. And especially don’t do it when it is in the middle of finally divesting itself of all other energy assets. That, in so many words, was the testimony of two PUC officials, testifying at a hearing on Senate Bill 128, which would empower the body to figure out if such long-term contracts would lower rates for electric customers while minimizing stranded costs.
Northern Pass’ Potential Health Concerns Debated At Hearing
InDepth NH 4/18/17
Roth said New Hampshire does not have standards for exposure to electromagnetic fields, but other states do. He cited Connecticut standards, which were developed with Northeast Utilities’ (now Eversource) participation. He said the Connecticut agency similar to the Site Evaluation Committee adopted a policy of prudent avoidance, which means low- to no-cost changes like avoiding placing transmission lines near residential areas, schools, day care facilities, playgrounds and youth camps, should be used.
The GOP’s dangerous dependence on Northern Pass
Some of the same tired arguments made for Northern Pass were made during the Seabrook Nuclear I and II push in the 1980s. The results weren’t pretty then, and they won’t be now. Like Seabrook, Northern Pass is being hailed and promoted as the answer to our energy “problems.” In the 1980s that idea ended in the bankruptcy of PSNH — now renamed Eversource.
Northern Pass Trial Week One
Society for the Protection of NH Forests 4/14/17
Regarding the Coos Loop, Eversource is maintaining that the upgrade of the northwest quadrant is not only necessary to "make room for Northern Pass", but is among the "benefits" of the project, and that it would allow for future development of renewable energy generation in northern New Hampshire. Under questioning from Pappas, it was evident such a project could well be a 100MW wind development that would be done in conjunction with large landowner Bayroot. Bayroot, a forestland investment tied to Yale University, has agreed to be paid by Northern Pass to lease land to host 24 miles of overhead Northern Pass transmission line. As part of that agreement, it became apparent that Northern Pass Transmission has an option to develop a 100MW wind project.
Company forced to defend Northern Pass electricity project
Associated Press 4/13/17
Pappas also cited an agreement with Roger's Campground in Lancaster, in which the Forward New Hampshire fund paid for the installation of an electric vehicle charging station. In exchange, he said, it required the company to sign an agreement to support the project. "That was certainly part of the deal which was logical," Quinlan said of the Roger's agreement, adding the company only wanted to ensure the funding wouldn't go to anyone who "would disparage the source of the funding."
Eversource grilled over why the plan isn't to bury all of Northern Pass
Union Leader 4/13/17
“And they designed it underground because they didn’t have the land rights to go overheard. Isn’t that correct?” Pappas continued. “I think that’s true. Yes, again, I was not part of that decision making,” Quinlan “I believe that was a consideration” Quinlan said.
More Than 80 NH Businesses Demand Northern Pass Burial
InDepth NH 4/13/17
A petition signed by nearly 90 small and local businesses from throughout New Hampshire calling for full burial of the proposed Northern Pass project has been delivered to Governor Sununu and New Hampshire’s Site Evaluation Committee. These businesses, which represent the heart of the state’s economy, recognize the devastating harm Northern Pass would inflict on the New Hampshire scenery and economic potential.
Amid Confusion, Northern Pass Hearings Begin Thursday With William Quinlan
InDepth NH 4/12/17
“Like many intervenors, I have spent hundreds of hours reading portions of the application (the whole application would take months of reading non-stop), doing research, looking at discovery data (submitted by the applicant in response to questions at tech. sessions), trying to find discovery data ….,” Pastoriza said in a long email explaining the complex issues intervenors have to study to make their case.
Northern Pass gets day in court Thursday as committee hearings start
Concord Monitor 4/11/17
William Quinlan, president of Eversource’s New Hampshire operations, is slated to be the first witness to take the stand in this courtroom-like proceeding, which starts 9 a.m. Thursday in the committee offices at 49 Donovan St. in Concord. He is slated to be the first of seven witnesses from Eversource, including company officials dealing with the power grid, transmission lines and business dealings, and a scientist who specializes in the health effects of electromagnetic fields.
New Granite State Power Link project rich in rights- of-way
Union Leader 4/11/17
Rossignoli disagreed: “We feel that the benefits of this project, and the way of using the existing rights-of-way and existing infrastructure and the minimal environmental impact and cost-effectiveness that results from that, are so compelling that we can permit and commercialize this project in a very timely manner.”
Massachusetts Requests to Carry Canadian Renewable Energy
On March 31, five Massachusetts electric utilities and the state’s Department of Energy Resources issued a request for proposals for projects that would provide the 1,200 megawatts of power, enough to power about 180,000 homes. The proposals are due this summer.
Eversource petition to lease rights-of-way to Northern Pass Transmission
NH PUC 4/6/17
In this Order, the Commission determines that Eversource has made a prima facie showing that it has legal authority to lease and divide the rights of certain easements it holds to Northern Pass Transmission, LLC. The Commission makes this ruling for the limited purpose of allowing it to consider the merits of the lease agreement between Eversource and NPT under RSA 374:30. This Order should not be construed as containing any decision about whether the lease meets the applicable standards for approval. Nor should it be construed as determining any property rights among Eversource, NPT, and any of the owners of the properties that are subject to the easements. Only a court of competent jurisdiction may determine individual property owners’ rights.
Ashland Selectment Discuss Northern Pass Access to Town Facility
Plymouth Record Enterprise 4/5/17
The selectmen began their meeting with a non-public session with attorney Stephen Whitley on the site access agreement proposed by Northern Pass to enter town owned lands in order to prepare for the proposed power line project. The powerline would pass through the land used for the town's water supply wells and the sewage treatment plant. After a half-hour private discussion, Newton explained that the attorney will rewrite the proposed agreement to allow access only for engineering studies and for no other purpose. Lamos later reported that the site evaluation committee studying the Northern Pass project will visit Ashland on April 6.
No Pay, No Play: SEC Northern Pass Hearings Are Premature
Protect the Granite State 4/5/17
It’s become increasingly clear in the last few weeks that the Northern Pass project cannot go forward financially unless it wins the Massachusetts Clean Power RFP on terms favorable to Northern Pass. To proceed with the state Site Evaluation Committee adjudicatory hearings before the Massachusetts RFP is awarded will be a colossal waste of state, municipal and private resources.
The Northern Pass Project and Hydro-Québec's "Green Energy" - Aboriginal leaders say Hydro-Quebec lied to the New England public
Conseil des Innus de Pessamit 3/31/17
Three Innu First Nation leaders stated their case concerning the Northern Pass Project during a conference held today at Yale University under the auspices of the Yale Environmental Student Coalition. They stated that the project will accentuate the destruction of the iconic Betsiamites River on Quebec's North Shore. They also argued that Hydro-Quebec lied to the New England public about the conservation of Atlantic salmon in the same river, and also about the displacement of Pessamit Innu families during the implementation of hydropower projects on their Nitassinan (ancestral territory).
PUC Could Intercept Northern Pass on Eminent Domain Grab
Protect the Granite State 3/31/17
As for PSNH leasing to Northern Pass rights of way it purchased from private property owners, let’s simply consider the fact that PSNH itself took the position a few years ago that these rights couldn’t be leased to a third party when a telecommunications company merely wanted to lease space on PSNH utility poles for fiber optic cables. PSNH argued then to the PUC that adding cables from a third party to existing PSNH poles would be an impermissible burden on the underlying owners of the property.
Eversource Energy and Hydro-Québec Reaffirm Commitment to Northern Pass Project and Clarify Cost Recovery Structure
Northern Pass Transmission, Inc. (NPT), a wholly owned subsidiary of Eversource Energy, is developing the U.S. transmission project to interconnect with Hydro-Québec's system and allow the delivery of 1,090 MW of clean hydropower into New England. NPT is responsible for financing and constructing the project, and will then recover its costs once the project is in service delivering power to the region. It is the method by which project costs will be recovered that has raised questions recently.
Northern Pass opponents seek delay of SEC hearings
Union Leader 3/31/17
Laconia attorney Steven Whitley, whose clients include New Hampton, Littleton, Deerfield and Pembroke, said in a filing with the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee that a delay would provide time for Northern Pass and others to respond to a request for proposals to supply renewable energy to Massachusetts.
Senate approves bill that could revive purchase of Northern Pass power
Concord Monitor 3/31/17
Eversource had sought a 20-year power purchase agreement to buy hydropower off Northern Pass and then resell it on the competitive market. Any net losses or gains from the sale would be passed on to customers. The PUC said the setup would violate state laws deregulating the energy industry, because the utility’s sale of hydropower is essentially the same as owning a power plant.
Group seeks changes to Hydro-Québec's Northern Pass project in the Eastern Townships
Montreal Gazette 3/29/17
SOS Mont Hereford, was launched on Wednesday in Montreal by Nature Québec, the Estrie Regional Environmental Council, the Appalachian Corridor and the Protected Natural Environments Network. The group is concerned with the current route chosen by Hydro-Québec for its Northern Pass project, which crosses Mont Hereford and is located near the villages of East Hereford and St-Herménégilde, in the Eastern Townships.
State rejects key piece of Northern Pass proposal
Concord Monitor 3/29/17
It’s not clear what price Eversource agreed to pay for the hydropower because those costs are currently redacted from its filings, though the state’s consumer advocate is pushing to have the figures unsealed.
This Week Has Seen Major Setbacks For Eversource, Northern Pass. Here’s Why
The month of March hasn’t been good to Northern Pass and its parent company, Eversource. First, there were the conflicting media reports that its Canadian partner, Hydro-Québec (HQ), isn’t paying for any part of the hydroelectric transmission line in New Hampshire. Then, there were allegations that their Transmission Service Agreement (TSA) with HQ expired. Now, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) ruled against a petition filed by Eversource for a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with HQ, and there is a competing bid from a rival energy company that could give them a run for their money.
Response to Counsel for the Public
Inside Sources 3/28/17
Response from Eversource regarding the Counsel for the Public's questions about the Transmission Service Agreement.
National Grid Dives Into the Quebec to New England Energy Fray
InDepth NH 3/28/17
The Forest Society views National Grid’s proposal as competition that would easily beat the separate pending Northern Pass application to bring 1,090 megawatts of hydropower from Hydro-Quebec to New England via a 192-mile transmission line from Pittsburg to Deerfield.
PUC Rejects Eversource Plan for 20-year Agreement With Hydro-Quebec
InDepth NH 3/28/17
The motion for confidential treatment of the PPA’s essential terms remains pending, Kreis said. “The PUC should deny the motion because now that the contract has been rejected, there is no longer a reason to keep its terms a secret. It’s not like anyone else has a similar deal to cut with Eversource New Hampshire.”
NH Commission Stops Eversource Scheme to Gamble Public Money
Conservation Law Foundation 3/27/17
“For the second time in six months, the PUC has shot down an Eversource scheme that would put New Hampshire businesses and families at risk,” said CLF New Hampshire Director Tom Irwin. “From financing gas pipelines to tipping the scales for Northern Pass, Eversource keeps trying – and failing – to gamble its customers’ hard-earned money on unnecessary and unwanted infrastructure. As the illusion of Northern Pass’s public value continues to be shattered, it’s only a matter of time before the whole thing comes tumbling down.”
PUC Rejects Power Purchase Agreement
NH Public Utilities Commission 3/27/17
"That proposal, however, goes against the overriding principle of restructuring, which is to harness the power of competitive markets to reduce costs to consumers by separating the functions of generation, transmission, and distribution. Allowing Eversource to use the SCRC mechanism as a ratepayer financed “backstop” for its proposed 20-year PPA would serve as an impermissible intermingling of a generation activity with distribution rates."
Amid Conflicting Statements, State Probes Deeper Into Northern Pass
Caledonian Record 3/27/17
Since then, however, FERC spokesman Craig Cano has confirmed to The Caledonian-Record that HQ and Eversource will need a new approval if the financial arrangement has changed, as HQ said it has. “If the partners develop a different cost recovery mechanism, then they would need to come back to FERC,” said Cano.
Capital Beat: Where in the world is Gov. Chris Sununu?
Concord Monitor 3/25/17
Sununu didn’t make the public aware he was in another country until the morning of his meeting with the Quebec Premier, leaving residents and the press no time to get there and hear his remarks, which included another push for Northern Pass.
Consumer Advocates Asks Questions
New Hampshire Office of the Consumer Advocate 3/24/17
These are great questions from my counterpart in SEC proceedings, Public Counsel Peter Roth. As far as we know based on FERC-approved arrangements, Northern Pass is a participant-funded project. This means Eversource invests the money to build the project and recovers its cost from Hydro Quebec (rather than through regional transmission rates). The failure of both HQ and Eversource to reaffirm that arrangement in unambiguous fashion, as questions have proliferated in recent days, is puzzling and worrisome. To reiterate: The Office of the Consumer Advocate is agnostic on the question of whether the SEC should approve Northern Pass. But if the project is no longer participant-funded, and NH ratepayers are thus potentially directly on the hook for project costs -- well, that would be of great concern to us.
Public Counsel To Northern Pass: Who’s Paying For This Project?
InDepth NH 3/24/17
“The implication from this statement is that the revenue from any contracts associated with the Mass. RFP, in combination with other revenues such as from the capacity market, will be used to recover transmission service costs that HQ will be paying for NPT. In Canadian press reports, HQ was quoted as saying it would in fact abandon the Project if the Massachusetts bid was not successful.”
Northern Pass Backing Of Balsams Totals $5 Million
InDepth NH 3/23/17
“This has allowed the Balsams Resort to complete the required third-party reports, including the Work Force Study, to allow the advancement of the BFA application process,” a news release from the company said.
Hydro-Québec posts $2.86-billion profit in 2016
Montreal Gazette 3/22/17
The profits beat the utility’s predictions by $311 million, which Hydro-Québec attributes to growing electricity exports and cost-cutting measures it achieved through reducing its staff. The company cut 455 jobs, mostly through attrition, last year. Read HQ's quarterly report.
Sununu reaffirms Northern Pass support during Canada visit
Associated Press 3/20/17
New Hampshire reporters were not notified of the trip until Monday morning, and Sununu's office did not provide details on remarks he made during a luncheon. Sununu's comments about Northern Pass and NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, came during a press conference with Couillard that was streamed online.
Northern Pass Foes Plan to Circle the State House on April 23
John Harrigan of Colebrook, an outspoken opponent of Northern Pass, said he got the idea for the rally last week after reading published reports indicating Eversource and Hydro-Quebec were at odds over paying for the transmission line.
NPT's "outreach" to North Country towns rejected
Caledonian Record 3/17/17
Schibanoff said, “We felt that stipulation amounts to waving the white flag, and we are in no way ready to surrender. There are no conditions under which the project as proposed to the SEC would be acceptable, or, for that matter, that the SEC could impose upon it.”
A mess for Eversource, HydroQuebec
Dolly McPhaul, Concord Monitor op-ed 3/15/17
It is time Northern Pass realizes that its project, with its antiquated towers and lines, its partner’s increasing environmental problems in Canada, a tenacious public in New Hampshire that will not tolerate above-ground lines and towers, a reduction of energy needs, a reduction of energy costs, failure to be included in the sources of energy for 2020-21 in the Massachusetts auction, disagreement with HydroQuebec over funding, HydroQuebec talking with the Northern Pass competitors and finally mentioning possible termination of its involvement in the Northern Pass, creates a very negative outlook for Eversource, the Northern Pass and its stockholders.
Is Hydro-Quebec Having Second Thoughts about Northern Pass?
Society for the Protection of NH Forests 3/15/17
The TSA is important in that it outlines how Eversource is paid to build the Northern Pass line if it is ever approved. It is unclear at this point how the absence of a TSA might impact the upcoming 'trial' portion of the Northern Pass docket that is before the NH Site Evaluation Committee (SEC). The SEC adjudicative process is already behind schedule, and may prove difficult to complete for any decision to be rendered by the scheduled date of September 30, 2017.
Is Hydro-Québec Having ‘Second Thoughts’ On Northern Pass?
Jack Savage, spokesman for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, which opposes the project in its present form, said there is also a fully permitted transmission line about to begin construction in Vermont available to Hydro-Québec. “No wonder Hydro-Québec is having second thoughts,” Savage said.
Hydro-Quebec Now Unwilling To Pay For Line In U.S.
Caledonian Record 3/10/17
“Facts on the ground have changed,” said Bob Baker member of the North Country-based Responsible Energy Action LLC, a citizens’ education, advocacy and action group focused on N.H. energy policy. “The transmission line now costs at least half a billion more than originally planned,” he said. “The capacity of the line has been reduced by 20 percent. The wholesale market price of electricity in New England is lower than its been in 13 years. So the original deal no longer makes sense. It is dead. If there is a new deal, it is slowly being revealed by reading between the inconsistent lines published by HQ and Eversource on their respective sides of the border. HQ is no longer willing to take on the risk of loss.”
Understanding Northern Pass Cost Recovery
Northern Pass 3/9/17
Eversource and HQ are working together to submit a very competitive proposal to Massachusetts for the delivery of hydropower from Québec using the Northern Pass transmission line, which will go a long way towards achieving the Commonwealth’s goals. Recovery of the Northern Pass project costs will be part of the proposal.
Hydro-Québec and sale at a loss in the United States
Journal de Montreal 3/9/17
Hydro-Québec has refrained from bearing the costs of Eversource, although everything indicated the opposite, considering that the selling prices in New Hampshire range around 3 to 4 sous of kWh, whereas, due to the burial , Hydro will only offer a price of 5.5 under kw / h including transport. In short, to sell its electricity, Hydro will have to do it at a price lower than its production and export costs.
Hydro-Quebec to New Hampshire Ratepayers: “We Will Not Pay a Penny”
Protect the Granite State 3/9/17
Reardon concluded by noting, “Based on past experience it’s impossible to believe Eversource that no one in New Hampshire will pay for the construction of the Northern Pass transmission line. PSNH can change its name to Eversource, but it can’t change its history of shifting the cost of risky investments to New Hampshire families and businesses. There’s no reason to believe them now about who will pay for Northern Pass. We will pay for it – but only if we allow Northern Pass to succeed.”
Hydro is considering abandoning the Northern Pass project
Québec Journal 3/8/17
Based on the documentation available on the US promoter's website and an exchange with an Eversource spokesperson, Le Journal de Montréal reported on Wednesday morning that all development and construction costs of the project would be borne by Hydro-Québec. The Crown Corporation replied that this information was no longer valid. "The model we put forward for this project in 2010 is not the same today. It was indeed a model where Hydro-Québec had a greater financial obligation south of the border," said Hydro-Québec spokesperson Lynn St-Laurent.
Hydro-Québec won’t pay a cent for line on American side
We won’t pay a cent for the Northern Pass transmission line on the American side. American consumers will pay the transmission costs in the U.S. through their electricity rates. The project is designed to be profitable to Hydro-Québec, and thus to all Quebecers.
BULLDOG NOTE: The original link has been removed: http://news.hydroquebec.com/en/press-releases/1178/northern-pass-project-hydro-quebec-wont-pay-a-cent-for-line-on-american-side/
Grafton County Says ‘Glaring Mistake’ In Northern Pass Plan
Caledonian Record 3/3/17
The Grafton County attorney is asking the state to delay an upcoming hearing on Northern Pass because of what the county commission is calling a “glaring mistake” in the company’s plans for crossing the Gale River in Franconia.
Public counsel fires back over businesses’ Northern Pass claims
He said he attended 10 public meetings last winter and spring “and carefully listened to the concerns of the public, including those representing business interests. I held 6 public workshops last summer where I met a number of business owners. I met with business leaders and owners in Plymouth to hear their concerns. I generally see and read numerous comments from the public including those of many businesses and others who support the project.”
New England’s Wholesale Electricity Prices in 2016 Were the Lowest Since 2003
ISO-New England 2/27/17
The 2016 electricity and natural gas prices and the total market value were the lowest since 2003, when New England’s current competitive electricity markets were established. The average annual wholesale power price in New England last year was $28.94 per megawatt-hour (MWh). The total value of New England’s wholesale electric energy market in 2016 was $4.1 billion, $1.1 billion less than the $5.2 billion value for wholesale electricity in 2012, the previous year with the lowest market value. The average price of natural gas—the fuel used to generate 49% of the electricity produced in the region—was $3.09 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in 2016. (See table for year-by-year comparisons.)
New review is critical of Northern Pass project
Union Leader 2/15/17
“The (London Economics International study) provides almost no detail as to its inputs, making it virtually impossible to verify the results. Pages upon pages of assumptions, inputs, and intermediate outputs are blacked out,” reads the new review.
NH Magazine 2/14/17
Then, as now, construction of underground power line routes is extremely expensive, so, in 1975, the utility company withdrew from official consideration its Deerfield-to-Laconia-through-Loudon power line proposal. In the end, no such power line project was ever built in the corridor. Lights still go on. Loudon Ridge is still a scenic rural area of farms and forest. The Bumfagon lives. No above-ground public utility installation has been constructed in Loudon since, though at this time an underground utility is under construction along Route 106.
Power auction goes smoothly for 2020-2021
CommonWealth Magazine 2/9/17
Although the closings of the Brayton Point power plant in Somerset this year and the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth in 2019 have raised concerns about whether the region, and particularly southeastern Massachusetts, has adequate generating capacity, the forward-capacity auction suggests the market has filled the hole left by those plant retirements fairly easily.
Ligne Québec — New Hampshire: Hydro-Québec devra refaire ses devoirs, conclut le BAPE
Le Devoir 2/10/17
"The BAPE also notes that even if the project enables Hydro-Québec to 'seize business opportunities,' the information available 'does not allow a reliable assessment of long-term profitability,' notably because of 'the absence of a firm supply agreement at this time.' The organization therefore considers it necessary to validate first the profitability of the Quebec - New Hampshire line. The problem is that during the BAPE review process, Hydro-Québec was unable to 'provide reliable revenue projections,' since these depend on a number of factors."
Court order: DOE failed to consider environmental impacts on Mexico
Industrial Wind Action 1/30/17
This important decision by the U.S. District Court of the Southern District in California found that the Department of Energy failed to follow NEPA when it issued a permit to construct a transmission line that crossed over from Mexico into the United States. The Court order that since the U.S. portion of the Line and the Mexican portion of the Line were literally "two links of a single chain" connecting the Substation to the ESJ Wind Farm, the DOE was required to consider the impacts of the project on Mexico. Portions of the decision are shown below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the document link on this page.
Balsams Developer: $2 Million Loan Not Linked To Support of Northern Pass
When pressed by attorney Amy Manzelli, who represents the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, if his support of the project was necessary to receive the loan, Otten answered, “The loan. No.” “Was anything else provided to the Balsams conditioned upon your support?” Manzelli asked. Otten responded: “There are no other documents that I’m going to discuss or talk about at this juncture and I do not feel I need to support Northern Pass for any reason other than I believe it’s beneficial to me and my business.”
18 Towns Will Again Try To Get Clarity On Laws Dealing With Control of Local Roads
This time, Ellis expects the motion will be filed in the regular docket of the Site Evaluation Committee subcommittee that is hearing the application of Northern Pass, which plans to build a controversial 192-mile transmission line from Pittsburg to Deerfield. The high-voltage powerline would bring hydropower from Hydro-Quebec to the New England grid.
Northern Pass communities want a say in project’s permitting process
Concord Monitor 1/13/17
Concord’s deputy city solicitor, Danielle Pacik, said the city supported the petition because it hoped it’d get a final decision sooner and know how to proceed. Otherwise, an unfavorable decision could be handed down at the last minute, opening up the possibility that construction begins while an appeal is still pending, she said.
Bill would give municipalities voice on utility projects
Foster's Daily Democrat 1/11/17
"The idea is, people in Durham and up north are feeling trampled to some extent by the process of siting these facilities," Burton said. "This levels the playing field between a large corporation with a guaranteed rate of return and a small town trying to protect itself from serious environmental harm."
The problem with utility projects? Fixed costs
Concord Monitor Op-Ed 1/5/17
High fixed costs are probably why last October the Hydro Quebec and Northern Pass projects lost out on energy supply contracts with Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. They were instead awarded to competing wind and solar projects with lower fixed costs.
City will not support petition over control of local roads and Northern Pass
Berlin Daily Sun 1/5/17
But Grenier viewed the issue differently, arguing the SEC was established specifically so that large energy projects like Northern Pass would not have to go through every municipality for approval. Instead, he said the Legislature vested the SEC with the authority to review and approve the planning, siting, construction and operation of energy facilities.
Steve Ellis: Town roads and Northern Pass's back door eminent domain
Bury Northern Pass 12/24/16
On December 20, 2016, 18 New Hampshire municipalities and others filed a petition asking the SEC to rule that Northern Pass does not have the legal right to use locally-maintained town roads without municipal permission. Project applicants have been proceeding without such municipal permission. The petition contains appendices with affadavits from property owners whom the Applicants paid in order to perform required geotechnical surveys on their private land next to town roads in Stewartstown. Following is a summary of the petition, with a link to the full text, news reports, and a letter by Steve Ellis, chair of the Pittsburg Select Board, asking other NH municipalities to support the petition at the SEC. This matter, Ellis notes, affects all NH towns and cities and is larger than the issue of Northern Pass per se.
When it Comes to Northern Pass, Who Controls the Roads?
“Towns should not and cannot stand by and allow large out-of-state entities to usurp local control of town roads,” Ellis said in the letter. “As elected officials it is our duty to protect our citizens from any outside entity that arrogantly tries to use us for their own economic benefit and to our detriment.”
Sununu Inaugural Website
The first three big sponsors are NextEra Energy Resources, operator of the Seabrook nuclear power plant; Eversource, the state’s largest utility and owner of the Northern Pass transmission lines in New Hampshire; and Gallagher, Callahan and Gartrell, a longtime in influential law and lobbying firm.
18 NH towns seek more local control over Northern Pass siting
Associated Press 12/22/16
Attorneys for the town are requesting a declaratory ruling on the matter from the Site Evaluation Committee, the state body that offers state approval for the project siting. The Ashland Water and Sewer Department, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, and the Appalachian Mountain Club have also signed the petition.
The King of the North Country
Hartford Courant 12/15/16
“I tell people, ‘I’ll take you around northern Québec and show you the destruction: ancestral burial grounds flooded, displaced villages, 7,000 Indians forced to leave their homes.’ Hydro-Québec doesn’t give a damn about us, and none of the power stays here anyway. It goes to the big suburban markets, where not enough attention is paid to conserving energy.” He likens the Northern Pass project to a neighbor traipsing clear through his house without asking or deigning to remove his mud-caked boots.
Hydro-Power Line From Canada To Southern New England Gets Final Federal Approval
Hartford Courant 12/15/16
The New England Clean Power Link project will run for more than 97 miles along the bottom of Lake Champlain and another 55.7 miles along town roads and state highways on land. Construction is expected to begin next year and developers plan to have the transmission line fully operating by 2019.Transmission Developers Inc. and it’s New England subsidiary have already received approvals from Vermont state agencies and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the new power line.
Eversource starts work on new facility in Franklin
Concord Monitor 12/14/16
Eversource is building a new substation called “Daniel” next to its existing Webster substation along Webster Lake Road. These types of facilities act as a tool to reduce electricity voltage from power lines to an appropriate level for home use. Tree clearing began this month, construction should start in mid-2017 and the project is expected to be completed in its entirety by early 2018.
DOE’s NH Meetings on Northern Pass Closed To Public, Press
“Caitlin, I do not believe it is legal for the DOE to prevent non-consulting parties from attending these meetings,” Pastoriza wrote. “This continued secrecy is absurd and only serves to enable damage to the resources DOE is supposed to be identifying and recognizing so they can be protected.”
Hydro-Québec eyes new long-term power accords in U.S. Northeast
Globe & Mail 12/6/16
Power sales outside Quebec generated $1.7-billion ($1.3-billion U.S.) of revenue last year, representing about 13 per cent of the company’s sales. Three lines in the planning process– the Champlain Hudson Power Express, the New England Clean Power Link, and Northern Pass – could allow the provincially owned utility to boost exports south.
My Turn: Replace Eversource with a true cooperative electric utility
Terry Conin op-ed, Concord Monitor 12/3/16
This status imposes risks of costs on ratepayers that Northern Pass should bear alone. It also exposes the company’s Forward N.H. Plan promise that “New Hampshire residents will not pay any of the cost of building or operating the Northern Pass project” as a bald-faced lie. With NPT’s new status there’s an excellent chance that N.H. ratepayers will assume at least some of the AC line costs from Franklin to Deerfield, and quite possibly the more onerous risk of financial burden for the DC line.
Northern Pass Objects to Quebec’s Pessamit Innu’s Attempt To Intervene
Louis Archambault, a biologist and consultant who represents the Pessamit Innu, said Monday the objection raises a number of questions he hopes to legally resolve. Archambault wants to find out what recourse the Pessamit Innu have to what he says are factual inaccuracies in Northern Pass’ objection.
Deerfield raises $10k to hire attorney to fight Northern Pass
Union Leader 11/21/16
The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to accept a donation of over $10,000 raised by residents on Monday. But this money will be eaten up fast — based on the current bills, the town will only have a few hundred dollars left in their legal fund.
Pessamit Innu Chief of Quebec Files Motion to Intervene in Northern Pass
Martin Murray, spokesman for Northern Pass, said the project is aware of the petition but has not yet decided whether to respond to it. Michael Iacopino, the attorney for the Site Evaluation Committee, said the deadline to intervene passed months ago, but it might still be possible to do so. The chairman of the Site Evaluation Committee subcommittee that will ultimately decide Northern Pass, Martin Honigberg, could allow the late motion to intervene if it doesn’t interfere with the prompt disposition of the case, Iacopino said.
NEPGA Joint Legal Memo on PSNH/Northern Pass Lease Agreement
Joint legal memo from NEPGA, the City of Concord and the New Hampshire Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests in the New Hampshire PUC docket (DE 15-464) to approve the transfer of rights, by way of a Lease Agreement, to easements and rights-of-way along the proposed route for Northern Pass.
Northern Pass Making Waves in North Country Senate Race
“You know, I’ve watched them try to get legislation to require these lines to be buried along state owned rights of way, and they can’t even get it as a recommendation passed," McPhaul said. "I mean, there’s no doubt about it, I would fight for that.”
Quebec - New-Hampshire Interconnection Project - Aboriginal chiefs say Hydro-Quebec lied to the New England public
Pessamit First Nation 10/31/16
Two Innu leaders stated their case concerning the Quebec – New-Hampshire Interconnection Project at a meeting with the Bureau of Public Hearings on the Environment (BAPE), held last week in Sherbrooke. A case which states that the project will accentuate the destruction of the iconic Betsiamites River on Quebec's North Shore. They also argued that Hydro-Quebec lied to the New England public about the conservation of Atlantic salmon in the same river, and also about the displacement of Pessamit Innu families during the implementation of hydropower projects on their Nitassinan (ancestral territory).
New England States Move Toward Renewables Contracts
RTO Insider 10/28/16
Two high-profile projects that would have imported Canadian hydropower did not make the cut: Eversource Energy’s Northern Pass, which is planned to run through New Hampshire; and Anbaric Transmission’s Vermont Green Line, which would have connected wind power in New York, combined with Canadian hydropower, and be buried under Lake Champlain and underground in Vermont.
Several transmission projects that would move wind power from Maine to load centers farther south were also rejected in the RFP. Eversource’s 600-MW Clean Energy Connect between Massachusetts and New York did not advance.
Three New England states move on 460 MW of renewables
The three states rejected proposals for hydroelectric generation from Canada to be delivered via the planned Northern Pass power line and wind power from northern Maine that would have required new transmission capacity.
Major Setback for Northern Pass
ENGLISH TRANSLATION: "The three states of New England, who had launched a call for proposals for purchase of clean energy, have retained neither tenders by Hydro-Quebec, which is a major setback for the corporation which wants to increase its export earnings.
Hydro-Québec and its partner Eversource relied on the contract with the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island to finance their joint project Northern Pass, a new transmission line of 1.6 billion US between Quebec and New Hampshire.
The decision by the three States not to accept the proposal of Hydro-Québec and its partners is a blow to Northern Pass, but it does not mean the death of the project, according to the corporation. "The project is still feasible," said his spokesman, Gary Sutherland.
According to him, Hydro-Québec and its partners are now targeting Eversource the tender to come from the state of Massachusetts, which particularly involves the purchase of hydroelectric power. "This is now on our radar," said he said.
This tender, expected in April 2017, however, is more modest than done jointly by the three states of the region.
The proposed Hydro-Québec and Eversource was by far the largest bid submitted in the framework of the joint tender. It was for the supply of 6.3 terawatt hours of electricity per year.
Hydro-Québec submitted a second proposal with other partners, including Vermont Greenline and a producer of wind power in northern New York State, which was not adopted either.
No reason has been made public to explain the choice of bidders. The three states have however chosen feasible projects locally, and no need to build a cross-border transmission line.
The seven selected projects totaling 460 megawatts, mainly energy wind and solar source.
The decision of the Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island is the culmination of a process that began in February 2015. It was a great first could have become the most important long-term contract ever signed by Hydro-Québec .
The corporation has set a goal of doubling its 2030 revenue, increasing exports and by acquiring assets abroad.
Its recent attempt to get hold of some of RTE, the largest electricity transmission network in Europe, 4 billion, failed this summer."
Northern Pass Left Out of Three-State RFP
Society for the Protection of NH Forests 10/27/16
But it is also the case that Northern Pass is just one of many proposed projects in a competitive energy market. Eversource had also bid another project they call Clean Energy Connect, which would be a new 600-megawatt, 25-mile transmission line between Hinsdale, Mass., and Easton, N.Y., but apparently got shut out of that, too.
Northern Pass Protester Fined $744 for Aug. 10 Easton Sit-In
Pastoriza, who works as a breakfast cook and lives off the grid in a cabin in Easton, was concerned the fines would have to come out of the money she is saving for her daughter’s college tuition, but opponents of Northern Pass came through for her in record time, she said.
How Northern Pass could help decide state Senate race
Concord Monitor 10/15/16
McPhaul unexpectedly defeated state Rep. Leon Rideout in the Republican primary. And her race against Woodburn is more competitive than anticipated, residents say, a testament to voter frustration over the proposed transmission line.
Tribe's objections to Quebec hydro power plan should be heard
Providence Journal 10/14/16
"Where do you think the power comes from?" Pessamit Chief Ghislain Picard asked the crowd. His answer was the Betsiamites River in Quebec, where Hydro-Quebec, owned by the Quebec government, has built dams and powerhouses. Picard said the power-generating stations affect the flow and depth of water in the river and have reduced the population of salmon, a key source of food and commerce for the Pessamit.
Northern Pass SEC Process Drags On
Society for the Protection of NH Forests 10/11/16
However, as of Oct. 11 the discovery process was not yet complete. This is due in part to Northern Pass's own reluctance to provide information as requested by intervenors and the Counsel for the Public earlier this year.
Growing transmission costs are raising region’s electricity rates
Concord Monitor 10/5/16
“Some of these costs are driven by fairly high equity returns and large cost overruns. . . . From 2004 to 2008, cost overruns ranged from 30 percent to 400 percent,” he said. Scott was critical what he called excessive use of waivers by ISO-New England, which oversees the regional power grid. These waivers allowed transmissions projects to be built without competition, partly to speed them up.
Electric transmission costs scrutinized at NH Energy Summit
Energy costs on the New England wholesale energy market have fallen by nearly half in the last eight years, while transmission costs have risen more than fivefold, said Don Dolan, president of the New England Power Generators Association, a member of that summit panel. In New Hampshire, the disparity is not as great, since energy rose by about 7 percent during the period.
Arrested Northern Pass Protester Ready for Court
“I guess I’ll plead guilty and present my nine pages of e-mail contacts I made with regulatory agencies, which yielded no response,” Pastoriza said during interviews, which were mostly done by email.
Elders question Northern Pass partner’s environmental record
Union Leader 10/3/16
“Hydro-Québec and Eversource Energy, the promoters of the Northern Pass, must be held accountable for the injustices forced onto the Pessamit, injustices that will be compounded if the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee approves this massive project,” Corkery said. “The Hydro-Québec dams have ended a way of life.”
Northern Pass complex legal proceedings frustrate some opponents
Cote complained that his group hasn’t received the responses to data requests from Northern Pass that it needs for the technical sessions. About a dozen informal technical sessions were scheduled for September in Concord to allow intervenors to question Northern Pass experts. But Cote said his group, like a number of intervenors, is ill-prepared for the technical sessions without the full responses from Northern Pass. “A lot of our discovery questions were not answered,” Cote said. “It’s silly to be proceeding without complete information.”
Gatsas: Sununu's contributions from Eversource executives 'troublesome'
Union Leader 9/9/16
The contributions include a $2,000 check from James Judge of Hanover, Mass., CEO and President of Eversource Energy. New Hampshire’s campaign finance law sets $2,000 as the maximum contribution allowed from an individual once a candidate has declared. The second-highest donation, $1,500, came from Leon Olivier, an Eversource Energy executive vice president. The other 23 donations range from $1,000 to $200.
New Hampshire PUC denies motion for rehearing of order in relation to Northern Pass project
Transmission Hub 8/26/16
Northern Pass Transmission said that the City of Concord and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests have made no new argument in support of their claim that a merchant transmission plant is not able to obtain a license to cross public waters and public lands because the proposed service must be required for service to the public.
Counsel for the Public: Northern Pass Application Is Incomplete
“These considerations are important throughout the 60 miles of the underground transmission line, and they are particularly acute in busy, congested areas such as the center of Franconia, Woodstock and Plymouth, as well as where the proposed transmission line crosses under Route 3 and the Connecticut River in Clarksville and on the single-lane gravel road in Stewartstown,” Roth wrote.
Opponent Arrested; State, Intervenors Press For More Northern Pass Data
“With towns, DES and now NH DOT filing that needed substantive information which should have been in the application is still missing, along with NGO’s and others, it raises the fundamental question - is this application before the SEC still complete and how can the technical sessions scheduled for September properly move ahead based on partial information?” Kimball said. In one of the motions to compel, Grafton County Attorney Lara Saffo said the project’s responses to data requests were incomplete for a number of reasons.
Supreme Court Opens Door for Northern Pass Intervenors to Join Concord’s Appeal
“On or before August 31, 2016, any intervenor group (including a group with just one member) that intends to participate in this appeal through its designated spokesperson shall file with this court: (1) an appearance, listing the name and mailing address of its designated spokesperson; and (2) if the spokesperson is not a member of the New Hampshire Bar, a Rule 33 affidavit from the spokesperson,” Lynn wrote. He included details of the background information the spokesperson would be required to report in a Rule 33 affidavit to participate.
LePage, Democrats spar over renewables
Associated Press 8/12/16
"Vermont has learned that Canadian hydro is not a money saver. They're buying power from Quebec and they have consistently higher electric rates than Maine."
Eversource optimistic on Northern Pass chances
Union Leader 8/2/16
To which Olivier replied, “The governor is still supportive. She believes that the project, it’s a ... there is a process there and we need to follow the process through the SEC, but obviously, that’s independent of the governor’s decision.”
A Thunderstorm Just Drove New York Power Prices Above $1,000
Power flows on Hydro-Quebec’s Chateauguay high-voltage transmission line that feeds New York dropped to 300 megawatts at 2:10 p.m. from 1,500 megawatts 1:35 p.m., grid and Genscape data show. A spokeswoman for Hydro-Quebec couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.
Concord Appeals to NH Supreme Court to Intervene Alone on Northern Pass
InDepth NH 7/25/16
“The manner in which Concord has been grouped with other municipalities violates the requirements under RSA 541-A:32, IV and Site Rule 202.11(e) which provide that to the extent that a presiding officer imposes conditions on intervention, such conditions shall not be ‘so extensive as to prevent the intervenor from protecting the interest which formed the basis of the intervention,’” Pacik wrote.
Workshops scheduled in 5 communities on Northern Pass impact
Senior Assistant Attorney General Peter Roth says the workshops will open with presentations by experts hired by the state to provide evidence of the potential impact of the 192-mile transmission line. Community members will then identify local places and resources important to them.
Northern Pass plan clears another hurdle
New Haven Register 7/21/16
Joel Gordes, a West Hartford-based energy industry consultant, said the sheer length of the proposed transmission line makes it vulnerable to a variety of potential disruptions. From the point where the electricity will be produced in Canada to the end of the Northern Pass line, the electricity will have to travel about 900 miles, according to Gordes.
Northern Pass: too big to fail?
Over the last 30-plus years, the former Public Service of New Hampshire has built projects and, after cost overruns, asked ratepayers for bailouts. Now they are just asking for the bailout upfront. The need for ratepayer subsidies suggests that the Northern Pass is weighed down by its uneconomic position in the market. While the developers are using lobbyists, lawyers, media and community affairs specialists, and making investments in North Country civic organizations to distract from this fact, the math is the math.
Transparency and the Eversource settlement
In other words, if Eversource had been transparent about the price spread between natural gas and coal required to make the project economic, the scrubber might not have been built, saving ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars in non-bypassable charges on their electric bills.
Quebec - New Hampshire line - No interconnection without consultation
Conseil des Innus de Pessamit 7/20/16
The Chief of the Pessamit Innu Indian Band, Mr. René Simon, recently sent a letter* to the Quebec minister of the environment, Mr. David Heurtel, on behalf of his community (the Pessamiulnut), asking that the Quebec-New Hampshire interconnection project be the subject of a public examination held under the auspices of the "Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement" (BAPE : Bureau of public hearings on the environment). If the request is not met, Pessamit is ready to take the matter to the national and international levels.
Dirty or clean, politics drive cross-border energy deals
The Globe and Mail 7/4/16
The CLF echoes several other environmental groups in disputing descriptions of Canadian hydro as “renewable,” arguing that “the Hydro-Québec system has a larger carbon footprint than the wind and other renewable projects available to the states receiving the power,” while the construction of big hydro dams involves flooding large tracts of pristine boreal forest.
Eversource, HydroQuebec reach power purchase agreement
Union Leader 6/28/16
The dollars-and-cents details are confidential and redacted from the PUC filing, Murray said, because they are “business competitive.” Regulators at the PUC who are privy to all the details will have to review and approve the agreement.
Seacoast energy project moves forward
Union Leader 6/27/16
The Seacoast Reliability Project, at one point labeled the Northern Pass of the Seacoast by some residents of Durham and Newington, is a $70 million project designed to upgrade a 13-mile distribution corridor from Madbury to Portsmouth with transmission lines.
Q&A with PUC Consumer Advocate Donald Kreis
"I am, I believe, the first consumer advocate to hold the job who had been a former high-ranking official at the PUC itself. I know how the folks over there think. The phenomenon is called regulatory capture."
Responding to Charlie Arlinghaus on Northern Pass
Union Leader LTE 6/18/16
Northern Pass is not “languishing.” It is being expedited. The application was accepted before Northern Pass had control of its route and had met the necessary criteria. Affected intervenors, with different geographic areas and concerns, were grouped together to save time and hearings were held before all information was public. Twenty thousand plus pages takes time. The public counsel requested a year's extension, but was denied.
Conservation committee concerned about wetlands impact from Northern Pass
Coos County Democrat 6/17/16
The ability of the town's wetlands to slow runoff, protect water quality, and promote wildlife habitat are outlined in the report. Potential for impacts ranging from road construction, loss of biodiversity, and degradation of aquifers are general concerns that are also part of the report.
Forest Society Takes Northern Pass Property Rights Lawsuit to Supreme Court
Forest Society 6/17/16
“We believe strongly that the Superior Court erred by not getting to the root of the private property rights issue in its decision,” said attorney Tom Masland of Ransmeier & Spellman, representing the Forest Society. The Forest Society filed suit against Northern Pass in November 2015.
Northern Pass is not a green answer
Bob Baker op-ed, CommonWealth Magazine 6/15/16
Imagine hiking the trails of the White Mountains and Great North Woods over the next few years and trying to bypass ongoing construction for massive transmission lines. Instead of ridge lines and tree tops, imagine that the New Hampshire forest and mountain vistas are spiked with metal towers and transmission lines. If that seems wrong, then it’s time to tell Gov. Baker and the Massachusetts Legislature to cut the cord to Canadian hydropower. Tell them we can solve green energy issues here at home and that their “current” offering is a bad deal for all of us.
Plenty of wind in this energy bill
Sentinel & Enterprise Editorial 6/15/16
The bill requires utilities to solicit contract proposals up to 20 years for about 1,200 megawatts of hydropower and 1,200 megawatts of offshore wind energy. This fits into the governor's vision of implementing increasing amounts of hydropower to lessen the state's reliance on natural gas -- the environmentalists' new target, since the marketplace has all but eliminated coal- and oil-fired power plants.
Hydro-Quebec officials push Northern Pass
CommonWealth Magazine 6/15/16
For example, a project called the New England Power Link is fully permitted to run a transmission line from the Canadian border to Ludlow, VT, where it would feed 1,000 megawatts of electricity into the regional power grid. In contrast with Northern Pass, which at times has faced strong opposition in New Hampshire, the New England Power Link has encountered far less resistance because its power line would run underwater across Lake Champlain and be buried underground for the rest of the route.
The case against importing hydro-power
Milford Daily News op-ed 6/14/16
Older, more expensive methods for generating electricity are being driven from the market by more cost-effective, cleaner and efficient power stations. Generators have announced plans to retire In total, 4,200 megawatts of power produced by plants across New England. But the lights are staying on. This is because by 2019, more than 4,700 megawatts of electricity capacity – projects like the addition of 200 megawatts at the Exelon Power West Medway Generating Station – are scheduled to come online to replace older facilities. These new investments include dramatic increases in solar generation capacity. Solar arrays like the 2.5 megawatts along the Massachusetts Turnpike in Framingham have contributed to 1,000 megawatts in Massachusetts.
Northern Pass Transmission, Public Service Company of New Hampshire seek permit for transmission project in New Hampshire
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 6/14/16
The proposed work involves both direct permanent and temporary discharges of dredged or fill material into various wetlands and waters of the U.S. along the proposed route. The direct permanent discharge is approximately 2.53 acres while the direct temporary discharge is approximately 140 acres. The secondary impacts such as converting forested wetlands to scrub shrub wetlands total approximately 182 acres. Project planning and design have attempted to avoid and minimize impacts to rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, floodplains and wetlands.
Northern Pass Easements
LTE Caledonian Record 6/10/16
Eversource has applied to the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for permission to lease to Northern Pass its easements on which the Northern Pass project would be sited. Approximately 700 landowners in New Hampshire own land that would be affected by this lease if it is permitted. Eversource has not informed these landowners of its application to the PUC, nor has the PUC required notification. Those of us who received the “Dear Landowner” letters five years ago know that NPT has the names and addresses of everyone on their proposed route and that lack of notification of their application with the PUC is a deliberate attempt to keep these landowners ignorant and therefore unable to intervene in the PUC hearings.
Statement from Governor Hassan on Signing House Bill 626
Governor Maggie Hassan 6/9/16
"As we consider the siting of proposed energy projects, we must always strike a balance between the potential benefits to New Hampshire families and businesses, and the potential impacts to the environment and to the communities that host them. By designating energy infrastructure corridors along major highways in New Hampshire, House Bill 626 provides a path to encouraging transmission projects to utilize areas of the state that have already been developed, helping to protect our natural resources and undeveloped areas. I am proud to sign this bipartisan measure into law to create another tool to encourage smart siting of energy projects."
Shumlin: Mass. “crazy” not to pursue hydropower from Canada
New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat candidate for U.S. Senate who appeared on an opioid panel with all the New England governors on Tuesday, walked away from reporters during a question about importation of hydroelectricity.
Balsams’ Otten Fights Hard For Northern Pass
Caledonian Record 6/7/16
The recent N.H. Site Evaluation Committee decision to extend its final Northern Pass deadline by nearly a year is not sitting well with Les Otten, the Balsams developer who is linking the success of the Balsams to Northern Pass and is now asking the SEC to reconsider its decision. “Pushing off a decision creates uncertainty, which is bad for any business, but especially a large development like ours,” Otten said in his May 27 comment letter to SEC.
Excavator simulator installed, thanks to money from Northern Pass
Berlin Daily Sun 6/6/16
The Oryx Simulations machine was bought through John Scales of Concord, Vt., branch manager of Anderson Equipment in Lancaster. Two White Mountain Regional High School juniors, Thomas Rogers of Guildhall, Vt., and Chris Girard of Lunenburg, Vt., showed those on hand on Friday, June 3, how much they had already learned on the simulator. One had previously used an excavator, the other had not.
Judge: Northern Pass can bury line under conservation
Concord Monitor 6/1/16
“We are pleased the court recognized long-standing New Hampshire law that allows for the use of public roadways for projects like Northern Pass,” said Bill Quinlan, president of Eversource operations in New Hampshire. “We look forward to continuing the permitting process and moving one step closer to delivering the clean energy and economic benefits to New Hampshire and the region.”
Court rules against Forest Society in Northern Pass lawsuit
Union Leader 5/31/16
The society owns the land, known as the Washburn Family Forest, along the section of Route 3 at issue. While acknowledging that it had granted the state Department of Transportation an easement to build and maintain the highway through the land, the society maintained that easement was not transferable to Northern Pass without society permission.
Concord Files Corrections to Northern Pass Expert’s Answers
Deputy City Solicitor Danielle Pacik said Terrence DeWan, Northern Pass’ expert witness for aesthetic issues, made the incorrect statement and also didn’t seem to know that an unrelated construction project in the area involves Eversource.
A bad week for Northern Pass
Coos County Democrat Editorial 5/25/16
Perhaps more devastating to the project, DES has issued a detailed list of regulatory findings that lead to one simple conclusion: The preferred route of the applicant will not receive wetlands and alteration of terrain permits in its current form. DES clearly supports more burial of the transmission lines, and Northern Pass is going to need to spend a lot more money on re-routing the project and making more people happy.
Eversource's Northern Pass project hits a snag
New Haven Register 5/22/16
“I see it as being very weak on distance alone,” Gordes said. He said the possibility of terrorist attacks on the transmission grid as well as natural disasters like forest fire must be assessed when deciding whether Northern Pass should be built or not. As an example, Gordes said a large forest fire in Quebec in 2013 led to widespread electric outages in the province that threatened to spill over into the united states.
SEC-NH Working on Website Fix for Large Northern Pass Files
InDepth NH 5/14/16
Manchester attorney Michael Iacopino said the problem appears to be with the state’s website and mostly involves people in the North Country. In an email to interveners and interested parties, Iacopino said the chairman and the staff, as well as subcommittee members, are aware of the problem and are working to fix it on a temporary and more permanent basis.
Senate candidate Giuda tells county GOP he’s ready for ‘big leagues’
Laconia Daily Sun 5/12/16
Giuda said he is opposed to the Northern Pass project unless the entire length of power lines are buried. He explained that the timber industry in the North Country has been overtaken by foreign competition, leaving the scenic beauty of the region its only valuable natural resource.
SEC to meet at Mountain View Grand for two Northern Pass hearings
Coos County Democrat 5/11/16
On April 1, the Counsel for the Public outlined a timeframe where the SEC's would issue a final decision on the permit in June 2017. In the Counsel's document, which is nearly 20 pages long, it is suggested that a decision in December "would unfairly deprive the public and the Subcommittee a full and fair opportunity to determine whether the project will, on balance . . . serve the public interest."
As the State Approval Enters Its Last Phase, Northern Pass Continues to Face Opposition
Marc Brown, president of New England Ratepayers Association, which is in favor of Northern Pass.
Tom Irwin, vice president and director of Conservation Law Foundation - New Hampshire, which opposes Northern Pass.
Dave Solomon, reporter for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News, and author of the paper's energy column, Power Plays.
Plymouth stands united against Northern Pass
Plymouth Record Enterprise 5/9/16
Conjuring up unpleasant images such as jackhammers pounding away at the sidewalk outside Main Street coffee shops, or rattling the glass of Artistic Roots Gallery shop windows, and back hoes lined up on the street just outside Steve Rand's front door, local merchants warned against the potentially devastating economic consequences of tearing up Main Street for the construction project.
UNH Poll on Northern Pass
University of NH 5/9/16
New Hampshire support of Northern Pass has decreased somewhat since last year and residents remain divided over the project. Support for the now-suspended Kinder Morgan pipeline project has also decreased somewhat among Granite Staters. Most New Hampshire residents do not consider themselves very familiar with either project.
NEPGA: Canadian Hydro Contracts Could Cost Consumers $777M Annually
Energy Manager Today 5/6/16
Indeed, she states, “the importance of this protection of competitive outcomes was upheld in a U.S. Supreme Court decision just two days before the report’s release (Hughes v Talen). That decision confirms that state contract subsidies, like those proposed in Massachusetts for provincially-owned hydro, represent an intrusion into the wholesale electricity markets, violating the Federal Power Act.”
Northern Pass outlines opportunities for area contractors
Berlin Daily Sun 5/6/16
A similar meeting was held the following night, May 5, at the Mountain View Grand in Whitefield. Eighty businesses from Pittsburg south to Plymouth were present, plus Rep. Herb Richardson of Lancaster and Brian Bresnahan, who represents Congresswoman Annie Kuster.
Stark Campground, Lodge Developers Fight Northern Pass
InDepth NH 5/6/16
We are now being represented by legal counsel, spending money on defending our property rights, money that we should be spending on the development of Percy Lodge, which will bring in much needed commerce in tourism, with the OHRV & ATV Trail from Groveton to Milan, canoeing along the Upper Ammonoosuc River, with the 72 acres for tenting and RV parking, boarders and snowmobiling in the winter, which the Great Northern Woods has and should be forever protected.
Department of Energy’s Analysis of Northern Pass Is Grossly Inadequate
Conservation Law Foundation 5/3/16
Given the intense public interest in (and controversy around) Northern Pass, the Department of Energy should have conducted as thorough an environmental analysis of the project as possible, in order to put to the test any and all questions about the project’s impact. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
Northern Pass behaving badly
Jane A. Difley and William Webb op-ed, NH Business Review 4/29/16
If Northern Pass and the state are the only sources of investment in the Balsams because private investors have been unwilling to gamble on its potential success, it doesn’t bode well for the viability of the resort. A partially rebuilt resort gone bankrupt won’t be the long-term economic engine many seek, and no Northern Pass largesse will guarantee success.
Kinder Morgan decision puts focus on Northern Pass
Kathy Sullivan, Union Leader op-ed 4/26/16
Eversource had promised that an advisory board of business, municipal, environmental and labor leaders would evaluate Forward NH grants based on “established criteria.” The disclosure that money already is being promised, without an advisory board having been announced, and without publication of any criteria, is very troubling. The Balsams may fit into the parameters of the fund. But it is hard to tell when there is no transparency. How do you apply for a grant? Is there even an application process? What other proposals, if any, have been reviewed and approved or rejected? Is the Forward NH Fund going to be an independent, fully transparent, non-profit grant making foundation? Or is it a fund controlled by Eversource to reward its friends and punish its opponents?
As gas pipeline disappears, Northern Pass charges ahead
Concord Monitor 4/22/16
Both the Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline proposed by Kinder Morgan and the Northern Pass transmission line to carry hydropower from Quebec seek to profit by creating large-scale, always available supplies of electricity, known as baseload power, that could be sold into the New England grid.
Plymouth Man is Talking Northern Pass
InDepth NH 4/17/16
And, this project will not lower electric bills for New England customers as Eversource never promised cheap energy, they promised competitively priced energy. In plain English, the current market price. This project is not about power for NE, it is about money. Their bottom line.
John Amey on North Country Chamber’s Northern Pass Controversy
InDepth NH 4/15/16
I applaud those directors who stood their ground putting their conscience before their own business, to maintain their allegiance to the original vote of the Board. I do not know or need to know, the actual voting results of individuals because now we must move forward, forgive and continue to work together, for the good of all. We must all remember, though, that our American Revolutionary War was not won by folks running around holding up white flags of neutrality.
Otten rebuts claims of pressure for Northern Pass stance
Union Leader 4/12/16
“I resigned my position on the board before the vote to go neutral,” Baker said Tuesday. “I did not vote because I felt the whole process was coerced by Mr. Otten and his partners, and I was not going to be part of it any longer. The board was put under terrible duress by Mr. Otten.”
Chamber ends longtime opposition to Northern Pass
Union Leader 4/12/16
According to North Country Chamber board member Jamie Sayen, Otten pressured the board into a neutral position by linking the Balsams redevelopment to the Northern Pass project. Les Otten requested on March 15 that the board downgrade its position from opposed to neutral,” Sayen wrote in a public statement. “After meeting with Otten on March 31, the Chamber voted to continue to oppose NP. That wasn’t good enough. We had to have a subsequent meeting with Otten on April 4.” That meeting also failed to produce any change in the board’s position, so a third meeting was scheduled for April 6. “We were told that if the chamber did not vote on that day to change its position to neutral, the Balsams project is dead, and we would be blamed,” said Sayen, who remains on the board.
May retirement for Eversource CEO
Stamford Advocate 4/6/16
May oversaw the company during its later-stage plans to build a new transmission system called Northern Pass to import hydro-power from Canada south through New Hampshire, a controversial development for many communities in that state.
Balsams’ Otten Asks Selectmen For Neutrality On Northern Pass
Caledonian Record 4/5/16
Of the $2 million from Northern Pass for the Balsams redevelopment, Otten on Monday said, “What we have, we will owe. We have to pay it back. It’s a business negotiation between us and them and there are a lot of pieces to it.”
NEPGA Comments to U.S. DOE on Northern Pass
The supply that will flow over the Northern Pass Transmission system is not dispatched by ISO-NE. The 2013 comments by NEPGA demonstrated a history of power interruptions that have occurred over similar import facilities. Since July 2013, four of the last six electricity shortage events or severe operational issues in New England were related to curtailments of imports from HQ.3 The Final EIS should not only reference these reliability events, but should also analyze the effect of additional reliance on imported large-scale hydro will have on grid reliability.
Concord wants its voice heard in Northern Pass approval process
Concord Monitor 3/29/16
In its motion, the city raised concern that Concord’s voice could be silenced if the municipal group can’t reach consensus. And it said city ordinances would likely bar Concord legal counsel from serving as the group’s designated spokesperson.
City was to be solo intervenor on Northern Pass
Berlin Daily Sun 3/29/16
Representing the city, Attorney Chris Boldt said the city has other issues that are not identical to those listed by Cate Street Capital. And while the city has a good working relationship with Cate Street Capital, Boldt said there could come a time when the city’s interests could be adverse to those of Cate Street Capital.
Understandable Anger in the Face of Arrogance
Colebrook News & Sentinel Editorial 3/27/16
It may surprise some executives to know that even for us little people here in the north, this is pretty basic math to figure out. The original proposal called for 40 miles of new right-of-way in Coös County, and the revised route buries eight of those miles, leaving us with 32. The company has stated it would cost an additional $5 million to $10 million per mile to bury the line, so let’s call that an average of $7.5 million. The Forward NH Fund’s $200 million, divided by 32 miles, breaks down to $6.25 million per mile.
Hydro-Quebec hoping to export electricity to US
CJAD Radio 3/27/16
And here's another story showing Northern Pass is for southern New England. But I also have two questions:
1- Northern Pass tells us it's a $1.6 billion project and that HydroQuebec is going to pay for all of it. But this story says HydroQuebec is only paying $600 million. Who's paying the rest?
2- The story then says the United States must pay $1.6 billion to build the line. Who is paying for it on this side of the border?
No seat for city at the big table for N. Pass review
Union Leader 3/27/16
“Interest in an economic stimulus plan and other indirect benefits of the Project is not specific enough to warrant intervention in this docket,” writes SEC Chairman Martin Honigberg. “Those interests are general in nature and would pertain to every city and town in the State of New Hampshire. The motions to intervene filed by Nashua and Manchester are denied.”
Federal Judge Orders New England Transmission Companies to Lower Rates
Massachusetts Attorney General 3/25/16
“As the ratepayer advocate, we are pleased that the administrative law judge agrees that the profits electric transmission companies and their investors are earning at the expense of ratepayers is too high,” said AG Healey. “If FERC agrees, New England ratepayers will be refunded hundreds of millions of dollars and will save millions more going forward.”
State’s energy puzzle not hard to piece together
Concord Monitor op-ed 3/25/16
Exposing elected officials who succumb to public utility influence peddling and lavish inaugural balls will prove New Hampshire’s only way to a balance of power in the energy revolution. Nowhere in our state’s economy can you find laws written specifically to privatize profit and socialize loss more evident than in the utility sector. It’s why Eversource could recover $400 million on the abject failure of the Merrimack Station scrubber project. Just 2½ years after its completion, the PUC-commissioned LaCapra report showed the whole kit and caboodle near worthless. Prepare for more waste and stranded costs at the bottom of your electric bill. Debt and bad business decisions play deep into how utilities make money. And it will never end without adequate distributed energy resources.
Northern Pass Interveners Settling in for Long Slog
Over the course of the next year, and possibly beyond, these interveners will publicly pick apart the Northern Pass transmission line before the SEC. That committee faces a tricky balancing act: how to ensure that everyone affected by the Northern Pass project gets a say, while still sticking to some kind of a reasonable schedule.
SEC consolidates many interveners, denies 29 requests
Coos County Democrat 3/23/16
On Feb. 26, Northern Pass filed a response to the large number of intervener requests. This prompted many responses, including a number of letters protesting the effort to combine interveners into smaller groups. The SEC letter released on Friday agreed with some of the requests from Northern Pass to reduce the number of interveners. However, some consolidation requests from the project were rejected in the SEC's order.
Former Patrick secretaries have Baker’s back on hydro push
Tierney produced a report last year for the New England Power Generators Association suggesting that not only was the need for hydropower being overstated by the Baker administration, but that it would add $777 million a year in costs for ratepayers over the life of long-term contract.
Northern Pass tour through Concord criticized for limited access, steering away from controversial areas
Concord Monitor 3/20/16
But some abutters and interested officials said they were not given proper notice of the public tour, or given a chance to ride on the two buses that together sat 20 people. “We did not get an invite,” said Deerfield Selectman Richard Pitman. “The email specifically said the timing and that the tour was going to take place, and that’s all it was.” Others said Wednesday’s tour bypassed locations where the energy project would have maximum effect.
Big employers push Northern Pass project
Union Leader 3/17/16
“It’s important to remember that promises of lower electric rates are only that — promises,” he said, “and New Hampshire has heard promises from big energy interests before.”
NH abutters say they're being kept in the dark
NH1 News 3/16/16
Wednesday’s tour was open to the public, but there were plenty of rules, one found out by Billings. If you weren’t on the tour, you weren’t allowed to ask any questions of the committee. Billings found out the hard way when she attempted to ask about the property surrounding her home and was shut down immediately.
Northern Pass hearing draws packed house in Concord
Over 600 people turned out at the Grappone Center to hear about and weigh in on the Northern Pass Project, leaving standing room only. It was the first opportunity for many to speak directly to the Site Evaluation Committee, the state board that issues permits.
Vermont crossing suggested at Northern Pass hearing
Union Leader 3/10/16
Neil Irvine, a New Hampton selectman, said he and the petitioners wanted all of Northern Pass buried, not just the 60 or so miles where Eversource has agreed to bury it, mostly in the Franconia Notch area of the White Mountain National Forest, and a small section in the upper North Country.
Northern Pass invests $2 million in The Balsams project
Berlin Daily Sun 3/9/16
Many Coös and Grafton County residents were on hand to angrily testify against the proposed $1.6 billion NP project once again. Some said they would oppose the project even if all 192 miles were to be buried and not only the 60 miles now proposed. Others, however, said, they’d support it if it was buried entirely, especially if in Interstate ROWs.
Testimony of Les Otten at SEC hearing Balsams support of Northern Pass
Northern Pass, through the Forward New Hampshire Fund, has invested $2 million in our project without strings. And we are discussing the potential for a more substantial investment by the Fund as Northern Pass progresses. This will help us fulfill our goal of restoring the Balsams resort and revitalizing the North Country economy.
Northern Pass Investing In Balsams
Northern Pass has invested $2 million in the Balsams, developer Les Otten said Monday night at a public hearing in Colebrook, according to a transcript released by a spokesman.
PUC head denies request to delay Northern Pass hearings
Union Leader 3/1/16
The Conservation Law Foundation and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire argued that the public needs to see the new material before it can properly comment at public hearings. They were joined in that argument by Senior Assistant Attorney General Peter Roth, assigned by the N.H. Department of Justice to represent the public in the Northern Pass approval process.In his March 1 ruling, Honigberg writes, “The supplemental information submitted by the applicants does not warrant stopping the proceeding as has been requested.”
Forest Society Names NH DOT in Legal Action Against Northern Pass
Society for the Protection of NH Forests 2/26/16
The Forest Society alleges that the excavation and installation of the proposed elective transmission line on Forest Society land will exceed the scope of the Route 3 highway easement. If the DOT were to grant the license it would become an unwitting party to effectively condemning private property rights on Northern Pass's behalf for Northern Pass's benefit contrary to both constitutional and statutory provisions.
Fight over Northern Pass hearings intensifies
Union Leader 2/26/16
“Fairness would dictate that the public should have the benefit of time to meaningfully digest the supplemental application before public hearings are scheduled,” wrote Republican state Sen. Jeanie Forrester of Meredith, in a Feb. 8 letter to SEC Administrator Pamela Monroe.
Three Northern Pass reps take questions from conservation commission
Littleton Courier 2/17/16
Stever noted the commission's preference for use of the I-93 corridor for burying Northern Pass, rather than state highways near homes and businesses. He suggested "we could probably all go home" if the power lines were placed underground down the Interstate.
John Harrigan: NH doesn’t need Northern Pass
LTE, Berlin Daily Sun 2/16/16
So much has happened during the four years (can it be that long?) we’ve been fighting Northern Pass that it’s sometimes hard to remember who and where we are on it all. Hence, please forgive the simplified bullets:
Enough is enough
LTE, Berlin Daily Sun 2/15/16
Six of the seven meetings for the public are scheduled between March 1-14. So, we are being asked to comment on an application that is not the application! We are once again, being asked to arrange our lives to attend potentially useless meetings, as was the case in the first round of DOE hearings when the Northern Pass didn't have a route. In fact, the Northern Pass project still does not have a legitimate route.
We shouldn't pay for excess power capacity
Lowell Sun 2/13/16
The latest report came out on Monday. It shows that for the two peak summer months, July and August, the demand for power on the grid dropped from 401 Gigawatt-hours per day in 2012 to only 388 Gigawatt-hours per day in 2015. That is a decline of more than 3 percent. For the two peak winter months, December and January, the demand for power on the grid dropped from 369 Gigawatt-hours per day in 2012 to only 356 Gigawatt hours per day in 2015-16. This is a decline of almost 4 percent.
Northern Pass interventions tell a compelling story
LTE, Concord Monitor 2/12/16
This record number of interventions tells the story that, as the state permitting process gets underway, public discontent with Northern Pass is increasing, despite statements to the contrary by project sponsors.
Northern Pass Interveners File En Masse
Caledonian Record 2/11/16
Woodburn was among 68 N.H. legislators signing a joint petition to intervene that was submitted to the SEC by state Rep. Sue Ford, D-Easton. In addition to Ford and Woodburn, North Country lawmaker interveners include state Sen. Jeannie Forrester and state Reps. Laurence Rappaport, R-Colebrook; John Fothergill, R-Colebrook; John Tholl, R-Whitefield; Leon Rideout, R-Lancaster; Erin Hennessey, R-Littleton; Linda Massimilla, D-Littleton; Rick Ladd, R-Haverhill; and Brad Bailey, R-Monroe.
Exports: Hydro bets on two new interconnections
La Presses 2/10/16
The increase in exports is a key element of the strategy of the new President of Hydro-Quebec, Eric Martel, who wants to double annual revenue and profits of the Crown corporation over the next 15 years. But as the Alberta oil producers, Hydro lack of roads to transport its electricity to new markets and has given its support to two important projects.
Why Have Presidential Candidates Been Silent on Northern Pass?
Conservation Law Foundation 2/9/16
The next president will decide whether to authorize the cross-border connection to Canada’s Hydro-Québec needed for the Northern Pass electrical transmission line. The mega-utility Eversource is making a $1.4 billion bet on the line, which will ravage New Hampshire’s landscape and communities only to serve electricity customers in Massachusetts and south.
Developers pitch five, 240MW CT clean energy projects
Hartford Business Review 2/9/16
DEEP seeks to broker power purchase agreements between utilities and generators that total as much as 4,250 gigawatt-hours of electricity per year. That's enough to power nearly 506,000 average Connecticut household utility customers for a year, out of a total 1.37 million households statewide.
NH politicians file to intervene in Northern Pass project
Union Leader 2/9/16
Four state senators and 64 state representatives on Friday filed to officially intervene in the Northern Pass hydroelectric project before the state Site Evaluation Committee, claiming “All of us have an interest in protecting one of New Hampshire’s greatest assets, its natural beauty.”
Yankee Magazine 2/8/16
“Our home life is simple, but it is awesome, and it is our American Dream come true,” she said. But a letter with a map had arrived in the mail; their home would be just 1,500 feet from a compressor station. “Our home has been effectively condemned … I’m begging you,” she said, falling to her knees. “I’m begging you.”
Northern Pass did bring up eminent domain first in 2010
Bury Northern Pass 10/12/14
As the time for deciding the fate of HB 648 drew near in 2011, PSNH increasingly stressed that NPT did not plan to use eminent domain, anticipated no need for it, etc. However, NPT's statements of record on the matter told a different story. Three such statements occur in the Transmission Service Agreement filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in December 2010. All three leave the door open for eminent domain proceedings, and the last outright predicts its use.
Manchester wants in on Northern Pass process
Union Leader 2/4/16
While the Northern Pass transmission project is not proposed to run through Manchester, Mayor Ted Gatsas and board members agreed Tuesday night the city should have a say in the proceedings. "On a project of this size, I think it's important that the largest city in New Hampshire be part of the discussion,” said Gatsas. “I would think we should be a part of anything that might present the opportunity to reduce electric rates.” Alderman At-Large Dan O’Neil was the lone vote against filing to become an intervenor, saying using an attorney on this project is “a waste of taxpayer money.”
"Uneconomic" argument has never made sense
Littleton Courier Editorial 2/3/16
No better argument can be made for why complete burial is "economic" than the riches that keep Hydro Quebec afloat. Any member of the SEC more sympathetic to a multi-billion dollar foreign entity than the demands of Granite Staters will have much explaining to do if a certificate to build Northern Pass does not require full burial. Clearly, the public interest demands it, and Hydro Quebec can afford to do so.
Shaheen Welcomes Announcement of Rescheduled Northern Pass Hearings
NH Labor News 1/30/16
“Granite Staters must have ample opportunity to review this project and have their voices heard,” said Shaheen. “The previously announced hearings denied residents of the North Country the ability to easily express their thoughts on the project. I’m pleased that DOE has listened to concerns of New Hampshire stakeholders and will provide a forum for Coos County residents to participate in this review process.”
Senator Ayotte's Statement Regarding Public Hearings for Proposed Northern Pass Project
Sen. Kelly Ayotte 1/29/16
"I welcome today's announcement by DOE that it will hold four public hearings on the proposed Northern Pass project. It is imperative that New Hampshire residents have ample opportunity to evaluate and comment on the proposed project. I continue to believe that any proposal by Northern Pass should include the full burial of transmission lines along existing highway corridors. Going forward, I will continue my efforts to ensure residents have sufficient opportunity to share their feedback on this project."
Northern Pass Submits Bid to Sell Energy to Southern New England
How many and which renewable energy projects had submitted bids was not public on the day of the announcement, but two proposed power lines in Maine said they would take part, and another in Vermont is likely to jump in as well. Dykes says the process could procure as much as 15 percent of the energy Connecticut uses. Several projects will likely be selected to provide that energy, though she says “it would be really premature” to say how many will make the cut.
Emera, CMP join scrum to send renewable power south
Bangor Daily News 1/28/16
The companies joined competition for a massive collective purchase of new renewable energy capacity backed by Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The companies said winning the bid for their 150-mile transmission proposal would bring money into Maine, as states to the south would shoulder the cost of the transmission work.
Opportunity to comment on Northern Pass brings out politicians
Coos County Democrat 1/27/16
"The current Northern Pass Transmission proposal falls short — seriously short — and must be changed to meet the needs of the North Country — particularly Coös County," testified Senator Jeff Woodburn of Dalton at the public comment period of the five-hour-long Site Evaluation Committee-sponsored information session on Wednesday night, Jan. 20, at the Mountain View Grand.
Residents to Eversource: Bury Northern Pass along interstate corridor
Union Leader 1/25/16
Martha Richards, a Grafton County commissioner, blasted Eversource for not directly asking the DOT whether it could go down I-93 through the county while Easton resident Steven Sabre said the current Northern Pass route was “crookeder than a snake’s back.”
Opposition Remains Determined At Latest NP Session
Colebrook Chronicle 1/22/16
Katie Rose Siggins’ testimony was a new song that she wrote called “Powers That Be.” Lyrics were critical of the Northern Pass, asking, “How can you stay blind to the devastation left behind, once you have taken of what we love. Will it ever be enough?” Art Hammon of Whitefield provided his testimony, which also had been sent to the Site Evaluation Committee for its files (there are now 27,000 pages in the Northern Pass paperwork). Hammon said that he was “interested” in the arguments by Eversource “that burial is not feasible.” Hammon explained that he did a “back of the envelope” calculation, which resulted in an estimated value of $3.14 trillion for Northern Pass over its anticipated 40-year life span. Hammon, a retired science educator, said that if a full burial cost $3 billion, that cost is will be official public hearings hosted by the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee. Middle: Harry Brown of Stewartstown provided public statement on why he favors the Northern
Pass project. Right: Katie Rose Siggins of Whitefield provided her testimony in the form of a new anti-Northern Pass sing that she had written. 1/1000th of the revenues over the 40-year life span.
Majority at Northern Pass meeting want to see entire line buried
Berlin Daily Sun 1/22/16
Rep. Brad Bailey of Littleton said the issue has generated more e-mails and phone calls than any other in his tenure. He said a majority of his constituents want to see the entire line buried. Rep. Leon Rideout of Lancaster said North Country residents feel Northern Pass is not listening to them. Most, he said, don’t want the line at all but will settle for having it buried. Kate Rose Siggins of Whitefield used her three-minute allotment to sing a song she had written opposing the devastation she said the line will create.
Northern Pass would bring changes to Londonderry substation
Energy Central 1/20/16
"(The capacity bank) would have to be designed," he said. "It will also have a circuit-breaker associated with it that (will) provide protection for the capacity bank." The bank, which will occupy an area about 225-by-250 feet inside the area, would be made up of a series of about 100 metal "cans" (measuring 18-by-18-by-6 inches) that would add a new level of electrical resistance, Bosse said.
My Turn: Urge presidential candidates to take stand on Northern Pass
Concord Monitor Op-Ed 1/16/16
But both the “inexpensive” and “renewable” descriptions are dubious. Eversource has never disclosed what price it will pay for the Hydro-Quebec power, or even whether it has locked the price in by contract as some of its competitors have. And the “renewable” label is not really apt for the power Northern Pass would deliver. As designed, the Hydro-Quebec system has a larger carbon footprint than the wind and other renewable projects available to the states receiving the power. Plus, construction of the line mostly above ground will sacrifice significant forest acreage that now serves as a carbon-absorbing sink. For all of Eversource’s hard-to-substantiate boasts about short-term job creation from Northern Pass construction, the mostly above ground approach forgoes much of the line’s potential for economic stimulus, while sacrificing iconic vistas that are essential to the long-term health of New Hampshire’s recreation and tourism sector.
New Hampton Bury entire Northern Pass line
Union Leader 1/15/16
Thursday’s session at the Opechee Inn and Conference Center, in the Lakeport section of Laconia, drew about 125 people, which included about two dozen orange T-shirt clad opponents — Trees not Towers — and about 10 Northern Pass supporters whose blue T-shirts asked “Got Hydro?”
North Country Resident Appointed To State Group Considering Northern Pass
Rachel Whitaker of Stark will serve as one of two public members on the subcommittee. She fills a spot left vacant by the death of Roger Hawk. The citizen positions are new, following a legislative restructuring of the SEC in an attempt to streamline it and make it more responsive to the public’s concerns.
Site Evaluation Committee holds first Northern Pass public information session
Concord Monitor 1/12/16
Charlestown manufacturing business Whelen Engineering owner and President John Olson, however, told Monday night’s audience that he thought it was too late – Northern Pass couldn’t fix the fact that New Hampshire has one of the highest electricity rates in the country. “I have to worry about staying in business,” he said. “I’ve been talking to all my compatriots – we’re going to have plenty of power without Northern Pass, because we’re moving.”
AMC Still Opposes Northern Pass Project in New Hampshire
Appalachian Mountain Club 1/10/16
The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) is the oldest conservation and recreation organization in the country, with more than 100,000 members, supporters, and advocates from Maine to Washington, D.C., including more than 12,000 here in New Hampshire. Our mission is to “promote the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of the Appalachian region.” We believe that these resources have intrinsic worth, and that successful conservation depends on active engagement with the outdoors.
New England electric rates to be investigated
Union Leader 1/10/16
In an order issued on Dec. 28, FERC commissioners wrote that New England transmission rates appear to be “unjust, unreasonable and unduly discriminatory or preferential” and called for an investigation.
What does the quick approval of a Vermont power line say about Northern Pass?
Concord Monitor 1/8/16
The construction of these dams has not been without controversy, because the resulting reservoirs displaced native peoples and swamped ecosystems covering hundreds of square miles, including an infamous 1984 drowning of some 10,000 caribou during a water release from a dam. Some environmentalists argue that such problems mean large-scale hydropower should not be considered clean energy, noting that drowned forests release methane, a potent greenhouse gas, as they rot.
Transmission Line Burial Bill Rises from Dead
Caledonian Record 1/8/16
Richardson also said, "To dig the roads up will only affect upstate and the tourist industry." Rappaport, who in past years sponsored similar bills encouraging transmission line burial, disagreed and said, "Just the opposite. Tourists aren't going to go to some place that's ugly."
N.H. Supreme Court Accepts Big Utilities Tax Appeals
Caledonian Record 1/7/16
NHEC and Eversource, formerly called Public Service of N.H., are appealing a July decision by the N.H. Board of Tax and Land Appeals that denied the dozens of tax abatements filed by the companies for tax years 2012 and 2013. At the same time, both companies have filed new lawsuits at the BTLA against the towns for tax years 2013 and 2014.
FCC settles dispute over Northern Pass ads sponsorship
Associated Press 1/7/16
"Radio and television stations that are paid to air any announcements or other content are required to clearly disclose the payer's identity," said FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc. "While failure to disclose these identities generally misleads the public, it is particularly concerning when consumers are duped into supporting controversial environmental projects."
Canterbury selectmen seek Northern Pass intervenor status with Site Evaluation Committee
Concord Monitor 1/5/16
“This project does not come before the town for any permits,” Steenson said. “It’s a project . . . outside the town’s jurisdiction.” But, as Abbott pointed out, Canterbury residents and the municipality can do something: they can apply for intervenor status. A notice informing the 34 municipalities potentially affected by the Northern Pass that they could take this action was sent Dec. 9, according to the SEC. Canterbury selectmen were included in that list. “It creates a role for towns if they so choose,” Abbott said. “You have a seat at the table where the decision will be made.”
Berlin is Wrong on Northern Pass
Editorial- Littleton Courier and Coos County Democrat 12/30/15
Although praising the extra tax revenue from Northern Pass, Berlin’s leaders fail to remember how often towns are dragged into court over the tax valuation of utility infrastructure. This accounts for one reason why so many residents of Grafton County towns where lines would be buried are still fighting Northern Pass. For whatever financial gain they could accrue, these heroic citizens do not want Coös County to be plagued by miles of aboveground lines and horrendously tall towers.
Conservation commission requests denial of Northern Pass over wetlands concerns
Littleton Courier 12/30/15
In conclusion, Lawson and Severance wrote, “There could be substantial negative impacts from proposed construction along the transmission line ROW” in Bethlehem. The report suggests at least three to five years of monitoring after any construction of Northern Pass to ensure revegetation with native species, promotion of water quality, and elimination of
Eversource sets public hearings on Northern Pass project
New Haven Register 12/28/15
Savage said he is not surprised that the first hearing was scheduled for Franklin. The city of about 8,400 people has an economy that is struggling and Savage said Mayor Ken Merrifield “has been very supportive of the project.”
Quebec, Labrador and Vermont
Rutland Herald Op-Ed 12/27/15
Presumably, Gouvernement du Québec’s $241-billion Deposit and Investment Fund bought control of Green Mountain Power and the former Central Vermont Public Service so that government-owned Hydro-Québec would have a captive customer in New England for its growing hydroelectricity surplus and a share of VELCO with its transmission lines on the New England grid. A merchant transmission line in the middle would not be in Hydro-Québec’s best interests.
Open houses set for Northern Pass project
Union Leader 12/23/15
Under state law, the sessions must be held in each county in which the proposed facility is to be located within 45 days of a project’s application being accepted.Similar to the sessions held in September, they give residents another opportunity to participate in the state approval process.
Underwater transmission line for Southern New England
Chronicle Herald 12/21/15
The Beothuk CEO wouldn’t say exactly where the 1,000-megawatt wind farm would be located. The turbines would sit on a gravity base in water depths of less than 30 metres, he said. More details on the venture will be released in the new year, Mercer added.
Associated Press 12/18/15
“When it’s a close case, and the courts aren’t sure that some new, more intensive use is permitted, they look to the burden on the landowner,” Hurn said. “Well, the forest society isn’t doing any mining. They have no purpose or interest in using anything below the surface so they’re going to have a hard time saying that the temporary construction activities burden their use of their land in anyway. They’re in the worst possible position.”
State review process for Northern Pass project can start
Associated Press 12/18/15
The Site Evaluation Committee's order Friday formally accepts Eversource's application to build the Northern Pass transmission project. In a statement, the company noted the committee will preside over public information sessions and hearings in the five counties where the project would be located.
Farm family asks Canterbury to take stance on Northern Pass
Concord Monitor 12/14/15
In light of how the project could affect the family’s property and the other 5.9 miles of right of way land in Canterbury, Corinne added, “I was disappointed with the selectmen’s lack of concern about this project and about how it may affect the town.”
City Council approves letter supporting Northern Pass
Berlin Daily Sun 12/9/15
The letter states that Coos County residents and communities are in need of economic development projects that expand the tax base. As the county’s manufacturing base has declined, the letter notes the average age of Coos residents has increased while the overall population has decreased.
Letter: A modest proposal on Northern Pass
Concord Monitor 12/8/15
But if Northern Pass would do us just this one teeny tiny little favor on that 40-mile business, and bury the whole thing along existing rights of way, I’d be for it. I’d do this in solidarity with my friends and neighbors who run backhoes and excavators, and haul dug-up material and gravel and ledgepack, and do paving and landscaping, and I’d even grab a shovel or a flag myself if Social Security keeps lagging behind the cost of living.
Northern Pass answers SPNHF's petition for declaratory judgment
Berlin Reporter 12/8/15
NPT maintains in its filing that "… SPNHF's permission is not required, as the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) is the sole authority for granting permission to install the utilities at issue within the public right of way…." NPT states that "utilities have long been recognized as appropriate users of public highway easements, and the use of public highways for the installation of underground conduit and cables is expressly authorized by statute, subject to the exclusive jurisdiction in the NHDOT to license such uses."
Conference presenters say energy projects in NH face a higher hurdle
Union Leader 12/8/15
Susan Schibanoff: What the various attorneys now alleging that NH siting criteria have become high hurdles barring business don't tell you is that prior to two years ago, NH was the go-to state for developers looking for the lowest bar. Take a look at "Criteria for Decisionmaking" in the NH Office of Energy and Planning's "Multi-state Energy Facility Siting Review." That's why, way back in 2007 or earlier, NH attracted an ill-conceived project like Northern Pass, which essentially relies upon private landowners to involuntarily subsidize them. That's why Maine and Vermont, with higher standards, attracted better-designed and thought-through project proposals like New England Clean Power Link, which garnered community support from the start; it is close to done with permitting and now signing on suppliers. The argument that NH's rules have become so stringent that they will discourage business cries wolf. States with criteria still higher than NH's are having no trouble attracting business. These criteria cull out poorly-designed projects like Northern Pass, which quickly become bogged down in political and community opposition, and encourage projects that have a high chance of success, like the fully buried New England Clean Power Link.
An opportunity for clarity on energy projects becomes obscured
Keene Sentinel Editorial 12/8/15
Instead of complaining to the committee, the state’s utilities opted for a more tried-and-true route. They lobbied the state’s lawmakers, and found enough members of the Joint Legislative Committee for Administrative Rules, which must OK the rules changes, to force another rewrite that, while not as nebulous as the original rules, is not as specific as it might have been. Most tellingly, they’ve removed references to effects on or consideration of “local or regional” scope or to property owners, instead referring only to statewide environmental or economic effects.
Utility’s old easements with landowners used to challenge legality of Northern Pass plan
Concord Monitor 12/8/15
New Hampshire’s Sierra Club chapter began a project recently collecting original easement documents from landowners along the proposed Northern Pass route for review. The organization opposes the hydropower project and says Northern Pass shouldn’t be able to use easements that PSNH acquired decades ago with ratepayer money. “The expectation at the time of that contract was for a distribution, transmission infrastructure, to literally light farms and schools in the area,” said chapter president Cathy Corkery. “Not for an international transmission system that is a superhighway for electricity.”
State siting panel: Northern Pass application is complete
Once the SEC issues its written decision on the completeness question, expected by Dec. 18, a one-year clock starts ticking for the SEC to complete its review. Steps along the way include more public hearings in each of the five counties touched by the project.
Union Leader 12/7/15
She said the final version of the rules does not go far enough in addressing municipal concerns, restricting the preemption of local zoning laws and master plans, or requiring the SEC to consider the “cumulative effect” of multiple projects.A spokesman for the Appalachian Mountain Club said the environmental group was disappointed that the SEC backed away in a “few critical areas” but, in essence, half a loaf is better than none. “Overall, the new rules, even with these modifications, will provide more transparency and clarity to the SEC process,” said Ken Kimball, AMC director of research.
Ayotte Welcomes Additional Public Comment Opportunities on Northern Pass
U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte 12/4/15
"I welcome today's announcement by the DOE to postpone public hearings and extend the public comment period for the proposed Northern Pass project. Along with the New Hampshire congressional delegation, I have repeatedly called on DOE to provide New Hampshire residents with ample time to understand, assess, and comment on the proposed project," said Ayotte. "I continue to believe that any proposal by Northern Pass should include the full burial of transmission lines along existing highway corridors and I will continue my efforts to ensure residents have sufficient opportunity to share their feedback on this project."
Public hearing added, others rescheduled on Northern Pass
After hearing from elected officials in New Hampshire, the Department of Energy is adding another public hearing on the proposed Northern Pass project and rescheduling others that had been set for this month. Officials now plan to hold a hearing in Colebrook, in addition to previously announced hearings in Whitefield, Concord, and Plymouth. The dates haven't been announced. The department also has extended the comment period on the project to April 4.
Northern Pass Files Response to Forest Society Lawsuit
Northern Pass 12/3/15
The project notes that “…SPNHF’s permission is not required, as the New Hampshire Department of Transportation is the sole authority for granting permission to install the utilities at issue within the public right of way…”
State's Public Advocate: Northern Pass Not Providing Enough Info For Public To Verify Claims
Peter Roth, a senior assistant attorney general appointed to represent consumers in the case, says Northern Pass’ “claimed benefits include lowering the cost of energy, providing low carbon, renewable power, creating jobs, increasing tax revenue and generally growing economic activity.” But there is so little information the public cannot see how those benefits would occur, Roth wrote in a December 2nd letter to the Site Evaluation Committee, which must approve the project before it could go forward.
Growing Number Of Towns To File As Northern Pass Interveners
Caledonian Record 12/2/15
Northumberland selectmen on Nov. 23 voted 3-0 to send a letter to the state requesting the status. On Dec. 9 in Bethlehem, the Bethlehem Planning Board will discuss their town becoming an intervener, after Bethlehem Conservation Commission Chair Cheryl Jensen met with board members Nov. 18. The town of Franconia, which after a revised route would now see five miles of buried line, is also mulling intervener status after a Nov. 18 public hearing in which the dozens of residents in attendance opposed the project.
Growing Number Of Towns To File As Northern Pass Interveners
Caledonian Record 12/1/15
During their meeting last week, selectmen in Northumberland discussed intervener status, with Selectman James Tierney saying with intervener status the town can have its suggestions considered and its questions answered. He noted the city of Concord and town of Bethlehem have put in for intervener status. Northumberland selectmen on Nov. 23 voted 3-0 to send a letter to the state requesting the status.
PUC commissioner recuses self from Northern Pass proceedings
Union Leader 12/1/15
Scott withdrew from PUC cases that will determine whether Northern Pass is granted status as a public utility; the legality of the Eversource lease agreements with Northern Pass; and access to public crossings along the route. Scott will also not participate as a member of the statewide Site Evaluation Committee in reviewing the Northern Pass siting application.
Northern Pass project faces power line path lease questions
Union Leader 12/1/15
On Nov. 17, the PUC let Eversource know that its application was lacking in key information, and requested, "a legal opinion that the leased use is permitted under the easement and that the easement rights are transferable to Northern Pass Transmission."
Rindge state rep wants to amend NH constitution
Keene Sentinel 11/30/15
Sanborn said the amendment would put power back in the hands of the people, but not absolute power. The amendment, she said, attempts to guard against potential abuses by limiting the kinds of laws local governments can enact. To do that, the proposed amendment includes language prohibiting towns and cities from making laws that would restrict the fundamental rights of “natural persons, their local communities, or nature.”
Quebec is facing its own ‘dirty’ energy export problem
The Globe and Mail 11/26/15
The “dirty” label comes from the carbon released in the flooding of vast swaths of boreal forest to build new hydro dams, such as the 1,550 MW Romaine River project now nearing completion, and ongoing disputes with the Innu First Nations whose territories are most affected by the project.
Customers emerge for power lines
Associated Press 11/26/15
Bill Quinlan, president of Eversource New Hampshire Operations, which is working with Hydro-Quebec to bring Canadian power to southern New England, said the Northern Pass project is ideally suited to meet the needs of the southern New England states.
Council votes to support Northern Pass
Berlin Daily Sun 11/25/15
The council Monday night agreed to have City Manager Jim Wheeler write a letter to the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee expressing the governing body’s support for the project in general. The letter will be reviewed by the councilors before the council takes a final vote at the Dec. 7 council meeting.
Long-awaited transmission request boosts NE energy
Burlington Free Press 11/25/15
Four large-scale transmission projects are being discussed publicly in the region: Anbaric’s projects in Maine and Vermont, the Northern Pass project that would bring Canadian power into the region through New Hampshire, and TDI New England, which would carry Canadian power down Lake Champlain and then across Vermont to where it would feed the regional power grid. But more could be coming.
Northern Pass Facing Challenges over Siting
RTO Insider 11/24/15
The developers of the Northern Pass transmission line may have to fight in court before they turn the first shovel of dirt on their project to deliver Canadian hydropower to the New England grid.
Hassan wants Northern Pass hearings delayed
Union Leader 11/20/15
“I am concerned that the timing of the public comment hearings may be prohibitive for many citizens that had hoped to attend and present their comments,” Hassan wrote. “In addition, even the northern-most hearing location is more than a three-hour round trip for citizens in Clarkesville, Stewartstown and Pittsburg, areas that will be impacted by this route.”
Northern Pass Supports Governor’s Request to Reschedule Hearings
Northern Pass 11/20/15
Northern Pass submitted a letter today to the Department of Energy supporting Governor Maggie Hassan’s request to reschedule three hearings currently slated for the week before Christmas. We recognize the concerns many people have about trying to attend the hearings in the midst of the holiday season. We believe that holding the hearings in January and scheduling an additional hearing in northern Coös County would facilitate broad participation and minimize inconvenience to the public without causing any unwarranted delay in the overall schedule.
Forest Society Sues to Block Northern Pass
“In 1931 the selectmen of Pittsburgh, Clarksville and Stewartstown jointly laid out a road which today is route 3,” explains Forest Society Vice President Will Abbot, “They paid damages to the then owner of our Washburn family forest for the taking of the right of way over that land. They did not acquire the land underlying that road, only the road itself.”
Suit looks to block Northern Pass
Union Leader 11/20/15
Transportation Commissioner Victoria Sheehan notified the SEC on Nov. 13 that her department has had numerous meetings with representatives of Northern Pass Transmission and their consultants. “Given the complex nature of this project, the department anticipates executing a use and occupancy agreement for the entire project within state-maintained rights of way,” she wrote.“We are treating this proposal the same as any utility application,” said DOT spokesman Bill Boynton.
Longtime opponent to Northern Pass files suit to halt energy project over private property rights
Concord Monitor 11/20/15
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation oversees state roads, and recently told the SEC it had received sufficient information from Northern Pass to initiative the permitting process. But DOT spokesman Bill Boynton said the department is still waiting for a legal interpretation on some contentions over public road access. “At this point we’re not taking a position, other than to say that we’re treating the application as any other application,” he said.
Jane Difley: Forest Society Takes Northern Pass to Court
Forest Society 11/19/15
We have not taken a position against the idea of making it possible for Hydro-Quebec to transmit more electricity to the southern New England market. Rather, it has been and remains our position that if Northern Pass is to be built, it should be done in a way that respects New Hampshire’s communities, scenic landscapes, conserved land, and the interests of landowners. More specifically, our board has advocated full burial along appropriate transportation corridors if such a transmission line is to be built through New Hampshire.
Governor Hassan Calls on U.S. DOE to Reschedule Northern Pass Public Hearings, Schedule Additional Hearing
Governor Hassan 11/19/15
"The siting of large-scale energy transmission can have implications for decades to come, and we must ensure a thorough and transparent review of proposed projects so that the most impacted communities have the opportunity to be heard," Governor Hassan wrote. "Rescheduling the December public hearings and including an additional public hearing in the northern part of the state will help ensure that all Granite Staters have an opportunity to attend and have their voices heard."
Fearing A Losing Battle, The Site Evaluation Committee Modifies A Key Regulation
As amended the rule is less specific, simply saying that the SEC must consider a list of items including private property, "the environment of the state" and "the overall economic growth of the state." That provides more flexibility for utilities to argue their case and for the SEC to make decisions, but it is also more vague, a problem the SEC was originally told to correct. Despite being weakened, it is still more demanding than what some utilities wanted: a simple notation of of "public interest," without any list of what was to be considered.
State officials: Northern Pass has not documented needed property rights
Union Leader 11/17/15
DES had a deadline of Nov. 13 to decide, and on Friday advised the SEC by letter that the Northern Pass application is not complete in large part because it does not contain “proof that the applicant will have a legal right to undertake the project on the properties listed.”
New Rules For Site Evaluation Committee Dismay Energy Companies, But Will The SEC Back Off?
The unreasonable adverse effect requirement means the committee must weigh a project’s impact in areas including scenery, air quality, wildlife, historical sites, public health and safety. Another controversial, proposed rule looks at whether a project “will serve the public interest.” Basically that means the committee would weigh the cost and benefit of changes to energy prices, property values, tax revenue, employment opportunities, a whole host of factors.
NH Delegation Statement on Release of Supplement to Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Northern Pass Project
U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte 11/13/15
"We are pleased that the DOE complied with our request to complete a detailed analysis of the updated preferred route for the proposed Northern Pass project and we look forward to reviewing the Supplement. While we appreciate that the DOE has extended the public comment period and announced four public hearings, we continue to believe that the DOE must provide ample opportunity for Granite Staters to review and comment on the draft EIS, including this new supplement."
New England, Quebec officials urge hydropower push
Associated Press 11/13/15
Environmental groups, including the Conservation Law Foundation, have said Canadian hydropower could play a larger role in New England's energy future, but they caution that an expansion of hydropower should be undertaken thoughtfully to avoid undermining development of local renewable energy.
Wind is a better answer than hydro for post-Pilgrim energy needs
Boston Globe Op-Ed 11/10/15
And will we be able to get the power when we need it most? Quebec has a winter-peaking electric system, and New England’s system is summer-peaking. However, New England’s electric system is under maximum stress in the winter, when it has to compete for natural gas with the region’s heating needs. The unanswered question is whether Quebec will in fact be able to supply New England with additional electricity on the coldest winter days, when both their system and ours experience peak demand.
Easton: Northern Pass Team On Hot Seat
Caledonian Record 11/10/15
Attorney Mark Hodgdon, contracted by Northern Pass, said there are a number of reasons I-93 won't work, among them the N.H. Department of Transportation saying that utilities such as Eversource, the parent company of Northern Pass, must show extreme hardship to use any of their corridors. But Selectman Debbie Stever pointed out that the DOT several years ago identified I-93 as an energy corridor. Hodgdon said he is aware of that, but did not comment further.
Energy Department OKs Canadian Hydro Line in New England
RTO Insider 11/9/15
Transmission Developers Inc. New England, a unit of The Blackstone Group, anticipates that all major federal and state permits will be granted by the end of the year and the project would be in service in 2019. Ninety-eight miles of the cable would be buried under Lake Champlain, and most of its land-based route would be underground to Ludlow, Vt.
Pembroke residents seek burial of Northern Pass lines
Candia-Auburn Post 11/6/15
Responding to a question about the cost of maintaining overhead lines, compared to underground cable, Kayser said there is less maintenance when it's underground, "but the cost of maintaining overhead lines is not all that much in the grand scheme of things."
Eversource angles for state-managed clean energy contract
Boston Globe 11/5/15
By partnering with Hydro-Quebec, Eversource could end up on both ends of the bid. That’s because the state’s big utilities — National Grid and Unitil are the others — will be the ones bidding for the long-term power contracts, under the direction of the three southern New England states’ regulators. Eversource indicated it might bid into the three-state contract with a still-unidentified transmission project, as well as the bid to support the Northern Pass power line.
Northern Pass Is Passing The Buck
Clean Technica 10/31/15
Reading on, you see the same tired rhetoric about “investments” in local nonprofits and conservation groups, acknowledging the project’s negative impacts and attempts to mitigate community outcry. Anyone who’s done a little public relations work knows that these feel-good endeavors are “baked” into the budget for any large-scale private project. For Eversource, it’s part of the cost of doing business.
Details, details: Site Evaluation Committee has to decide how many are needed
Concord Monitor 10/31/15
The SEC has until the end of November to revise the proposed rules, and the committee will then have a couple of months to decide whether to accept them. As a further twist, it’s not entirely clear whether any changes will even apply to Northern Pass, since that seems to depend on whether what is known as the 'adjudicative process' has begun before the rules are adopted by the legislative committee.
State doesn’t need Northern Pass
Concord Monitor Op-Ed 10/31/15
Northern Pass is not environmentally friendly. It has a significant carbon footprint. According to Hydro-Quebec’s own studies, it is as much as 70 percent of a natural gas power plant. The initial flooding required to create hydroelectric reservoirs destroys rivers, valleys and boreal forests, an important source of carbon sequestration and oxygen generation. Decomposing vegetation in the reservoir produces both CO2 and methane. Methane’s effect on climate disruption is 25 times worse than carbon dioxide.
A FAQ on the SEC Process for Northern Pass
Society for the Protection of NH Forests 10/30/15
Clearly, applicants start the SEC process with an enormous advantage. They have considerably more resources and experience to deal with the SEC than individual members of the public and stakeholder groups. In 2014 and 2015 the Legislature made modifications to the SEC authorizing statute that attempted to provide greater public access to—and participation in—the SEC process. The SEC is also updating its administrative rules, which will flesh out the details of the SEC process. The jury may be out on the question of whether the playing field is really level. But one thing seems apparent: The less public participation in the SEC process, the likelier that the SEC will issue a certificate to the Northern Pass.
Clinton highlights national priorities in Berlin visit
Union Leader 10/30/15
Regarding Northern Pass, Clinton said she has been asked about it previously and noted that the proposal to bring hydroelectricity from Canada down through New Hampshire and into the regional power grid was still the subject of much regulatory review.She did say, however, that it was “important to protect the beauty of this area” as a magnet for tourism, adding “that should be given great weight” by regulators as they consider the Northern Pass project.
Hydro-Québec can afford to bury Northern Pass
Coos County Democrat and Littleton Courier editorial 10/28/15
Dedicated residents have testified about how the tall towers of Northern Pass would diminish the joy our land provides. Hopefully Mr. Martel and Northern Pass can forgive the people of the North Country who believe our forests are more remarkable than a foreign monopoly’s balance sheet. Beloved scenery and the wonders of nature - not a Canadian company’s quest for more profit - make life grand in New Hampshire.
Former Vt. Gov. Howard Dean backs Gov. Charlie Baker's hydropower bill
Mass Live 10/28/15
Some clean energy advocates have voiced concerns that a focus on importing Canadian hydroelectric power would displace wind and solar power generated in New England. Dean said hydroelectric power is necessary for the times when wind and solar power cannot be produced. Dean said especially once the availability of nuclear power diminishes, more solar and wind capability can only be built if there is a source for 24-hour power. The question then becomes whether that baseload power is produced in a way that emits carbon – for example, through coal or oil – or that does not – such as through hydropower.
NEPGA/RESA Withdrawal from PSNH Divestiture Settlement
New England Power Generators Association 10/28/15
NPT's recent power purchase agreement (PPA), shrouded in secrecy, changes the equation, says NEPGA. The group requested additional discovery but was denied by the PUC.
The SEC has asked agencies for a preliminary report on the completeness of NPT's application by Nov. 13
Site Evaluation Committee 10/26/15
For your convenience I have attached pages 17-20 from the Application. On these pages the Applicant lists the agencies with permitting and other regulatory authority and identifies permits and licenses that it asserts are required for the proposed Project. If you believe that the Application requires a permit from your agency that is not included on the list, please contact me as soon as possible.
Concord residents along Northern Pass route share thoughts on proposal
Concord Monitor 10/25/15
One existing power line in the corridor will grow in height and be relocated further west, in some cases moving much closer to existing homes and businesses along the power corridor. Along the entire route, existing utility towers will nearly double in size, from an average height of 43 feet to roughly 88 feet if the project is built. The proposed Northern Pass towers will be wider than the existing ones, and average 100 feet tall.
Northern Pass just doesn’t add up
LTE Concord Monitor 10/25/15
If you can accept that the cost of cutting and clearing 40 feet of pine along the Concord right of way, steel, fabricating lattice components, assembling the lattice, excavating and pouring concrete supports, lattice transport to its final destination, erecting the lattice and laying in the cable amounts to $3 million per mile, how can burying two 6-inch diameter cables, 13 inches apart, several feet deep, with backhoes and excavators along a softened corridor like Interstate 93, cost $8 million to $13 million dollars per mile?
Garry Rayno's State House Dome: Northern Pass gets real with application
Union Leader 10/24/15
The loss of Pilgrim and some older coal and oil-fired generating facilities means 4,200 megawatts of power will be taken off the New England grid in the next few years, according to ISO-NE, the system operator.However, there are proposed facilities that would generate 11,000 megawatts, but two-thirds would burn natural gas, which is already at a premium because of pipeline capacity.
Before Boosting Canada, Raise The Solar Cap in New Hampshire
Red, Green & Blue 10/23/15
Yep. Rather than focusing on a job-producing industry in New Hampshire, the state may build an enormous hydroelectric plant 192 miles from the Canadian border. Ratepayers – hard-working New Hampshire residents – would foot the bill for this project, which would stretch wires across stunning landscapes to bring foreign energy into the state while actively obstructing home-grown energy.
Northern Pass Application Likely Lengthiest in State's History
If printed on 8 x 11 paper, and laid end to end, a single copy of the Northern Pass’ application to the state’s Site Evaluation Committee, would stretch nearly 4 miles. With 51 appendices spread across 35 volumes, each application takes up more than 20,000 pages.
Sugar Hill, Franconia: Northern Pass Tax Pitch Met With Skepticism
Caledonian Record 10/20/15
Although it presented a tax revenue simulation for 20 years, the company did not show the second 20 years, and Sugar Hill resident Carl Martland said after the second 20 years the value would run out to zero. "The valuation will never get to zero," said Mason. "There will be investments." But what those investments will be and how much, and how close the valuation will approach zero, Mason declined to say. "You said it won't get to zero - how close to zero will it go?" asked Nancy Martland. "I don't have an estimate," said Mason.
Northern Pass files for approval with state regulators
Union Leader 10/20/15
"What Eversource has put forward blatantly and knowingly disregards our property rights and the conservation easements we hold in northern New Hampshire where they do not have an existing right-of-way," he said. "We don't intend to allow them to dig in our dirt, and we think the defense of property rights is in the interest of every New Hampshire landowner."
Eversource files Northern Pass application with state panel
Associated Press 10/20/15
"It is disappointing that Northern Pass failed to listen to the public at last month's SEC input sessions, where 80 percent of the comments were in opposition to Northern Pass as proposed," said Jack Savage, spokesman for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. "It is a missed opportunity on their part. If Northern Pass were truly listening to New Hampshire landowners and communities as they claim, this proposal would have been for an entirely buried line."
Northern Pass project files for state siting approval
The company also revealed that the estimated cost of the plan has increased from $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion, in part to pay for project changes that include the burying of 52 more miles of power lines after many expressed their concerns about the project negatively affecting viewing sites in central and northern areas of New Hampshire.
Northern Pass Tests Waters With Tax Proposal
Caledonian Record 10/16/15
Northern Pass is proposing a tax methodology some say would benefit the company more than the towns the line would pass through. The formula the company seeks would result in less annual tax revenue for communities as the years go on.
New Hampshire Film Festival expected to draw 10,000 to Portsmouth
Union Leader 10/14/15
With potential energy projects generating much talk in New Hampshire as of late, Jerry Monkman’s documentary, “The Power of Place” focuses on the proposed Northern Pass electricity transmission line and efforts to bring electricity from Quebec to Southern New England.
LTE: House must take a stand against big money
Concord Monitor 10/13/15
As the libertarian Cato Institute reports, America spends around $100 billion a year in corporate welfare subsidies that squelch small business and violate the basic principles of free-market competition. Closer to home, Northern Pass and Kinder Morgan are spending millions of dollars in lobbying and campaign donations for the right to access public lands for private gain. That kind of crony capitalism and wasteful spending are enough to leave any small-government conservative – or any sensible American, for that matter – sick to their stomach.
Letter To Editor: Unions Should Push To Bury Northern Pass Lines
NH Labor News 10/13/15
In the draft Northern Pass Transmission Project Environmental Impact Statement, the Department of Energy found that burial of the entire transmission line pursuant to Alternative 4a will create nearly twice as many annual construction jobs over three years and 65% more permanent full-time jobs, will have almost double the economic impact from construction and 61% more in total economic impacts, and will generate 97% more statewide annual property tax revenues than the proposed above-ground line under Alternative 2 (DEIS, 4-5, 4-6).
Northumberland not fooled by tax revenue offer from NPT
Coos County Democrat 10/11/15
Five people were on hand for the meeting: developer Bob Chapman; Scott Mason of Stratford, a community liaison for Elevare Communications of Concord that does work for Northern Pass; Al Rossetto of Groveton, plus two other citizens. Phillips said that he had asked town counsel what he thought of the content of an article published in this newspaper about Northern Pass having a discussion with Dummer selectmen about using a method of assessing the proposed transmission line based on book value to establish a known property tax income and had received a negative reply. The methodology described had included an annual 2.5 percent depreciation during the first 20 years. Selectman Jim Tierney said that he doesn't believe a utility should be able to depreciate an asset, since that technique should only be used on personal income taxes. The meeting was adjourned after 10 minutes.
High Voltage Power Lines Threaten New Hampshire’s Historic Character
National Trust for Historic Preservation 10/7/15
Preservationists are advocating nationwide for the protection of America’s most historic landscapes,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “New Hampshire is beloved by residents and visitors alike for its scenic and natural beauty. As thousands of people flock to the Granite State to enjoy its stunning fall foliage, we are dismayed by plans to construct neatly 200 miles of high voltage power lines through some of the state’s most scenic and historic areas. Rather than this destructive path, we encourage the Department of Energy to conduct a thoughtful assessment that will ensure the path does not diminish the prized places that are integral to New Hampshire’s economy and its heritage tourism industry.
Ayotte memo to Stewartstown gathering: NH is worth it!
Sen. Kelly Ayotte 10/4/15
New Hampshire is worth it! I have long called for the burial of the entire Northern Pass route. Like you, I have been following the Northern Pass project closely since it was initially proposed. I am studying the most recent revision to the proposal from Eversource
and Northern Pass. This proposal to bury an additional 52 miles in the area of the White Mountain National Forrest is an important improvement. Historically, Eversource raised many objections to burial, including whether the technology would work with the geography of NH and the financial feasibility of burial. I appreciate that Eversource in its latest proposal has now acknowledged that burial is viable and has finally been listening to concerns raised by residents about the impact of the transmission lines on our beautiful environment, which is so important to the economy of the North Country. That said, I continue to believe more can be done to minimize any impact on tourism and the beauty of the North Country by burying all of the transmission line . . . If this project is to go forward, they should bury the entire Northern Pass route. New Hampshire is worth it.
NH Sierra Club Opposes Northern Pass
NH Labor News 10/4/15
The burden of Northern Pass is too great for New Hampshire property owners, economy, and ratepayers. The transmission pathway wrongly assumes that the right-of-way easements allow for rent to Hydro Quebec,” continued Corkery. “The easements were purchased with rate payer money for needed transmission and distribution to New Hampshire homes, farms and businesses. Eversource, doing business as Northern Pass, has no right to rent easements to foreign governments to sell Hydro Quebec energy. The safety of burying under road ways is unknown. The transmission towers or digging a trench through the heart of New Hampshire will impact property values negatively. Buried or left above ground, this proposal is a bad deal for New Hampshire.
Honoring Our Conservationists of the Year 2015
Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests 10/2/15
And the biggest reason that they have not is because of the actions of a few key landowners who owned land along the potential routes Northern Pass was hoping to acquire. Routes across one of the most stunningly beautiful areas in New Hampshire. A few key landowners, supported by a community standing in opposition to the unnecessary industrialization of a landscape they cherish, recognized that they were in unique positions to say no to the money that Northern Pass was offering in an effort to save a larger landscape we all cherish. Or as one of them (Rod McAllaster) so famously put it, “Our roots are deeper than their pockets.”
Officials: ATV riders, snowmobilers denied access to trails owned by Northern Pass opponents
Union Leader 9/30/15
Pamela Frizzell said: I am one of the landowners. If access to the trails is desired, then please write your politicians and the SEC to tell them that you do not want Northern Pass. I'm not much different than Northern Pass; instead of offering millions of dollars for your support, I'm asking you to support the landowner by standing up against Northern Pass.
Northern Pass offers property tax valuation floor to selectmen
Coos County Demmocrat 9/30/15
There are different methods that a town can use under state law to assess market value. "We are offering that if Dummer uses Book Value minus a 2.5 percent depreciation rate the company will sign a pledge not to seek an abatement," he explained to the select board. "We would register this pledge with the Site Evaluation Committee (SEC), and it would become part of our permit (called a Certificate of Site and Facility)." This in no way limits the town from assessing the electric transmission line using a different methodology and taxing it at a higher value. If this should happen, however, Northern Pass would reserve the right to file for an abatement, just the same as any other landowner in town, Mason explained. This pledge is designed to clear up some misconceptions about abatements and utility values and offer the plus of allowing the town to have some clarity on future tax revenues.
No reason to buy Canadian hydro, power plants say
Boston Globe 9/17/15
The group paid for Sue Tierney, a former Massaschusetts secretary of environmental affairs, to study Baker’s proposal to meet emissions targets by having National Grid and Eversource Energy buy low-cost electricity from Canadian dams and other sources. Tierney said Baker’s proposal was “too risky” and would increase costs.
Union Leader 9/25/15
“Staff believes that the proposed allocation of recovery of stranded costs from different ratepayer groups as proposed in the settlement agreement does not pass the test of fair and equitable rate making ... or the requirements for a fair allocation of divestiture costs,” according to the testimony.
Northern Pass to get additional review
Union Leader 9/25/15
“We appreciate DOE’s decision to meet the request of concerned Granite Staters who want more information and more time to assess the impact of the new Northern Pass route,” the delegation members said in a statement.
Statement from Governor Hassan on Department of Energy Decision to Extend Draft Environmental Impact Statement Period on Northern Pass
Governor Maggie Hassan 9/24/15
“I applaud the Department of Energy for listening to the concerns of Granite Staters and agreeing to prepare a supplement to and extend the timeline for the draft environmental impact statement for the newest Northern Pass proposal. For all proposed energy projects, we must always work to ensure a robust public process, and I will continue to encourage the federal government to continue to listen to public input about the project and for the company to continue to reach out to New Hampshire citizens and continue to work to address their concerns.”
Extended Public Comment Period for Northern Pass Proposal Provides Crucial Window for Public Review
Nature Conservancy 9/24/15
“It’s extremely important that the people of New Hampshire have access to all relevant information so they can make informed comments on this controversial proposal,” said Jim O’Brien, the Conservancy’s New Hampshire director of external affairs. “We are very pleased with the Department of Energy’s decision and thank the members of the New Hampshire Congressional delegation for their work and support to this end.
Feds Cancel Northern Pass Hearings, Say More Study Now Needed
The new review was requested by conservation groups and New Hampshire's congressional delegation. They told the DOE that burying an additional 52 miles was not one of the routes in the draft Environmental Impact Statement released earlier this year. So, they argued, the draft was incomplete.
Where do presidential candidates stand on Northern Pass, property rights?
Tom Thomson 9/23/15
In the beginning we were told Northern Pass would cost around $1.2 to $1.4 billion which was based on all transmission lines above ground. Then in the first revision of 2013 we were promised they would bury 8 miles. Now under the second phase we’re promised that a total of 60 miles will be buried, and they would also create a $200 million economic fund and 10 percent lower cost power, yet the total cost of Northern Pass remains the same $1.4 billion. How does that happen?
Whitefield Select board accepts petition seeking full Northern Pass burial
Coos County Democrat 9/23/15
In addition the petition and letter point out that the project does not conform to the town's Master Plan and would "negatively affect the orderly development of Whitefield and the region, private property values, business prospects and economic development." The petition also states: "This is our town and our futures. We will not stand by and watch as Whitefield is destroyed by monstrous above-ground lines."
Live Free or Die: Citizens remain skeptical of Northern Pass
LTE Laconia Citizen 9/20/15
In an exceptionally focused discussion, a total of 92 percent of respondents answered the question directly or with a concurrence, and of these an 86 percent majority stating they did not support the revised Northern Pass plan with 14 percent in favor. Of the remaining respondents, only 6 percent opted to discuss the subject in broader terms while 2 percent commented on unrelated issues. In sum, 254 citizens participated in the discussion with a total of 646 responses.
NH Delegation Calls for New Environmental Review of Northern Pass Project
Sen. Kelly Ayotte 9/18/15
"As you know, on August 18, 2015, Northern Pass Transmission, LLC with Eversource Energy announced it would modify the preferred route for the proposed Northern Pass project. Based on the significant impact this project poses to New Hampshire, a thorough and transparent review of the new preferred route is necessary," wrote the delegation. "We support the request for a supplement or addendum to DOE's draft EIS and urge the Department to complete a detailed analysis of the new route immediately. Furthermore, we urge the Department to postpone the public hearings and comment period regarding the draft EIS until that relevant analysis is completed and available for public review."
Dept. of Energy asked to re-open Northern Pass environmental review
Union Leader 9/16/15
“It is unfair to ask the public to comment on a (draft environmental statement) that addresses the old preferred alternative in light of the applicant’s recently revealed preferred alternative,” according to the letter submitted by the Appalachian Mountain Club, Audubon Society of New Hampshire, Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, Responsible Energy Action, and the Nature Conservancy of New Hampshire.
Concord’s Northern Pass subcommittee reconvenes today
Concord Monitor 9/15/15
Since that meeting with Eversource, however, Ward 8 Councilor Gail Matson has been hearing from more residents in recent weeks. All have asked for the lines to be buried or opposed the project altogether, she said. Matson is the chairwoman of the subcommittee studying the project.
Northern Pass is trying to buy supporters
LTE, Berlin Daily Sun 9/15/15
So, we will shut off access to our land. If you want access, then write the appropriate people to say no to Northern Pass. Speak out against Northern Pass. Landowners have supported your sports; now, please support those of us who are determined to keep Northern Pass out. Prove to the landowners that you support our fight against Northern Pass. If your club, coalition or state association accepts money or other gifts from or on behalf of Northern Pass; no land access from us.
NH wants suggestions on what to look at in dealing with changes in the electric grid
Concord Monitor 9/13/15
With projects like Northern Pass and gas pipelines whipping up debate, power plants shutting down, disruptive technologies like solar panels and smart meters cropping up everywhere, and whispered fears of utilities facing a financial “death spiral” that could weaken the power supply, the once-staid business of making and transmitting electricity is getting turned upside down.
New Hampton selectmen outline opposition to Northern Pass
Laconia Citizen 9/13/15
Fact: Northern Pass Transmission LLC does not answer to the people of New Hampshire. lt answers to the stakeholders of the project and to the shareholders of the parent companies. Voluntarily, it will seek to do the absolute minimum to mitigate the impacts and costs of the project, while maximizing its earnings. If the Northern Pass Transmission Line is to be located within New Hampshire then it is incumbent upon us as custodians of our communities and of the state to impose upon Northern pass the measures which will bring about the maximum protections, of our environment and economies, while securing for our communities the best possible outcomes in jobs and tax revenues.
Northern Pass: A final hearing
Union Leader 9/11/15
Asked why Eversource said it listened to communities — but actually didn’t, since it’s not burying all of the Northern Pass — Quinlan replied that some of those communities were “excited about the project.”Once the laughter died down, Quinlan said that Eversource, in addition to the concern about “view impacts,” was also hearing “multiple different perspectives” from communities “and that’s the dialogue were going to continue...”
Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust Opposes Northern Pass in Public Hearings
Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust 9/9/15
ACT views this project as the greatest threat to the integrity of New Hampshire’s scenic landscapes since the corporate devastation of the forests in the late 19th century — leading to the Weeks Act and the creation of the White Mountain National Forest.
Northern Pass fund 'payoff' rejected
Union Leader 9/9/15
John Fothergill, on behalf of the NCCRC board of directors, said: “We can’t just take a payoff. We look to partner with our funders. We’re unclear about the Northern Pass Fund partnership intentions except that this seemed like an award for their own immediate public relations needs. Currently, we don’t agree with their proposed transmission line plan. As long as the lines aren’t buried, we can’t support it and that means we can’t, in good faith, take their money.”
Northern Pass divides state into winners, losers
Nancy Martland, LTE Concord Monitor 9/7/15
However, the new route, Northern Pass 3.0, fails miserably in one very important aspect. It divides New Hampshire into winners and losers. Divides us into “tower towns” and “burial towns.” Offers cash to tower towns in an attempt to soothe the dual injury of a disfigured landscape and loser status. Offers “job creation” grants to paper over the fact that Coos County is the biggest loser of all.
More of Northern Pass could be buried because of cable technology
Concord Monitor 9/7/15
ABB, the Swiss company that first developed HVDC Light, says it has developed a new version of the technology with a voltage rating as high as 525 kilovolts, meaning it will become the first underground system “that can transmit approximately the same amount of power as an overhead transmission system” and could, in theory, let Northern Pass bury more lines at a 1,200 megawatt level.
Meet The Cable That Made Burying 52 Miles of Northern Pass Possible
“You don’t need as much width or depth,” says Nathan Scott, an engineer with Burns and McDonnell which helped design the project. He says not only are there fewer cables to run, but the cables themselves are less expensive. “Basically all the things that are coming into play for the 1,000 megawatts make it cheaper.”
Residents offer feedback for updated Northern Pass route
“Oh, sure these are people who are going to build three, four, five hundred thousand dollar homes, and put their life savings to work, maybe build a retirement home. And they’re going to end up, instead of the beauty that’s at Owl’s Nest now, they end up staring at the towers for 4, 5 miles through their property. It’s a no-brainer. They weren’t going to do that,” said Tom Mullen, former owner of Owl’s Nest Resort.
Forest Society Still Fighting for North Country Landscapes
Society for the Protection of NH Forests 9/2/15
We also continue to maintain that Northern Pass cannot build their proposed route through Clarksville and Stewartstown without eminent domain, We are preparing a vigorous defense of our property rights, and those of landowners who have worked with us to put conservation easements on their lands.Northern Pass is facing a long permitting struggle with, at best, a very uncertain outcome. We don't intend to let them dig in our dirt.
Will plan to bury 60 miles of Northern Pass sway opposition?
Concord Monitor 9/1/15
“We continue to advocate that if Northern Pass can be built, it ought to be buried in its entirety,” said Jack Savage of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. The environmental group has already raised $325,000 from more than 2,000 donors for its “Trees Not Towers Defense Fund” – money it plans to use to mount a legal challenge against Northern Pass, Savage said. “Why not bury all 200 miles?” Savage said.
New England governors talk hydropower with Canadian officials
While the proposal by Hartford-based Eversource Energy to build transmission lines through parts of the White Mountains has encountered stiff local opposition, New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan said she was "very encouraged" by the companies revised Northern Pass plans that would bury an additional 52 miles of cable under existing roads.
Northern Pass awards grants for jobs
Union Leader 8/31/15
The initial recipients of the CCJCA funds are the North Country OHRV Coalition and the North Country Community Recreational Center, both of Colebrook; Greetings Jewelers and the Enriched Learning Center and ELC Outdoors, both of Berlin; the Dancing Bear Pub at Rivers Edge Inn, Colebrook; White Mountains Regional High School, Whitefield; Tillotson Performance Polymers of Colebrook; and Centennial View Childcare and Enhancement of Littleton.
Northern Pass path shift puts 5,000 acres into play
Union Leader 8/30/15
But what exactly does that mean? How will those allocations be made, and toward what end? The answers to those questions could have as much impact on the North Country as the Northern Pass itself.
24-mile right of way leaves future uncertain
Union Leader 8/30/15
“It's a 24-mile right of way through Bayroot land, from the Dixville-Stewarstown line, down to Dummer,” said Will Abbott, vice president for policy and land management at the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. “The lease agreement between Bayroot and Northern Pass appears to bind the two parties together for a joint venture of developing a new wind project up in Northern Coos County on other land owned by Bayroot.”
The Big Question: Why Should NH Subsidize Hydro-Quebec?
Society for the Protection of NH Forests 8/28/15
This isn’t surprising given that most of the people who would be impacted live where it would remain overhead (Franklin to Deerfield) with the highest towers, none of which would be lowered due to the smaller size of the project. In the far North, the feeling seems to be that once again they are getting the short end of the stick, with 40 new miles of ROW proposed, most of it overhead. It is also the case that the route Northern Pass is proposing would require them to site infrastructure on land the Forest Society owns and easements we hold. The project does not have access to the state’s power of eminent domain.
Opponents of Northern Pass hold strategy session
Union Leader 8/27/15
But several speakers Wednesday pointed out that Eversource officials had previously estimated the cost of burying the power lines at five to 10 times the cost of the lines being built above ground, yet in last week’s announcement, the company announced that about one-third of the lines would be buried without much, if any, increase in the project’s cost.
Is it affordable for Northern Pass to bury ALL of the lines?
Jim Dannis 8/26/15
For the opposition-sponsored meeting in Bridgewater on August 28, Jim and Sandy Dannis prepared research on how much more it would cost NPT to bury the entire line. They based their conclusion on NPT’s August 18th revelation that it could bury an extra 52 miles of the project at no net increased cost! Following is a link to the notes from Jim’s talk. They are written in language that all of us can understand. Please read them. Don’t let NPT bamboozle you into thinking that it’s “too expensive” to bury the whole line. Jim’s calculations aren’t just back-of-the-envelope stuff. He has extensive background in investment banking, Wall Street, and the utility sector. But, as Jim urges, a full study must be commissioned to get the facts out in the open concerning the “too expensive” claim. Please share this info with your legislators and our elected officials, especially the Governor, and ask them to get the facts before they fall for NPT’s "too expensive" claim.
Despite Revised Proposal, Shaheen Still Concerned About Northern Pass
I’m concerned about the impact on the environment and the impact on the citizens in the communities where those lines are going through. We’ve heard loud and clear from folks who say this is going to have an impact on my property, on tourism in the North Country, so I think it’s important they be responsive to that. I think it’s important that there be a benefit to people in New Hampshire as a result of what they’re proposing.
Still too many questions surrounding latest Northern Pass proposal
Kathy Sullivam op-ed, Union Leader 8/24/15
Despite the opposition, the company, then known as Northeast Utilities, refused to consider burying any of the lines. Its recalcitrance was perplexing. The Champlain Hudson Power Express, a proposal to bring hydro power from Canada to New York City, had announced it would bury 300-plus miles of lines, causing skepticism among opponents of Northern Pass as to NU’s claim that it could not afford to bury the lines. Moreover, the New York proposal promised an $117 million trust fund to fund environmental projects over 35 years. There was no similar pledge from Northern Pass.
Northern Pass project remains a lightning rod
Union Leader 8/21/15
“Volunteering to bury 60 miles of the line down state road (right-of-way) puts the lie to the non-stop lying we have been subjected to by Northern Pass spokespeople for the last five years, that burial was ‘10-15 times more expensive than overhead,’ and that undergrounding was impossible due to the fact that New Hampshire has granite rock,” Martin said.
We’re Not In The 19th Century
Colebrook Chronicle Editorial 8/21/15
So why is it that Eversource wants Coos County to step back into the 19th Century by now stringing overhead powerlines through our Great North Woods? Come on, Eversource, if you can bury 60 miles, you can bury it all. And just think, if you do, you can truly trumpet that you have landed squarely in the world of 21st Century innovation. Be a leader. Bury it all.
Eversource: Northern Pass critics shouldn't expect more enticements
Union Leader 8/20/15
“There are going to be folks who’ve ardently opposed this from the outset and perhaps are going to look at it as an opportunity,” Quinlan said in an interview at the New Hampshire Union Leader on Wednesday. “They’re going to say, ‘We got them to move this far; we can get them to move further,’ and I think that’s unlikely.”
An open letter to Gov. Hassan on Northern Pass plans
Tom Mullen, LTE Laconia Citizen 8/19/15
For the sake of your constituents and your legacy, you must not allow the rhetoric of your fellow governors to sway your conscience on this matter. We now know from the DOE’s EIS that burial is the preferred option and that short of abandoning the project, burial is the most environmentally sound option that the DOE studied. What more compelling evidence does New Hampshire need that burial is the right way to move forward with this project? Absent burial, you and our other elected and appointed State officials have no legitimate choice other than passing on the Northern Pass!
Political Reaction Mixed To Revised Northern Pass Proposal
But Senator Jeff Woodburn of Dalton, whose district encompasses the North Country, says he remains concerned about the project’s impact on Coos County. “Quite frankly, more needs to be done to target and define benefits for this region,” Woodburn said.
Northern Pass Statement on "Improved Route "
Northern Pass 8/18/15
"More than 80 percent of the route is now within these existing rights-of-way. The remaining portion of the route is located on property either purchased or leased from willing landowners."
BULLDOG NOTE: They do not have a complete route, they do not own or have access to all the land and this goes on for many miles in the North Country. They are trying to use town roads without the permission or consent of selectmen in Clarksville and Stewartstown. They do not have permission to cross the Connecticut River Headwaters conservation land and they certainly do not have any permission from the White Mountain National Forest. Also, they still do not have a power purchase agreement with Hydro Quebec. They've been saying for five years they will get one and are still unable to produce one. Until they are able to produce one, ALL of the power is going to southern New England and New York. I have been 100% right on Northern Pass since I came out in opposition to it following the public scoping meetings in 2011. My view has not changed one bit on this new announcement. BURY IT ALL OR DON'T DO IT AT ALL!!!!
For Hydro-Québec, electricity sales to neighboring markets are an interesting source of revenue and have a positive effect on the company's financial results.
Eversource Energy modifies Northern Pass plans in New Hampshire
Middletown Press 8/18/15
Connecticut and the rest of New England would benefit from Northern Pass, he said, because increasing the availability of hydro-electric power in the region will reduce the volatility in New England’s electricity prices that exists in part due to a lack of adequate natural gas supplies to fuel the region’s power plants. About 65 percent of the region’s power plants are fueled by natural gas.
Forest Society Reacts to Northern Pass Project Reconfiguration
Society for the Protection of NH Forests 8/18/15
"However, there are still communities and landowners, from Deerfield to Stewartstown, who will be negatively impacted by the more than 125 miles—two-thirds of the route--that they propose to build as overhead lines. Northern Pass still proposes to create 40 miles of new powerline right-of-way through some of New Hampshire’s most scenic landscapes in northern Coos County. And they are still proposing to build their private transmission line through land owned and conserved by the Forest Society. Northern Pass still has no access to eminent domain, there has been no determination of need for the project, and they still have a long permitting process ahead with an uncertain outcome.
Eversource says it is willing to bury more lines for Northern Pass project
Union Leader 8/5/15
According to the DOE, burying the entire line will double the price of the project, from $1.4 billion in Eversource’s proposal to as much as $2.11 billion to go underground primarily along existing roadways. But the more expensive plan is projected to create twice as many construction jobs — 10,687 in the underground version, compared to 5,369 in the Eversource plan — and would generate much more tax revenue for host communities.
Canadian rivers: Solution to Northeast's high energy prices?
Associated Press 8/2/15
Even advocates of hydropower confess it's not "carbon-free" because building the reservoirs to power the turbines creates a short-term spike in greenhouse gases when trees are removed. But over the long term, hydropower produces vastly less carbon than fossil fuels.
Northern Pass Fights Full Line Burial
Caledonian Record 7/31/15
While last week's report by the U.S. Department of Energy concludes full burial of Northern Pass is feasible and far less costly than the company contends, parent firm Eversource Energy reassured its investors Friday that the federal study poses no problems and the company will continue the fight for above-ground lines.
A Devastating Blow to Northern Pass
Editorial, Coös County Democrat 7/29/15
Many people deserve credit for ensuring the DEIS captured the brutal devastation Northern Pass would bring to our region. Landowners turned away millions by refusing to sell their land to Northern Pass, devoted residents took many trips to Concord and elsewhere to find out more and have their voices heard, and people made the orange protest color central to their wardrobe.
Hassan speaks at last, but for whom?
LTE, Concord Monitor 7/27/15
The anti-Northern Pass people have repeatedly requested that Gov. Hassan take action to help protect the citizens, the spectacular scenery and our economy from the Northern Pass – and she has been silent. Any time the governor is forced to make a comment, she states her routine, ambiguous response that the Northern Pass is not good for New Hampshire in its current form.
"Ride the Wilds" LTE by John Harrigan
LTE, Colebrook Chronicle 7/24/15
It’s enough of a travesty that this supposed sweetheart deal took place behind closed doors, the public be damned. It is a worse slap in the face to the landowners and trail-abutters who agreed to support Ride the Wilds on an experimental basis. Many of us are bitterly opposed to Northern Pass, and feel betrayed that our collective good will is being used as an enabler for an unprincipled outfit that all along has sought to buy out a perceived down-and-out region by throwing cash around.
Cheapest Alternative Creates Greatest Environmental Impacts
RTO Insider 7/23/15
The department also said that the preferred route is the only alternative inconsistent with the existing White Mountain National Forest Plan. Overhead transmission would be seen from “historic architectural resources and thus could adversely affect the historic context of these sites more than the underground alternatives.”
Draft EIS released for Northern Pass project
Berlin Daily Sun 7/22/15
The study looked at nine alternatives including the proposed route and one calling for no route. The rest of the alternatives split into two groups – one set called for fully or extensively building the line underground and the other looked at burying sections of the line in the White Mountain National Forest.
Report: Northern Pass proposal could hurt tourism, cost less
Associated Press 7/21/15
The report said the current proposal was the only one that would be inconsistent with existing White Mountain National Forest Plan standards. It said the overhead transmission line could be seen from "historic architectural resources and thus could adversely affect the historic context of these sites more than the underground alternatives."
Feds Release First Look At Environmental Impact Of Northern Pass
The report also notes tourism and property values would be hurt by the overhead lines proposed by Northern Pass, something company officials have denied. Burying the lines would protect property values but cause “substantial, short-term” impacts on traffic.
Report weighs environmental effects of Northern Pass
The report concluded that compared to alternatives, the proposal would result in more vegetation being removed, possibly affect endangered animals and have a visual impact that could affect tourism and property values.
A workable alternative for Northern Pass
Laconia Citizen op-ed 7/15/15
In terms of scenic degradation, vulnerability to catastrophic weather events and alteration of prized public lands, Northern Pass has it all wrong. Perhaps that’s why, nearly five years since its proposal went public, the opposition to Northern Pass among New Hampshire residents is stronger than ever.
Jeb Bush speaks at events in Hudson, Dover
Bush spoke about New Hampshire's twin energy controversies -- the proposed Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline in the state's southern tier, as well as the Northern Pass project. "I mean, you guys are struggling to build pipelines and transmission lines, best I can tell," said Bush.
No. Country OHRV Coalition-Northern Pass discussions outed
Coos County Democrat 7/8/15
Bob Baker of Columbia, who has been a steadfast and committed opponent of Northern Pass, when asked his opinion of these discussions explained in an e-mail his conclusion that the tentative offer does constitute a bribe: "The North Country has been the tip of the spear in opposing the current Northern Pass plan to erect 2,300 steel towers across 180 miles of our gorgeous state landscapes. I have great hope that the OHRV clubs will want to be part of the legacy that preserved those landscapes. I have great hopes that they will not succumb to the siren song of mere money that Northern Pass tenders in exchange for their willingness to accept a bribe in exchange for support of a project that would steal the pastoral soul of our heritage. The towns and landowners on whom the OHRV clubs depend for their 1,000 miles of trails are worth supporting. The tourists and visitors that come to enjoy ALL forms of recreation in our scenic mountains, forests, lakes and towns deserve to be honored. They are worth supporting. The Northern Pass is here to take; not to give. It offers us nothing but destruction." Baker concluded, "The choice is not hard."
State Criticizes Federal Review of Northern Pass Historical Impact
In those comments the state had a series of questions and then concluded it “disagrees with the evaluation methodologies and cannot concur with survey recommendations at this time.” That statement suggests that the state “is far from ready to sign off” on the report, said Patrick Parenteau, a professor at The Vermont Law School who specializes in environmental law.
Letter to Cultural Resources Commissioner on Impact on Historical Properties
Society for the Protection of NH Forests 6/26/15
On June 10 we attended a work session hosted by the New Hampshire Division of Historic Resources to update cooperating partners and other stakeholders on the progress of the US Department of Energy’s consultants in assessing the impact of the proposed Northern Pass project on New Hampshire’s historic resources. As consulting parties to the federal Section 106 process, we are writing to express our deep frustration with this process, and to strongly urge you and your Department to set a higher bar for how New Hampshire’s historic landscapes and other cultural resources are treated in the forthcoming state regulatory review process for Northern Pass established in RSA 162:H.
Developer agrees to pay $284 million to ease environmental concerns
Boston Globe 6/15/15
Opposition by the Conservation Law Foundation and other groups has slowed down other proposals to import hydropower from Canada. Foremost among them has been the Northern Pass, a proposal by Eversource Energy to build 180 miles of above-ground power lines through New Hampshire. Although a government review of the project’s environmental impact hasn’t been released, environmental groups have said it would ruin scenic vistas and risks harming wildlife.
Northern Pass Historical Impact: A Dispute Over Transparency
The general public can make an appointment and drive to Concord to see the report. But they can’t simply get it online. Another confusing element is that some towns may be consulting parties. So, they would have a copy. And, one can argue that under the right-to-know act anyone in town has a right to see the report.
Katy Burns: Here’s your inspiration, Northern Pass opponents
Concord Monitor op-ed 6/14/15
A few years ago a West Virginia friend remarked that we in New Hampshire are lucky our mountains are granite, not coal. Otherwise, he said, our lawmakers would be falling all over themselves to let mining companies blow them up as they’re doing now in his beloved home state.
Northern Pass Opponents Plan For The Next Phase
Organizers of the opposition to Northern Pass – along with a state senator - on Sunday said it is time to prepare to persuade state regulators that - in its current form - the project is a mistake.
Northern Pass owners don't care one sointilla about folks in N.H.
LTE, Laconia Daily Sun 6/8/15
The problem with the survey is that a series of questions asked were based on false premises, which, for someone who has not followed the Northern Pass project in depth would answer the question based on the false premise set forth. This type of manipulative survey is known as a "push poll", that is, ask leading questions to get the result you want to attain.
Vermont hydro project 'leapfrogs' Northern Pass
Union Leader 6/4/15
The application for the 154-mile, 1,000 megawatt transmission line through Vermont, which is mostly under water or underground, was only filed a year ago on May 22. Northern Pass opponents say this shows how fast an electric transmission project can proceed when it is underground, and that Eversource should take notice.
New, buried HVDC merchant transmission lines files with DOE
U.S. Dept. of Energy 5/29/15
ITC's Lake Erie Connector is a 73-mile underwater/underground project to bring Canadian power to the Northeast. On May 29, the project filled a Presidential Permit application with the DOE. Completion date: 2019.
Why LePage took his energy agenda to Congress
Bangor Daily News 5/13/15
Woodcock, who is the senior delegate from Maine in regional talks organized through the New England States Committee on Electricity, said supporting such a transmission project likely would require a long-term contract for hydropower supported by multiple states. Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts put out a request for proposals for renewable power that could fulfill part of renewable standards set in those states.
Majority of LFDA members oppose Northern Pass Project
Live Free or Die Alliance 5/13/15
In directly answering the question, “Do you support or oppose the Northern Pass Project?” 75% of respondents said they oppose it while 25% offered their support. 17% of all respondents, however, did not provide a clear answer to the question and instead discussed the subject in broader terms.
IBEW Seeks to block 90 comment period for Draft EIS
Northern Pass EIS 5/1/15
On April 8, the Delegation requested an extended, 90-day period for the public to review and comment upon the DOE's 2,000 page Draft EIS. On April 14, the IBEW contested this request, asking for the standard 45-day period. Robert Blechl reports that "Northern Pass spokesman Martin Murray, after being asked several times by voice mail and emails in April, did not respond to a question inquiring if Northern Pass would be agreeable to an extended public comment period." DOE has now responded to the Delegation that the review period will be "at least 60 days."
You Say Tomato And I Say Toe-Mah-Toe
Power to the People blog/New Haven Register 4/30/15
My story had the temerity to report that the company is talking with state officials about how it can remove any political opposition to the project. That's important because New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan is opposed to Northern Pass in its current form and the project requires state approval. In the story, I referred to those discussions as "negotiations." And that sent Eversource Energy's public relation's army into a snit. Martin Murray, an Eversource Energy spokesman in New Hampshire, told me the term negotiations "carries a legal meaning” that does not reflect what the company is doing in the state. And the company was so concerned about my story that they even devoted to short post to it in the blog they devoted exclusively to Northern Pass.
Energy officials say New England has enough power for peak summer demand
New Haven Register 4/28/15
Holyoke, Massachusetts-based ISO-New England (ISO-NE) is projecting that under normal weather conditions of about 90 degrees, demand for electricity will peak at 26,710 megawatts. Extreme heat this summer, which ISO-NE defines as an extended heat wave of about 94 degrees, could push demand up to 29,060 megawatts... If all generating resources in New England were operating at full output, the total amount of power produced would be approximately 30,325 megawatts, according to ISO-NE officials.
Northern Pass Has A Backup Plan
But details about the extent of the backup plan were not available. A spokeswoman declined to provide additional information.
Letter: A flawed film review
LTE, Concord Monitor 5/1/15
One wonders why he would turn down that opportunity to share his expertise with the public and correct the imbalance he alleges in his piece. The takeaway here: Murray had the chance to be included in both the production and the public discussion of The Power of Place. He chose not to do either. That’s not Monkman’s fault.
Eversource: Northern Pass Delayed Until 2019
RTO Insider 5/1/15
The delay is due to the longer-than-expected release of a U.S. Department of Energy draft environmental impact statement, Eversource officials said during the company’s earnings call. The statement had been expected in April, but the company is now expecting its release by June or July.
New England Governors Revise Energy Strategy
RTO Insider 4/27/15
New Hampshire noted it is a net energy exporter and said it “may host projects that meet its siting requirements and which provide benefits to the state’s residents and businesses, including our second largest industry, tourism.”
Anti-Northern Pass video targets Concord
Concord Monitor 4/24/15
The new video is part of a series by the Conservation Media Group, which aims to help conservation advocates use video to connect with voters. Last year, the group partnered with the New Hampshire Appalachian Mountain Club and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests to oppose the proposed 187-mile transmission line. Their videos drove at least 7,000 people to sign a “Bury or Stop Northern Pass” petition to the governor’s office.
New England governors renew commitment to regional energy solution
The loose parameters of the agreement, announced after five governors and a top energy official from New Hampshire huddled for over two hours, call for each state to individually take steps to advance the region's goal of increasing natural gas capacity and bringing hydropower to New England from Canada.
Wake up, NH – This is your last chance to fight Northern Pass
LTE, Laconia Citizen 4/22/15
This is your best and last chance to achieve some common sense rules before the final, siting process begins for upcoming energy projects, such as the Northern Pass. If the Site Evaluation Committee is writing rules favorable for the energy industry at this step, it is pretty obvious the decisions for projects before the committee will favor the same industries.
Five N. England governors to discuss energy issues
Hartford Business Journal 4/21/15
New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, whose state is the proposed site of the region's most ambitious electric transmission line to import hydropower from Canada, will not be in attendance. That $1 billion proposed Northern Pass transmission line has been a controversial issue in New Hampshire since it was proposed.
Northern Pass aims to complete state permitting process by end of 2016
Mehr News Agency 4/19/15
“We're ready to make adjustments we need to,” William Quinlan, Eversource Energy's president of New Hampshire electric operations, said after a presentation at a Business Industry Association event yesterday. Route selection is “probably the single biggest issue we have to address – what's the final route we take into siting.”
Energy project developers see relief on the way
Union Leader 4/19/15
"It would appear that Mr. Quinlan misrepresented the significance of the draft Environmental Impact Statement when he said that it represented 'approval' of the Northern Pass project by the federal Department of Energy," Savage said. "He also failed to address the fact that the project would need a federal Special Use Permit to be sited on the White Mountain National Forest, as currently proposed in the company's preferred route."
Case Study: Northern Pass
C77 Consulting 4/18/15
Here's a stunning admission from an industry insider on how they manufactured support for the project. The post has since been taken down from the website, but Google already archived it.
Debate rages over whether there's an energy crisis in NH
Union Leader 4/17/15
“Despite dire predictions and some of the worst winter weather on record, there wasn’t a crisis,” said Chris Courchesne, senior attorney for the Conservation Law Foundation in New Hampshire. “Modest market shifts made a huge difference, driving down prices, assuring the lights stayed on, and calling into question the wisdom of the region making big new bets on gas pipelines and transmission infrastructure.”
Quebec Energy Minister Arcand discusses province's role in EPA power plan
Environment & Energy Publishing 4/15/15
Pierre Arcand: Well, we are -- we got a presidential permit for what we call the Champlain Hudson Express. This is something that we are negotiating at this current moment. And there's also a project where we can work with Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and it's called the Northern Pass Project. This is a project that is possible. We have to work with the communities in order to make sure that this project is acceptable to communities, but these are the two main areas where I think we can join forces.
Eversource's regional transmission line upgrade raises concerns
Fosters Sunday Citizen 4/12/15
Town Manager Todd Selig likens a proposed Eversource transmission line project for the region to the Northern Pass, calling it “Seacoast Pass.” While there are substantial differences in scale between the utility company’s large-scale Northern Pass project and what is proposed locally — officially called the Seacoast Reliability Project — there are certain similarities related to questions about regulatory oversight, environmental impacts, health concerns, aesthetics, and effect on property values.
Officials: Northern Pass Comment Period Should be Extended
Concord Patch 4/10/15
“We respectfully request that all public hearings be scheduled at least 90 days after the release date of the draft EIS and that public comments be accepted for at least 90 days after the final public hearing date. This will ensure that New Hampshire stakeholders will have the necessary time to analyze, process, and comment on the draft EIS,” the delegation members wrote.
Tentative timetable set for project’s CPG approval
Rutland Herald 4/8/15
Jeanne Elias, special counsel and case attorney to the Vermont Public Service Department, said she expects the Vermont Public Service Board to issue a Certificate of Public Good for the proposed New England Clean Power Link, or NECPL by December.
3S screens Northern Pass film 'The Power of Place'
Foster's Daily Democrat 4/8/15
The 50-minute film, which premiered in front of a sold-out audience in Concord on March 11, is a visual argument against the Hydro-Quebec's plans to sell more of its electricity to New England, and Eversource Energy's efforts to distribute this power to customers through 1,500 newly-erected steel towers and 187 miles of high-voltage transmission line.
Hudson River power line project faces challenges
Capital New York 4/7/15
In addition, the company late last year fought for the ability to be excluded from regulations governing the state's energy markets. Such mitigation rules essentially protect the market from large projects coming online that would have to be subsidized by ratepayers. They prevent energy capacity prices from taking a dip, something other power producers in New York argued may happened if the power line is built.
Lawmakers want to know who's financing NERA
Union Leader 4/6/15
Brown refused to disclose his funding at the time and has steadfastly held that position, despite inquiries from the media, pressure from state lawmakers and attacks on his credibility by organizations such as the National Wildlife Federation and groups opposing the Northern Pass hydroelectric project.
Group plans utility cable under Lake Champlain
Addison County Independent 4/2/15
There, the line would be undergrounded through portions of Fair Haven, Castleton, West Rutland, Rutland, Clarendon, Shrewsbury, Wallingford and Mount Holly, culminating at a proposed converter station in Ludlow. The converter station would change the electrical power from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). An underground AC transmission line would then run approximately 0.3 miles along town roads to the existing VELCO 345 kV Coolidge Substation in Cavendish, where the electricity would be carried on the New England electric grid.
The Final Word on Winter in New England’s Energy Markets, Part III: Some Lessons from a Calm, Cold Winter
Conservation Law Foundation 4/2/15
With the winter behind us, New England can look to its energy future with the benefit of what we learned as predictions of crisis fizzled and historic cold tested the region’s energy system. In the first post of this series, I explained the data showing that New England energy markets this winter were much less expensive and volatile than during the winter of 2014. In the second post, I identified some reasons for this turnaround: market shifts that increased imports of liquefied natural gas and lowered fuel prices, and reforms that improved energy market rules and procedures. In this final post, I offer a few of this winter’s lessons, with important implications for the billion-dollar decisions on the future of our energy system that are now pending in state houses and government agencies around New England.
Editorial: It’s time to act on state energy corridor
Concord Monitor 4/1/15
The corridors, as described so far, would utilize the Interstate 89 and 93 rights-of-way, the Route 101 corridor, some or all of the 516 miles of state-owned railroad corridors and potentially other divided highways and state roads. An earlier committee has already done much of the preliminary work but more needs to be done. The creation of the corridors is in the state’s long-term interest and, in this case, speed counts. Maine, for example, has been working for years on a similar plan, and in Vermont, a major electric transmission corridor for hydropower is slated to run the length of the state with some of it under Lake Champlain.
Eversource's Northern Pass pledges $3m for rivers, forests
Union Leader 3/26/15
But Jack Savage of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests said Eversource is only trying to find ways to “throw money at the state in order to favor the project.”And more importantly, he said, “from a conservation standpoint, if Northern Pass was really interested in conservation, all they would have to do is stop trying to force their way across already existing conserved lands with their commercial development project.”
Isn’t it convenient that Fish and Game gets millions of dollars?
LTE, The Citizen 3/25/15
The Northern Pass is dependent on certain information from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department for its application to the Site Evaluation Committee and the Northern Pass is about to provide millions of dollars to three recipients, one of which is the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. Convenient?
Vermont wants to import more Quebec electricity
CTV Montreal 3/23/15
Shumlin would not, however, speculate on the technical possibilities of connecting such projects as the New Hampshire Northern Pass, the New York Champlain Express and Vermont’s New England Power Link.
Utility debate turns to consumer protection
Union Leader 3/22/15
The Site Evaluation Committee is headed toward a final vote on changes to rules and procedures on April 15, in the hope of filing the proposal with the Legislature in May, but that process was likely upended by a vote of the state Senate last Thursday.
Settlement on scrubber, "monument to stupidity"
Bob Baker: No, Ms. Hatfield. The state did not make the decision to build the scrubber. Ever$ource sold the idea to our legislature through a carefully constructed lobbying and PR campaign sprinkled with testimonials from its then local PSNH President Gary Long. To ensure that Ever$ource got the legislature to endorse its scheme to build the scrubber, it even bussed in union flaks to make sure our representatives in Concord were duly impressed with the vote getting power of those claiming they would be benefitted from the jobs to be generated building this monument to stupidity. Never mind that it went way over budget. The Ever$ource shareholders would simply make a bigger return on the capital "investment" that they weren't paying for anyway. So now we have a brokered "deal" made in secret that gives Ever$ource shareholders the benefit and saddles New Hampshire ratepayers with the burden. This "settlement" is NOT a happy ending.
Merrimack scrubber at the center of Eversource’s divestiture plan
"...Eversource NH President Bill Quinlan [alleges that] the possibility [the plants] may be retired, “bolsters the case for critical infrastructure that is going to provide new diverse supplies of power and fuel into the region." [read: we need Northern Pass.] "But Sen. Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, who brokered the deal, said he didn’t expect the plants to be retired at all. “'They are perfect sites for continued operation or to be repowered with natural gas,' he said."
Preserving the Beauty of New Hampshire, a Floor Speech
Op-ed, Foster's Daily Democrat 3/17/15
Would buried line raise the cost to ratepayers? We buy our electric power from a regional regulated marketplace. It would be an affront to capitalism to think a developer will not seek the highest competitive price for investors. A new entry into the market with very low incremental production costs, like hydro, nuclear, and wind, will bid in low so they can sell all the power they expect to have available. However, the price is set by the highest bidder that fulfills the requirement for the expected demand. The result is all power purchasers pay the rate established by the most expensive producer.
Hydro-Quebec Seeks to Boost Exports to Northeast
RTO Insider 3/16/15
From 2008 to 2013, the provincial utility doubled its net exports of hydroelectricity. “In 2013, out of 32.2 TWh of electricity exported out of Quebec, HQUS [HQ Energy Services U.S.] delivered 15.7 TWh of power here to New England. This is a figure which represents about half of Connecticut’s annual electricity consumption,” Bonnard pointed out.
Next 4 years of electricity costs looking bleak
Union Leader 3/15/15
"FERC has an obligation to Granite Staters to insure energy reliability at reasonable rates in an open and transparent way," said Guinta. "New England generally and New Hampshire specifically have experienced sky-rocketing increases. This is unacceptable. I will continue to press for answers and urge the reconsideration of these filings."
Give us your tired, your poor power plants
Union Leader 3/15/15
The deal, expected to close in the next couple of months, includes the Brayton Point coal-fired plant, which is scheduled for closure. Dynergy has said it plans to proceed with the closure, but has not said what it plans to do with the property.LS Power, headquartered in New York, is expanding its foothold in New England. The company has proposed expansion at an existing gas-fired plant in Connecticut, where it plans to build two new 45 megawatt gas turbines.New Jersey-based Footprint Power purchased the Salem Harbor coal-fired plant, shut it down, and is in the processing of building a new gas fired plant on the same site.
Deerfield Conservation Commission Meeting Minutes (Northern Pass Buyout)
Town of Deerfield 3/9/15
It was suggested that the response should come from the BOS and Kate Hartnett felt that it should indicate that DCC is interested; always having more projects than funds to support them, but that the Commission finds it insulting that the letter comes with such short notice. Ms. Frey felt that it would be better if multiple towns could collaborate and respond collectively rather than individually, and that the arguments would be stronger coming from a consolidated group of towns speaking with one voice. The next meeting of the BOS is scheduled for Monday, March 23rd.
Deerfield Selectmen Meeting Minutes (Northern Pass Buyout)
Town of Deerfield 3/9/15
Eversource Representatives have been in contact with the Town Offices and are looking for projects that they can assist with relative to wetlands protection. As a part of the company’s Natural Resource Mitigation Plan they are seeking firm, budgeted projects, to be completed in 2015 that they can assist with if Northern Pass is approved. J. Foisy suggested that the culvert work on Pleasant Hill was one area that may fit the description. The Board agreed to review the proposal further and continue discussion at its next meeting.
Nancy Marland: A state utility corridor opens the door for new energy development
LTE, Berlin Daily Sun 3/9/15
Burying high voltage, long distance electric transmission lines along roadsides is neither unrealistic nor unheard of. In fact, it is happening all around us. Underground electricity transmission developers are currently in various stages of project development in Maine, Vermont, New York and Quebec using roadside corridors. In Vermont, TDI, the developer of New England Clean Power Link, will pay an annual leasing fee for 40 years to use state-owned roadsides. Public objection to these projects has been next to nothing.
Power plant group disses ratepayer subsidies for gas pipeline projects
Union Leader 3/4/15
The idea of having ratepayers in New Hampshire and other New England states finance new natural gas pipelines or transmission projects, in the hope that such investments will over time lower electricity prices, is a bad idea, according to the group representing owners of New England power plants.You might think that the people who own power plants in the region would welcome a new pipeline to get them the fuel they need, or new transmission lines to help get their power to market, and they do. They just don’t want government picking winners and losers, according to Dan Dolan, president of the New England Power Generators Association.
How Legislators Voted on HB 431 and HB 626
Bury Northern Pass 3/3/15
HB 431, an act relative to the placement of all new electric transmission lines in New Hampshire. HB 626, an act authorizing energy infrastructure development and designating energy infrastructure corridors.
In New England power market, small changes lead to big price differences
For energy planning purposes, ISO-NE's winter period extends from Dec. 1 - Feb. 28. The data now coming in show that ISO's measures to control price spikes were effective. Despite the record cold February, continuing low oil prices and the use of LNG shipped into Boston ports helped to avoid the high wholesale prices of last year. (Customer rates are still reflecting the previous year.) CLF's Christophe Courchesne argues that the fizzled energy crisis should make New Englanders think twice about investing huge amounts of public funding in new infrastructure projects.
Photographer’s documentary on Northern Pass set to debut at Red River
Concord Monitor 3/1/15
Monkman was first introduced to the project several years ago, when the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (which opposes the project) asked him to produce a series of videos interviewing people along the proposed transmission line route. “I was really struck by the personalities I met,” he said. And he was inspired to pursue his own film that would show the effect of the line on someone like him, who doesn’t live along its path.
Northern Pass Update: Is there an "Acceptable Configuration"?
Society for the Protection of NH Forests 2/23/15
Meanwhile, the competitive New England Clean Power Link transmission line proposed by TDI in Vermont, which would bring 1000MW into New England via a buried (and submerged) line may well leap frog Northern Pass. NECPL announced in December that it has submitted its application to the state of Vermont.
Eversource Energy Adds $900M to Transmission Budget
RTO Insider 2/16/15
“We’ve made great progress with Hydro Quebec,” May said. “They’ve started very aggressively in Canada licensing their side of the line.” However, its route, already reconfigured, cuts through the White Mountains and has drawn fierce opposition.
A Documentary Film Exploring the Complexity of the Northern Pass Project
3S Artspace 2/16/15
The Power of Place tells a compelling story by exploring the issues surrounding Northern Pass - its promise of bringing jobs and cheaper electricity to New England; the fears of those living next to the potential power line corridor; and the visual impact of the towers on iconic New Hampshire landscapes like the White Mountain National Forest, The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and the state’s Great North Woods Region. The 50 minute documentary combines interviews with experts and New Hampshire residents with distinctive landscape cinematography of the places that will be impacted by Northern Pass, from quiet ponds in and around the state capital, Concord, to the 360 degree views of wilderness summits like Mount Moosilauke and the Percy Peaks.
Revitalization of N.H. mill town takes unusual ideas
Boston Globe 2/15/15
The city crossed fingers that a huge proposed Canadian hydroelectric project called the Northern Pass would materialize. A converter terminal for a transmission line from Quebec was planned for Franklin. The $250 million facility would yield jobs and nearly double the city’s tax base. But the project got bogged down in politics, and there was no telling when, or if, it ever would come to be.
ISO-NE Capacity Prices Likely to Fall in Future
RTO Insider 2/9/15
UBS said merchant transmission is a potential “wildcard” for future auctions, saying a project such as Eversource Energy’s (formerly Northeast Utilities) Northern Pass could offset as much as 400 MW of supply.
Northern Pass, marking of police cruisers dominate Deerfield deliberation
Concord Monitor 1/31/15
Residents will be asked whether to appropriate $10,000 to be put in a fund for the selectmen to use to seek legal counsel regarding any Northern Pass proposal that might affect the town. Northern Pass is a controversial proposal to run an electric transmission line from Canada, eventually ending in Deerfield. Robertson said townspeople voted two years ago by a two-thirds margin to direct the selectmen to oppose the plan as it’s presently designed. The warrant article, which came with much discussion about whether it was properly worded and how the money should best be stored, seeks to empower the selectmen with funding to oppose the project.
Property Purchases Leave Some Wondering If Northern Pass Is Involved
Caledonian Record 1/30/15
The email sent Thursday to NU/Northern Pass spokespersons Martin Murray and Lauren Collins asked specifically if Chalcol, like Renewable Properties, is a property-buying subsidiary for Northern Pass and if Northern Pass is foreseeing any legal or technical challenges with the PSNH right-of-way near where the properties were
purchased. The spokespersons, who had been asked to confirm or deny if Chalcol is related to Northern Pass, did not respond.
SeaLink promises cost cap on buried transmission project
Union Leader 1/29/15
New England ratepayers will soon be on the hook for a new transmission project that could cost as much as $1 billion when all costs are in, with two energy giants competing for the opportunity. In an unusual move for the regulated utility business, one has guaranteed to get the project done within its bid price, or make up the difference. A decision by the organization that runs the New England power grid, ISO-NE, is due on Feb. 18, and the lobbying is reaching a fever pitch. New Hampshire and three other New England states recently urged ISO to consider the cost guarantee in its deliberations.
Mass. House bill aims to address state’s power shortfall
Boston Globe 1/29/15
Haddad’s legislation represents a sequel of sorts to a bill aimed at bringing in more Canadian hydropower. That proposal died when time ran out in the last legislative session. Haddad worked closely with leaders in the energy industry and the environmental community in recent months before crafting the latest bill.
Concord Monitor 1/28/15
“It will not aid in reducing the cost to ratepayers,” she said. “In many cases, by eliminating choices and diversity it makes us more susceptible for outside forces that we can’t control.”
Should Canadian Hydro-Power Count Towards N.H. Renewable Energy Goals?
Critics of the bill – like Democratic Senator Martha Fuller Clark, who was involved in designing the RPS – argue that hydro-power from Quebec doesn’t need support to be competitive with fossil fuels, and would gobble up subsidies that now go to renewable energy stateside. “If we make it more difficult for renewable energy to continue to be developed in this state, it will have a negative impact on the cost of energy,” she said, arguing that the state needed to diversify its energy supply.
PSNH among top sponsors of Hassan's inaugural ball
Associated Press 1/9/15
A list of sponsors released by Hassan's committee shows both PSNH and Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell each gave $25,000 to earn the title Platinum Sponsor. Hassan is holding an inaugural ball in Manchester Saturday night and another in the North Country next week. Tickets for the public cost $200 and various sponsorship levels are available.
Debate continues over rival New England power line proposals
Nashua Telegraph 12/28/14
Three if by land or one if by sea – that’s roughly the choice facing the operator of the region’s electricity grid over proposed upgrades between southern New Hampshire and Massachusetts, although it’s more complicated than just numbers.
Widespread Hydro-Québec outage fuels concern over future reliability in N.H.
Concord Monitor 12/27/14
Part of the issue, he said, is that Canada is a winter-peaking system, meaning that the highest demand for electricity is in the winter. About 70 percent of Quebec province heats with electricity. At times of high demand in winter, or during any disruption like the December outage, New England could potentially lose out on power.
Power grid faces pivotal infrastructure year
Op-Ed Hartford Business Review 12/22/14
Right now, more than 50 generation projects have applications pending to connect to the New England grid. Among these, two major new plant proposals have been announced here in Connecticut representing more than 1,200 megawatts (enough to power more than 1 million homes) of potential electric supply coming from Bridgeport and Oxford. Merchant transmission line developers have proposals pending, with in-service dates ranging from late 2016 to 2019. Pipelines have announced proposals to bring large-scale new natural gas infrastructure into New England between 2016 and 2018.
Why is governor not an advocate for burial of transmission lines?
LTE Laconia Daily Sun 12/16/14
I am wondering why Mr. Clement did not mention the creation of an energy corridor. Back in 2012, state Sen. Jeanie Forrester chaired the SB 361 Commission, where the Department of Transportation commissioner was designated as a member of that commission. This commission, including Mr. Clement's designee, Michael Pillsbury, the deputy Transportation commissioner, determined that it was feasible to bury electric transmission lines underground in state-owned rights of way. By creating an energy corridor, proposed energy projects, such as the Northern Pass, would be buried along state-owned rights of way and the state would reap the revenue paid by Hydro Quebec for the use of the state's rights of way. In that instance alone, it has been projected the state could earn up to $50 million a year.
Power Plays: Hydro-Quebec outage left New England scrambling
Union Leader 12/10/14
More than 2,000 megawatts that New England had been counting on disappeared on short notice, causing the regional grid operator to implement emergency procedures. For a brief period, prices on the wholesale energy market soared.
1,000 MW New England Clean Power Link files permit with Vermont PSB
Vermont Business Magazine 12/9/14
If approved after federal, state and local environmental review, the project will run two six-inch-wide cables an estimated 150 miles, all in Vermont. Approximately 100 miles are proposed to be buried under Lake Champlain and the balance buried underground in existing rights-of-way. The line will end at a converter station to be built at a location in Ludlow, Vermont and connect into the VELCO transmission grid to serve Vermont and the broader New England market.
National Grid joins proposal for 300-mile cable in Maine
Associated Press 12/9/14
In Maine, the Green Line proposal calls for burying cable underground and then running cable under the ocean to Greater Boston for a total of 300 miles. Besides the Lake Champlain and Green Line proposals, others include the Northern Pass through New Hampshire and a second proposal in Maine by Nova Scotia-based Emera.
Hassan nominates Dummer woman to SEC
Berlin Daily Sun 12/8/14
The revised SEC will include all three members of the Public Utilities Commission as well as the commissioners of the departments of environmental services, resources and economic development, transportation, and cultural resources or historical resources. The commission will also include two public members and one alternate public member. The public members will serve four-year terms.
Midterm results point to more land mines ahead for embattled Northern Pass line
Yet, the political reality on the ground leaves a much different impression. Because NU has refused so far to reconsider its proposed route, most of which would be elevated and part of which would cut through the White Mountain National Forest, it seems the company is failing when it comes to playing small ball with New Hampshire politicians.
Judge refuses to reconsider Northern Pass lawsuit
Associated Press 11/25/14
The co-owners of Owl's Nest Resort and Golf Club in Campton and Thornton in northern New Hampshire said news of the proposed a 187-mile electrical transmission line across the state hurt their business. They said when the project was announced in 2010, their sales fell and their business faced bankruptcy.
New NH House Speaker O'Brien on Northern Pass: bury it
Union Leader 11/23/14
They need to bury it, go down median strips. As I've watched this debate develop, it's developed on a foundation from Hydro-Quebec, which is our way or the highway, and I said to them at one point, why not the highway? You should bring it down that way. There are ways they can be a lot more sensitive.
My Turn: Why I voted against Keystone XL legislation
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen 11/23/14
Running roughshod over the normal approval process for the Keystone XL pipeline is not warranted, and it sets a dangerous precedent. In New Hampshire, two projects that merit careful consideration and thorough review could be impacted by a precedent of flouting the rules – the Northern Pass proposal and the potential reversal of the Portland-Montreal pipeline, which would send tar sands through many New Hampshire communities to be shipped to foreign countries. These three projects – Keystone XL, Northern Pass and Portland-Montreal – have one important thing in common: they should undergo the comprehensive environmental and safety approval process required by existing law, independent of politics.
Northern Pass officials willing to bury more transmission lines, but how much more?
Concord Monitor 11/18/14
Then, by mid-2015, Northern Pass plans to start the state permit process with the Site Evaluation Committee. In the meantime, Quinlan said, Northern Pass officials are continuing outreach to stakeholders and municipalities. The city of Concord has yet to get a call, said City Councilor Rob Werner. City officials last met with Northern Pass officials more than six months ago, he said.
City council subcommittee will study Northern Pass impact in Concord
Concord Monitor 11/11/14
Concord is an intervenor in the permitting process for Northern Pass, meaning the city can weigh in on the project and take legal action if warranted. The council does not have the power to vote on whether the hydropower project moves forward, but Ward 8 Councilor Gail Matson made the motion last night to form a city subcommittee to study the project’s impact and the extent to which the lines could be buried in Concord.
Northern Pass Suit Dismissed By N.H. Judge
Concord Monitor 11/8/14
Tom Mullen and Walter Lankau Jr., co-owners of Owl’s Nest Resort and Golf Club in northern New Hampshire, sued Northern Pass last year seeking damages and a jury trial. The pair claimed that once the proposed transmission project was announced in 2010, sales plummeted and their business faced bankruptcy. It was the first major lawsuit filed against the project.
Northern Pass backers confident of 2015 agreement
Associated Press 11/7/14
On a call with investors, Northeast Utilities says if the proposal is approved, construction could begin on the $1.4 billion Northern Pass in 2016. Power from Canada could begin flowing by the second half of 2018.
Why Is Hydro-Québec So Intent on Overselling Its Hydropower?, Part III
Conservation Law Foundation 11/5/14
The cause for concern? Last January, a very cold month, Hydro-Québec chose to curtail its exports to New England 24 times, often during times of the day when power needs were spiking on both sides of the border and New England natural gas power plants had difficulty running at full capacity. That’s why the number 24 made my list of three ugly numbers behind the push for more hydropower imports.
Getting Smart About Energy Siting
How can AMC support renewable energy and oppose a windpower project? We speak up and intervene when specific projects threaten important recreational resources, rare species, and critical ecological values. Through these processes, we have negotiated significant off-site land conservation to mitigate project impacts.
Hydro-Québec aura un accès direct à New York
La Presse 10/30/14
Summary: Champlain Hudson and New England Clean Power link are making great progress, but Northern Pass faces "beaucoup d'opposition et chemine lentement" - much opposition and a slow road ahead.
4-Years-Strong Northern Pass Opposition Vows to Continue "4 As Long As It Takes"
Bury Northern Pass 10/27/14
The grassroots Opposition met in Franconia on Sunday for an evening of shared reflection and continued commitment to protect New Hampshire against the ill-advised Northern Pass project that would entail installation of approximately 2300 steel towers from Pittsburg to Deerfield ranging from 80' to 155' tall. The event was occasioned by the fourth anniversary of the public announcement of the project in Franklin in October, 2010.
Why Is Hydro-Québec So Intent on Overselling Its Hydropower?, Part II
Conservation Law Foundation 10/24/14
Given that hydropower projects do not have smoke stacks, when I say “carbon pollution” or “greenhouse gas emissions” from hydropower, what do I mean? Reservoirs behind new dams inundate vast geographic areas. For example, the Eastmain reservoir in the James Bay region is roughly 600 square kilometers, or more than three Lake Winnipesaukees. Drowned vegetation and biological material decompose over time and release carbon dioxide and methane into the water column and then into the atmosphere. In addition, the flooding destroys northern forested landscapes that can be potent carbon sinks (and are often called “lungs of the planet”), increasing the net greenhouse gas emissions of the reservoir by the amount of any lost capability to sequester carbon.
State DOT commissioner to leave post for position at UNH
Union Leader 10/24/14
The new DOT commissioner will play an important role in Northern Pass permitting at the state and federal level. It is imperative that a fair-minded person be appointed. PSNH will certainly promote a nominee. The opposition should do likewise. More information on the nomination process as soon as we have it. Here's an example of how DOT interacts with transmission project sponsors wanting to use state roads: http://www.sealinkcable.com/pdf/clement.pdf
In Defense Of NIMBY-ism
By dismissing opponents as NIMBY-ists, proponents of Northern Pass and other projects shut down conversations that we should be having about the things we value, including quiet, safety, security, and peace of mind. We all want energy to light and heat our homes, but at what cost? Would anyone want to live in a warm, well-lit house surrounded by a nuclear waste site?
Misinformation going around about Northern Pass
Rep. Larry Rappaport, LTE Berlin Daily Sun 10/20/14
Many of us have offered our compromise: we support burial in State transportation rights-of-way. We believe any revenue should go to the State, not a private company who wants us to subsidize them so that they can make a profit while the tourist industry (our one remaining industry) is destroyed.
Towns Incurring Big Expense Fighting Big Utilities
Caledonian Record 10/19/14
In recent years, North Country towns have seen utility property appeals - some resolved, others ongoing - by FairPoint Communications, TDS Telecom, Dunbarton Telephone Co., Granite State Telephone Co., Great-Lakes Hydro, Northern Utilities, TransCanada, Unitil, EnergyNorth, Granite State Gas Transmission Co., and New England Electric Transmission Corp.
Lessons from 4 Years of Northern Pass Failures
Conservation Law Foundation 10/17/14
Looking back, I’m more than a little dumbfounded. Why did the smart, well-compensated people at Northeast Utilities, PSNH, and Hydro-Québec and their army of consultants and lawyers get virtually everything wrong? Why did they react so poorly when events didn't go their way? Why would they plow ahead with scorched earth tactics and expensive media campaign to promote a project so disliked in the communities where it would be built?
New Hampshire PUC launches review of affiliate transaction rules
The New Hampshire Office of the Consumer Advocate supported NEPGA's rulemaking request, according to an October 1 filing with the PUC. "As transmission providers seek to enter the marketplace and compete to build infrastructure, it is imperative that there be a level playing field for all competitors," the OCA said.
Why Is Hydro-Québec So Intent on Overselling Its Hydropower?, Part I
Conservation Law Foundation 10/14/14
In July, CLF identified 15.2 cents per kilowatt-hour as the cost of electricity from new Hydro-Québec dams in northeastern Québec, including the costs of the dams and the transmission lines to get their power to southern New England. This is much more than the cost of new land-based wind power or of our cheapest resource—energy efficiency. The cost also has an uncomfortable similarity to this winter’s high electric prices, which is far above the annual average cost New England customers pay.
Northern Pass and eminent domain: on the record
Bury Northern Pass 10/12/14
As the time for deciding the fate of HB 648 drew near in 2011, PSNH increasingly stressed that NPT did not plan to use eminent domain, anticipated no need for it, etc. However, NPT's statements of record on the matter told a different story.
Power line developer focusing on Vermont project
Post Star 10/5/14
Benson Select Board member Sue Janssen said TDI New England has worked hard to meet the concerns of her community of just over 1,000. They are even paying a lawyer of the town's choosing to represent the community in the detailed discussions that are coming. "I have the impression if we'd said we wanted our dirt roads painted pink they'd have done it," she said.
State Senator: Bury the Lines
Sen. John Reagan, Concord Monitor 10/4/14
As a consistent supporter of Northern Pass, I’ve been persuaded that it’s time to bury the lines.
Order Authorizing Issuance of Securities
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 10/3/14
At present, Northern Pass finances its operations through equity contributions and short-term debt financing from Northeast Utilities. Northern Pass states that under the terms of the Agreement, it has committed to finance the cost of development and construction of the NPT Line using 50 percent equity funds and 50 percent debt. It estimates that the NPT Line’s total cost will be approximately $1.4 billion and that it will be operational by the second half of 2017. Northern Pass also estimates that it will incur approximately $110 million in costs through the end of 2014 and the remainder of the costs between 2015 and completion. While it acknowledges that it will have no operating revenues during this period, Northern Pass states that it will accrue allowance for funds used during construction.
Seabed power line plan stirs debate
Boston Globe 10/3/14
Buried transmission lines typically are more expensive to install but subject to fewer outages than overhead lines, according to the Edison Electric Institute, a utility trade group. A comparison study of national data from 2004 to 2011 showed utility customers, on average, lose power for about six hours each year because of failures in overhead lines, compared to just 30 minutes because of failed buried lines.
Hassan delays vote to confirm Odell, Merrill to energy siting committee
Concord Monitor 10/2/14
“Right now the perception is that we are appointing people from within,” said Kenney, whose district includes Coos and Grafton counties, where a handful of wind farms already exist. “I think the independent, reasonable approach should be to hire from outside state government.”
Hassan, Havenstein paint different pictures of N.H.’s energy future
Concord Monitor 9/30/14
“I cannot support the current proposal,” said Havenstein, who added that he hasn’t yet seen evidence to show that burial of the $1.4 billion project is not economically viable. Burial is an option to consider, he said. “While we need cheaper and cleaner base load power, the Northern Pass project does not provide that in a balanced way.”
Hassan never directly mentioned the Northern Pass project yesterday, but emphasized that the state will not compromise on siting energy projects (one of the Northern Pass opponents’ main arguments is that the transmission lines would mar the landscape). “Our state’s natural beauty and precious resources must be protected,” she said. “I believe that win-win solutions exist, but we must work together, and listen to the concerned of local communities to pursue them.”
Regulators OK 330-mile Canada-NYC power line
Associated Press 9/29/14
In a decision dated Wednesday, the Department of Energy said the permit requires some final concerns to be addressed by Albany-based Transmission Developers Inc. but otherwise clears the way for the 1,000-megawatt Champlain Hudson Power Express transmission line. The project has been in development since 2008.
Energy rip-off, Enron-style
Times Argus Op-Ed 9/28/14
The consumer watchdog group Public Citizen claims that ISO-New England, for which this hydroelectric facility on the Connecticut River in Vermont is one of many power sources, recently held a rigged “forward market” energy auction that cost ratepayers more than $100.
New Hampshire's Big Idea 2.0: Turning Stewardship into Opportunity
Society for Protection of NH Forests 9/27/14
Speaking of Northern Pass, I should offer an update: Northeast Utilities’ proposed 187-mile transmission line would directly impact three Forest Society Reservations. Because of that, and thanks to the landowners with whom we have worked to place conservation easements on nearly 8,000 acres of additional land that stands in the way of a Northern Pass route, we are confident that the proposed project does not have a viable route with site control. As a non-reliability project, Northern Pass does not have access to eminent domain. And it is our intent to make our case in court if it ever comes to that. As John Harrigan likes to say, “we own the dirt” and we don’t intend to invite Northern Pass to play in it. It’s clear to us that Northeast Utilities and PSNH are not interested in meaningful compromise and won’t voluntarily withdraw their proposal. It will be up to New Hampshire to tell them that they cannot deface our state, and with your help we will do everything we can to make sure they get that message.
Public saying little about $1.2B power line
Rutland Herald 9/23/14
But when U.S. Department of Energy officials hosted two initial “public scoping meetings” last week in Burlington and Rutland, only a half dozen people attended — and all to listen rather than talk.
Can Northern Pass relieve winter electricity costs?
Raab Associates 9/19/14
ISO-New England's CEO and president, Gordon van Welie, addressed an energy restructuring roundtable on September 19 concerning recent electricity "price spikes" caused by constrained supplies of natural gas on the coldest days in winter, when gas supplies go to heating customers first, electricity generators second. Van Welie acknowledged that "imported Canadian hydropower is limited during very cold weather (because Québec is a winter-peaking system)." In other words, Quebec hydropower can't relieve New England's winter price spikes.
N.H. PUC Opens New Proceeding to Determine Whether to Divest PSNH Utility Power Plants
At an initial prehearing conference, the Commission will take comment regarding whether any threshold issues should be considered at the outset of this proceeding. "Such preliminary issues may include: which generation assets and long-term contracts for generation supply should be included in this proceeding; the status of the 1999 restructuring settlement agreement with PSNH in docket DE 99-099 and its application to issues in this docket; and other issues identified by the parties," the PUC said.
NESCOE: Making Regional Energy Project Decisions Behind Closed Doors?
NH Bar Association 9/17/14
Until now, NESCOE has sought recovery only of its own annual operating costs, which are included in the ISO-NE tariff and approved without much fanfare each year by FERC. But in 2012, the six New England governors decided to use NESCOE as the vehicle for selecting two regional energy transmission projects for ratepayer funding. The decision reflected a consensus that coordinated efforts were needed to reduce regional energy costs and accelerate the availability of cleaner forms of energy, particular natural gas, which has seen falling prices as supplies have increased. NESCOE would solicit proposals from utility companies to bring the construction costs of one renewable energy transmission project and one natural-gas pipeline project within the ratepayer-funded provisions of the ISO-NE tariff.
$3b plan promises more natural gas in New England
Boston Globe 9/16/14
Caroline Pretyman, a spokeswoman for Northeast Utilities, said that company did not know how much it would increase customers’ bills, but she said it would lower bills over the long-term by increasing access to cheap natural gas. Northeast Utilities has more than 3.6 million electric and natural gas customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut.
Spectra, Northeast Propose $3 Billion Natural Gas Project
Bloomberg News 9/16/14
The Access Northeast expansion may have an edge over Kinder Morgan’s proposed Northeast Energy Direct project, since Spectra is planning to use existing routes, according to a research note today from Bradley Olsen, a Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. analyst in Houston.
Undersea cable endorsed by electric group
Newburyport News 9/15/14
According to the plan, SeaLink would bury the encased cable 6 to 7 feet underground, with the Seabrook portion of the cable route extending from the new substation along the state-owned abandoned railroad bed south to Route 286. From there, it would travel east along the south side of Route 286 to its junction with Route 1A.
PUC Asked To Clarify Rules On Relationship Between Northern Pass And PSNH
"By now blending these two together, as we believe is happening between Northern Pass and PSNH, Consumers are subsidizing the merchant transmission project of Northern Pass, through the rate regulated cost of the utility in PSNH," says Dan Dolan, NEPGA’s president. Specifically he points to the access Northern Pass gets to PSNH rights-of-way; how it pays for labor from PSNH employees at cost, and how it can tuck Northern Pass mailers into PSNH customers’ bills.
Ayotte: Bury it all along state roads - "We're worth it."
Bury Northern Pass 8/29/14
As senator, Ayotte said she will push DOE to be more transparent and open and also push for a thorough study of entire line burial along transportation corridors. "This is how the project should be done if it is to go forward," Ayotte said at the Easton gathering. "We're worth it."
Courage to say no; pluck of a partridge
John Harrigan, Union Leader 8/23/14
Bob Baker, a lawyer who has a home on Meridan Hill in North Stratford and has done much legal work pro bono (i.e., free) for those opposing Northern Pass, stated flatly that the Nashua Chamber of Commerce has misrepresented (polite term) the findings of a UNH poll by stating that support for Northern Pass is growing. Not true, he said, adding that the UNH pollsters have written the Nashua Chamber to demand that it stop skewing their findings.
Proposal to List Northern Long-eared Bat as Endangered
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 8/19/14
Northern Long-Eared Bat habitat includes New Hampshire. Endangered status would not stop a project but most likely introduce delay and more complication, Northern Pass's nemeses as it competes with other projects like NECPLink proposed for already-cleared public ROWs. NLEBs roost in certain trees in the summer; cutting those specific trees in the summer for new or expanded ROWs would be prohibited if the bat is listed as endangered. Disturbing areas near winter hibernacula (typically, caves) would also be prohibited.
Patrick, utility firms stumble in taking steps to reduce carbon
Conservation Law Foundation op-ed 8/9/14
The utility companies and the Patrick administration failed to do that work when they tried to move a bill that was all about facilitating imports of hydroelectricity. While hydro is certainly better than burning coal, it is only one piece of the portfolio of clean energy we need. A lack of willingness to strike a compromise that also advanced zero emissions and in-region wind power was the downfall of the bill.
Lawmakers right to reject energy bill
New England Power Generators Association op-ed 8/9/14
Instead, the best way to drive innovation and competitively priced, environmentally responsible electricity is through the power of competition. Rather than picking winners and losers in the marketplace and locking consumers into 25-year contracts, Massachusetts should set an emissions standard. A standard would allow any resource that can meet it to compete every day to meet consumer demand as cost-effectively as possible.
Former PSNH President Gary Long passes away
Union Leader 8/8/14
Gov. Maggie Hassan also issued a statement on the passing of Long. "Tom and I are saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Gary Long, who throughout his career worked to strengthen communities and make our state a better place to live. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Gary's family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time. He will be missed."
Plans for tariffs on New England's electricity market just hit a new roadblock
Boston Business Journal 8/6/14
As a result, the New England States Committee on Energy, a group of the governors’ utility regulators, decided on Friday to delay discussions about the tariff with the New England Power Pool, an industry group, for a month or so. NESCOE executive director Heather Hunt tells me the delay was sought to give Massachusetts officials time to regroup and for officials in the six states to further discuss the next steps.
Here are the winners and losers from this year's session on Beacon Hill
Boston Business Journal 8/3/14
National Grid and Northeast Utilities: The failure of Patrick’s clean energy bill also represented a defeat for the state’s two biggest electric utilities, as they both have transmission projects that could have been financed in part through a mandatory, ratepayer-funded purchase of Canadian hydropower. They also lost out in the solar debate: A plan to enable utilities to charge solar customers a mandatory minimum bill, even if they don’t draw power off the grid, failed in the final days.
AG: Hassan campaign must return $24,000 donation
Concord Monitor 8/1/14
“The public has a right to know if the governor has accepted any other illegal donations that could improperly influence the gubernatorial campaign,” Horn said in a statement. Horn also said the ruling establishes a “troubling loophole” by allowing elected officials to accept unlimited cash while in office. The IBEW is a labor union that lobbies on a variety of issues at the State House and supports the Northern Pass project.
GOP 2nd District US House candidates spar
NH Journal 7/30/14
Lawrence alone opposed the Northern Pass project regardless of whether the transmission lines are buried. “I can’t trade temporary infrastructure jobs for permanent tourism jobs,” he said. “I don’t believe in fairy tales.”
Letter to Constituents from NH State Senator Jeanie Forrester
Sen. Jeanie Forrester (page 5) 7/25/14
As a State Senator representing 27 communities in District 2, there is a huge lack of trust by many of my constituents and constituents across the state because of unsubstantiated claims presented as facts by the NP media machine. The public trust has been eroded and you will need to take proactive steps to resolve the harm that has been done. First, you would do well to acknowledge that steel towers straight through the heart of New Hampshire willhave negative consequences on property values.
North Country's Energy Challenges
Sen. Jeff Woodburn (page 4) 7/18/14
I’ve sat with property owners who have turned down big bucks to preserve family homesteads from the scar of large transmission lines and laid-off Gorham paper mill workersers who now face an uncertain future because of the high cost of energy.
NHGOP seeks review of $25K donation to Gov. Hassan's campaign
"It is troubling and alarming to see that a pro-Northern Pass special interest group funded by union bosses is illegally funneling money into Governor Hassan's re-election campaign," NHGOP Chairman Jennifer Horn said. "Governor Hassan has attempted to play both sides in the ongoing debate over the controversial Northern Pass project. Her decision to accept illegal contributions from a pro-Northern Pass political action committee raises serious questions that she needs to answer."
Does New England really have an "energy crisis"?
Wind Action 7/15/14
Building more electricity transmission into New England isn't about an "energy crisis." It's about economics, jobs, corporate profit, failure to make the small fixes that add up, failure to do detailed analysis, failure to resist stampede crisis mentality, and lots of other things.
DOE surveying Concord roadways along Northern Pass route
Concord Monitor 7/11/14
Several of the alternative routes for the project, outlined in a Department of Energy report in May, run through Concord along the roads being surveyed: south along Interstate 93, then east along Interstate 393 and toward Deerfield along Route 4. Three of the routes include a complete burial of the transmission line through Concord. One is an overhead power line.
AMC Voices Northern Pass Opposition to New England Governors
Appalachian Mountain Club 7/10/14
“We in New England deserve better than Northern Pass, and most especially New Hampshire deserves better. We will not trade away the majestic beauty of New Hampshire. We will insist on smart, modern, and well-planned energy projects that protect our invaluable natural and scenic resources, not compromise them,” Arnold wrote, in part.
New PSNH president brings a different tone to the job
NH Business Review 7/10/14
The proposed Northern Pass transmission line in particular is just the “shot in the arm” the state, and the North Country, needs economically, he says, and it is just what the grid needs for reliability and affordability. And he still touts the benefits of PSNH being the only utility in the region to hang on to its generating assets, its aging coal plants in particular.
CLF and Allies to Department of Energy: Take off the Blinders in Northern Pass Review
Conservation Law Foundation 7/3/14
Under federal law, DOE is charged with taking a “hard look” at the environmental and economic impacts of these projects and determining whether they are “consistent with the public interest.” If DOE is to meet its obligations, conducting silo-ed permitting processes for each project without taking a broader view first makes very little sense. As the New England governors are pursuing a rushed regional deal to fund new transmission projects with apparent disregard for comprehensive and rigorous environmental and economic analysis, it is essential that DOE and the other agencies involved carefully review Northern Pass in the context of all the other proposals vying to bring Canadian hydropower south and their alternatives, including local renewables and energy efficiency.
How would the Northern Pass electric transmission project change your hikes?
Appalachian Mountain Club 7/3/14
The unnecessary and unpopular Northern Pass electrical transmission line would cut across New Hampshire for 187 miles from north to south, impacting many natural icons we have fought hard to protect—including the White Mountain National Forest, Franconia State Park, and the Appalachian Trail—along the way. 1,500 huge new towers with high-voltage lines would rise high above the trees, visible for miles around.
Secrecy charges fuel public doubt about energy process
Nashua Telegraph editorial 7/2/14
None of this should be particularly surprising. Opponents of the Northern Pass project have long accused that utility of trying to hijack the regulatory process. Moreover, lobbyists for years have been allowed to write laws governing banking, insurance, energy, health care and other areas where there are billions of dollars at stake for their clients.
FERC Calls ISO-NE Capacity Price Filing Deficient, Seeks Info on Manipulation, Mitigation
Energy Choice Matters 6/30/14
FERC noted that the ISO tariff provides that each Forward Capacity Auction shall be conducted as a series of rounds, which shall continue (for up to five consecutive Business Days, with up to eight rounds per day, absent extraordinary circumstances [emphasis by FERC)]) until the Forward Capacity Auction is concluded for all modeled Capacity Zones in accordance with the provisions of Section III.22.214.171.124. However, the auction for 2017-18 concluded after one round, prompting FERC to ask whether any "extraordinary circumstances" affected the auction's outcome
Bunch of Lies
Pam Martin LTE, Laconia Citizens 6/30/14
And ask the Innu of Eastern Canada how clean and green an energy source is when it destroys more than nine million acres of forested hunting ground, kills fish and water fowl in the reservoirs, and the methane produced is worse for the atmosphere than CO2.
Behind closed doors is the wrong way
Foster's Daily Democrat editorial 6/28/14
The basis for these accusations comes from documents released by Maine and New Hampshire, not the other New England states which the Union Leader newspaper reports have refused. Their claim is that FOIA and right-to-know laws do not apply to NESCOE. We are not in a position to judge whether the claim is correct for those states. But given that New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan is involved, it is an excuse that cannot stand. If in any way, shape or form, NESCOE is developing plans behind closed doors we call on Gov. Hassan to open those doors for public scrutiny.
CLF: There's too much secrecy around new tax for New England pipelines
Boston Business Journal 6/24/14
“It couldn’t be clearer that their minds are made up,” CLF vice president Seth Kaplan tells me. “The alternatives that could be cheaper and less focused on the major infrastructure are no longer on the table. … This is planning the future of the region, out of public view, which not only has serious implications for (electric) bills, but also serious implications for environmental policy and economic development policy.”
Boost for Northern Pass partners?
As a follow-up to their Energy Infrastructure Initiative, announced in December, the governors through NESCO plan to select a low-carbon transmission project by issuing requests for proposals. The winner of the RFP process would be eligible for cost-recovery through a tariff administered by ISO-NE, the independent system operator. Adding ratepayer money to the participant funding could make the economics more attractive for burying more of the lines. But if Northern Pass partners qualify for regional ratepayer support, they could then be eligible to use eminent domain, despite HB 648.
State SEC process far from perfect
Dolly McPhaul, LTE Nashua Telegraph 6/17/14
Finally, he admitted he owned a consulting company. Following further questioning, I asked, exasperated: “Who is paying you to be on this call?” There was a long silence, then he admitted he was working for Northern Pass. They wanted neither their names nor their affiliations listed as they attempted to influence the process that will oversee the project.
What is the Northern Pass pursuing now?
Dolly McPhaul, LTE Laconia Citizen 6/16/14
We, the public, felt we finally had an opportunity to “level the playing field.” Surely this process would be above reproach, free of lobbyists and lawyers representing their clients and we would have the opportunity to make a difference. My optimism turned to outright anger when our first conference call was placed through the offices of Thomas Getz, an attorney/lobbyist representing Northern Pass and a co-chairman of the group.
Site Evaluation Committee bill was no victory
Arthur Cunningham, LTE Concord Monitor 6/16/14
Here is Borden’s “path”: The committee will be given a one-time $500,000 grant from the Renewable Energy Fund, a funding source for renewable energy projects, money that may fund the Site Evaluation Committee for maybe a year. Instead of requiring that energy project developers pay a significant application fee and enacting a proper revenue appropriation, the money necessary to fund the Site Evaluation Committee in support of its immense responsibilities to New Hampshire (which the energy project promoters can well afford), Borden punts the ball down the road, subject to the political whims of future legislatures.
State House Memo: A big, quiet bill becomes a law
Concord Monitor op-ed Rep. David Borden 6/8/14
The issues they grappled with were political, legal, technical and financial. After intense discussions, a bill evolved that most stakeholders could support. The proposal called for a SEC that was more efficient in its use of state agency resources, while adding public members to the SEC and providing more information to potential host communities. It also clarified the economic, environmental and aesthetic factors to be considered by the SEC in making decisions about energy project siting. With a unanimous vote, the Senate sent the bill to the House.
Rubens: A Shaheen-Brown race would offer voters little contrast
Nashua Telegraph 6/7/14
Rubens said he could only support the Northern Pass project to bring hydroelectric power from Quebec, Canada, if all the transmission lines through New Hampshire were buried. “Northern Pass: There is a real solution – bury it,” he said. “The notion it is not financially viable is being completely disproved by the competing plans in Vermont and New York doing it this way. “To scar our North Country with layers of wires that will crisscross Interstate 93 multiple times makes no sense at all. Tourists coming here are going to ask, Do we care about our citizens at all?” Burying the power lines would bring revenue to the state, cities and towns, since they would be along public rights of way. “If they want us to be the extension cord for this project, I think New Hampshire would be perfectly happy to have it,” Rubens said. “Just bury it.”
My Turn: There’s no Kumbaya on Northern Pass
Concord Monitor 6/6/14
None of us, nor any opponents we know, are aware of any type of compromise solution having been offered, or agreed to, much less a buried solution. There is no Kumbaya on Northern Pass. The opposition remains solidly opposed and will continue to take all available measures to prevent the project in its present design from ever going forward. The excerpted April 2 letter follows:
Marilinda Garcia running in District 2 GOP primary
Littleton Courier 5/28/14
On Northern Pass, Garcia expressed concern about the tall electrical transmission towers that would take Canadian hydropower through New Hampshire. In addition to the effects on the state's natural beauty, Garcia said, "most of the benefits wouldn't be to our state." Burying the lines would be a much better option for New Hampshire, she suggested.
The fight over Northern Pass is also becoming a proving ground for a bigger idea: that ostensibly-green energy projects have victims, too. As the world becomes increasingly aware of the dangers of burning oil and coal into the atmosphere, the demand for relatively clean projects like Northern Pass is set to skyrocket. But the people of northern New Hampshire are trying to show power companies in Quebec and beyond that being green doesn’t give them carte blanche.
The Next Northern Pass?
Valley News 5/22/14
But what’s not clear is what happens to all that power — can you say 1,000 megawatts — once it reaches Cavendish, and whether the existing above-ground transmission lines, which include some that run east to Ascutney and through Sullivan County, would have to be upgraded, or expanded.
Overhead lines require a lot of digging, too
Letter to the Editor, Concord Monitor 5/22/14
A directly embedded 90-foot steel monopole for the relocated HVAC line would require a minimum 15-foot excavation. If the monopole were used for the HVDC line, it could require burial in concrete to a depth of 35 feet, Northern Pass says. (Extrapolating from these proportions, the project’s proposed 130-foot-tall HVAC monopoles in Pembroke would require a minimum excavation depth of 22 feet; its proposed 130-foot-tall HVDC monopoles in Northumberland could require an excavation depth of over 50 feet.) But compare only the figures Northern Pass itself cites, foundation depths of 15 feet to 35 feet for 90-foot monopoles, with the 3 feet to 4 feet required for direct burial HVDC cable and ask yourself which has greater impact.
Reading Between the Lines of Northern Pass Polls
Conservation Law Foundation 5/21/14
In recent months, we’ve heard a lot from the developer of the Northern Pass transmission project, Massachusetts and Connecticut-based Northeast Utilities, about swelling support and rising poll numbers. It’s all part of NU’s effort to craft a public relations “narrative”—through weekly posts on its Project Journal blog, in executive presentations to investment analysts, and in statements to the press—to show “momentum” for the project.
16-8 Senate vote effectively kills bill to bury Northern Pass lines
Union Leader 5/15/14
Democratic Sen. Jeff Woodburn of Dalton, whose district encompasses many of the North Country towns affected by Northern Pass, said burial of the lines is recommended in 16 of 20 alternative routes proposed for the project, and is an innovative approach being tried in many nearby states. “We need public policy that encourages innovation,” he said.
VT Governor Weighs In On Northern Pass Burial
"The problem with using interstate corridors is that there’s federal – I think not very well thought out – federal obstacles to allowing us to do that," Shumlin told a crowd of EPA regulators, energy insiders and members of the public. "If anyone can get it done it’s Governor Hassan, myself, and others. We would love to find solutions to get our southern neighbors the juice they need without destroying our pristine forests."
New Hampshire Delegation Welcomes Release of Addendum to Northern Pass Draft Environmental Impact Statement
U.S. Senate 5/2/14
“We appreciate that the Department of Energy acted upon our request to release the addendum to the Northern Pass draft Environmental Impact Statement. It is critical that New Hampshire citizens have a meaningful opportunity to participate in the review of the proposed project through a transparent and thorough process, and we're hopeful this release will give our citizens the appropriate opportunity to review the preliminary identified alternatives.”
Scoping Report Alternatives Addendum
U.S. Dept of Energy 5/1/14
The Northern Pass Transmission Line Project Environmental Impact Statement (DOE/EIS-0463) will address potential environmental impacts of the proposed project, the No Action Alternative, and the range of reasonable alternatives. The U.S. Forest Service-White Mountain National Forest (USFS), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-New England District (USACE), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-Region 1 (EPA), and the NH Office of Energy and Planning (NHOEP) are cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS.
Northern Pass modifies the route after EIS scoping period closes
Burns & McDonnell 4/13/14
On April 4, a "Proposed Project Modification Notice" was posted on the DOE EIS site. 900 towers (40% of the project) will be moved to gain DOE approval, etc. Other than a few details, the public has been shut out about these project changes.
Northern Pass Turns Its Back on Conservation Commissions - Roy Stever and Members of the Easton NH Conservation Commission
Op-Ed, Littleton Record 4/11/14
Mr. Long suggested that we attend a Northern Pass Open House in the meantime. Members of our commission did attend meetings in both Lincoln and Sugar Hill. Our questions were neither answered nor followed up. In Sugar Hill, essentially all members of the general public (not just our commission) walked out of the Open House when project officials refused to answer questions, directly and in the open. At that meeting, in October 2013, Ms. Bartosewicz, then Project Director of Northern Pass, assured me that our letter was on her desk and that we would receive an answer shortly.
Northern Pass still breeds deep suspicion
Bury Northern Pass 4/11/14
SEC member Amy Ignatius asked Needleman if he would agree that if National Grid proposed an amendment to its plan, such as redesigning the AC line to carry DC current, or if it wanted to transfer ownership to PSNH it would have to again come before SEC.
Looking Past the Hype: What We Don’t Know about Importing More Hydropower from Canada
Conservation Law Foundation 4/4/14
Unfortunately, we have very few data points on what the actual cost of hydropower would be if New England dramatically increased its imports. To take the most significant example, Hydro-Québec sells large amounts of power into the New England grid over existing transmission lines. In many cases, the utility is a price-taker, meaning consumers pay Hydro-Québec the wholesale market price. Because the price of natural gas typically sets that price in New England, we pay just as much for hydropower as we do for volatile fossil-fuel power. Even Vermont’s most recent long-term contract with Hydro-Québec tracks the market price, rather than providing a discount.
Some Town Meeting voters took on ‘bigger picture’ issues
Union Leader 3/13/14
According to draft minutes from the session provided by Town Clerk Dawn Frost, the body first voted to allow the selectmen to move forward on the cell tower as long as no funding came from Northern Pass. Voters then amended the article — on the chance that Northern Pass might make a donation through another entity — to read that the effort can proceed in so far that “no apparent funding comes from Northern Pass.” The amended article passed on a voice vote.
Sugar Hill eyes money to fight Northern Pass
Union Leader 3/4/14
According to the warrant article, the $10,000 fund would be administered by the Select Board “for the purpose of financing legal expenses and other costs incurred by the town in advocating the town’s opposition to the Northern Pass project.” The Select Board recommends approval of the article.
Raising awareness of Northern Pass
Mondanock Ledger-Transcript 2/27/14
“We don’t think about Northern Pass that much in our area,” Manfre said. “It’s not in our backyard, but really all of New Hampshire is our backyard. We should care about the White Mountains and should know more about this plan.”
Testimony in favor of SB 200
No Northern Pass 2/19/14
Will Abbott, Society for the Protection of NH Forests; Susan Arnold, Appalachian Mountain Club; Christophe Courchesne, Conservation Law Foundation; Jim O’Brien, The Nature Conservancy
Advertising campaign pushes for underground Northern Pass
Union Leader 2/19/14
Savage said the Champlain-Hudson Express is well along in the permitting process and well ahead of Northern Pass, which he described as the most theoretical project of all "because they don't even have a legal route."
Council wants more time to study Northern Pass
Berlin Daily Sun 2/12/14
While Councilor Mike Rozek and Russell Otis initially moved to support Northern Pass, the two rescinded their motion when Councilors Paula Benski, Peter Higbee, and Roland Theberge asked for more time. Benski said she was not convinced and wanted time to study the issue. If forced to vote Monday night, Benski said she would vote against supporting it.
Finally: A Win for Transparency in the Federal Review of Alternatives to Northern Pass
Conservation Law Foundation 2/11/14
It is essential to the overall permitting process that DOE make well-informed and appropriate decisions regarding which alternatives are reasonable and will be studied in detail in the EIS. If DOE is missing key alternatives, the report will allow the public to have an opportunity to make the case that more alternatives should be studied, in time for DOE to change course and study those alternatives in the draft EIS. The public and New Hampshire policymakers have a clear and growing interest in alternatives to the current proposal: witness the New Hampshire House’s recent passage of a bill that would require careful analysis of underground alternatives to overhead, elective transmission projects like Northern Pass within the state siting process. CLF has been fighting for this report for three years and repeatedly renewed our 2011 request, including at last September’s scoping meetings.
Reforms To Energy Siting Rules Begin To Take Shape
The initial outlines of what those reforms might look like have begun to emerge. A bipartisan group of senators (Republicans Jeb Bradley and Jeannie Forrester, and Democrats Martha Fuller-Clark and Jeff Woodburn) are expected to propose an amendment to the SEC statute next week.
How Much Property Tax Would Northern Pass Actually Pay?
Bury Northern Pass 2/10/14
Northern Pass claims it would contribute "an estimated $28 million in new local, state, and county tax revenues." Would Northern Pass also appeal its assessments and try to slash the property taxes it pays to NH towns?
Senate should reject Northern Pass fear-mongering
Jamie White Op-Ed, Concord Monitor 2/7/14
This intransigence is in stark contrast to projects under way in Vermont and New York where plans to bury transmission lines are moving forward through the permitting process with little or no opposition. Cries that burial is too expensive ring hollow when private developers backed by the Blackstone Group, a company that understands the bottom line, are behind these projects. These buried line projects are so lucrative that the developers are establishing an environmental trust fund for the state of $117 million as a sweetener.
US DOE to reveal alternate Northern Pass routes
Associated Press 2/5/14
The U.S. Department of Energy plans to reveal details of possible alternative routes for the Northern Pass electrical transmission project before it releases a draft environmental study on the proposal, likely by the end of this year, according to a letter sent to the state’s congressional delegation. In a letter released Wednesday by the delegation, the department said it is reviewing more than 7,500 public comments as it considers a permit application for the $1.4 billion Northern Pass.
Forest Journal: Talkin' Groundhog Day with Middleton Maury
Jack Savage, NewHammpshire.com 2/2/14
"Sugar Hill Phil knows what any groundhog with common sense knows," Maury said. "He knows that whether you're a woodchuck or a private transmission line developer, the only way you're going to survive is to burrow underground. There's nothing but trouble overhead."
Canadian hydro gambles big on U.S. export market -- but at what cost?
E&E News 1/31/14
But what about the consequences of generating thousands more megawatts of power, even if it's north of the border? Does Hydro-Québec have enough capacity to satisfy the U.S. export market in the East, or does its calculus include more dam construction? And what does all this mean for the rivers, lakes and wetland habitats fueling the generation portfolio in the first place?
Northern Pass to DOE: Reveal alternative routes
Associated Press 1/31/14
Michael Skelton, a spokesman for Northern Pass, said the company doesn’t believe publicizing the alternative routes that were proposed during the public comment period will slow down the permit process or further stir up opposition to the plan.
Coös County Jobs Creation Association Names Members
Northern Pass 1/29/14
Former State Senator John Gallus of Gallus & Green Real Estate in Berlin will chair the Association. Joining him are Allen Bouthillier, owner of AB Logging in Lancaster; David Atkinson, also of AB Logging in Lancaster and former manager of the Wausau Paper Mill in Groveton; Chris Diego, managing director of the Mountain View Grand in Whitefield; and Ted Burns, co-owner of the Grand Ole Lodge in North Stratford.
NH House kills moratorium on new energy projects
Associated Press 1/29/14
The issue comes as the state aims to get nearly 25 percent of its power from renewable sources like wind, solar and water by 2025. The Spanish energy giant Iberdrola Renewables has a proposal for 23 wind turbines in Danbury and Alexandria that, if approved, would give the company three wind farms in New Hampshire. It already operates turbines in Groton and Lempster.
Honest dialogue needed if Northern Pass is to survive
Nancy Martland & Paul Grenier Op-Ed, Union Leader 1/28/14
Unfortunately for all involved, no substantive discussion of this or any other possible solution will occur until Northern Pass developers take seriously the objections of affected citizens. Their refusal to do so dooms Northern Pass to travel a long, uncertain and potentially dead-end road. It dooms New Hampshire to protracted conflict over this issue, perhaps resulting in much that is lost and nothing that is gained. It could also doom New Hampshire craftsmen to lose out on the many years of work near home that the project could provide.
Time to break out of New Hampshire’s energy efficiency polar vortex
Laura Richardson, Concord Monitor Op-Ed 1/24/14
Adding pipelines and transmission lines is not a solution; they simply provide a mechanism to waste more. Energy efficiency should be considered an energy resource in New Hampshire. If we can better manage energy use, we don’t need to expand energy capacity. In many cases, it is less expensive to “buy” energy efficiency than to buy the energy itself. “Least-cost procurement” is a Yankee attribute we have so far failed to incorporate into our utility regulations and energy practices.
Hydro-Québec’s power plan still sparks outrage in New England
Montreal Gazette 1/24/14
The broader question is whether New England needs the electricity from Quebec as much as it did when Northern Pass was announced five years ago. Advocates say the project would diversify New England’s energy supply and bring in clean renewable power. But the price of natural gas, which often sets the price for electricity in the wholesale market, has tumbled and the economic incentive for the project has diminished.
Greneir asks council to actively support Northern Pass
Berlin Daily Sun 1/23/14
An early supporter of the high capacity transmission line, Grenier gave the developers "miserably failing grades" for their introduction of the project to the affected communities and their continued resistance to engaging the public for solutions.
NH House passes bill targeting Northern Pass
Associated Press 1/22/14
The House voted 171-139 to direct the state's site evaluation committee to give preference in issuing permits to privately funded energy projects like Northern Pass if they bury their transmission lines. The House referred the bill to the Ways and Means Committee for review before taking a final vote.
Northern Pass Argues Against Alternative Routes
Caledonian Record 1/21/14
One week after the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Energy requesting the study of alternative routes, Northern Pass maintains it has provided alternatives in an amended DOE application. A review of that application on Monday, however, shows the company using legal and other arguments against them.
Four Important Footnotes to Northern Pass’s Latest “Approval”
Conservation Law Foundation 1/16/14
With its public relations machine in triumph mode, the developer of Northern Pass announced on New Year’s Eve that the project had received the approval of ISO-NE, the operator of the regional electric grid, attaining what the developer called a “major regulatory milestone.” The Associated Press picked up the press release, as did local outlets that repeated the developer’s phrase without much context over the New Year’s holiday.
NH Delegation: Public Should See Alternatives to Proposed Northern Pass Route
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen 1/14/14
The letter from U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Congresswomen Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and Annie Kuster (NH-02) reiterates a request the delegation made in August to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to allow the New Hampshire public a reasonable opportunity to raise concerns on the Northern Pass Transmission proposal. The letter sent today again asks the DOE to issue a public, preliminary report of the alternatives to the proposed Northern Pass Route to be studied before the DOE issues a complete draft of the EIS.
Irish Revolt Over Towers
Another Fine Gael minister privately warned that "rural Ireland is up in arms". "This is set to become the most lethal political war since the rod licence dispute," he said.
'Northern Trespass' follows controversial power project
Portsmouth Herald 1/12/14
Lee Sullivan of Arundel, Maine, gave opening remarks before the lights dimmed. "Last spring, I saw a (real estate) listing that my family's old second home in Easton was for sale," Sullivan said. "It was at a bargain basement price and the Realtor said it was because of the Northern Pass."
Coldest temps in 20 years fail to rally natural gas
Market Watch 1/10/14
“Tuesday was the coldest day of the 21st century in the lower 48 states and of course demand is at an all-time high with some traders wondering if we have enough LNG [liquefied natural gas], production and storage to meet demand,” said Beth Sewell, managing partner at Quantum Power & Gas Services. But “we got through the worst of it with minimal problems so I would say that’s not much of a concern.” About half of U.S. households use natural gas as their main heating fuel.
Not in ME's Backyard
Dartmouth Review 1/10/14
Despite these local impacts, however, there has been little debate about – or even acknowledgement of – the project among undergraduates on Dartmouth’s campus. Instead, protests and demonstrations have been limited to citizens of New Hampshire and Vermont who have joined forces with groups like the Appalachian Mountain Club to oppose the proposal. Although their efforts have suffered from a lack of engagement among Dartmouth environmental groups, it would seem that they are about to gain a new ally from an unlikely northern neighbor.
More 2014 energy legislation
NH Business Review 1/10/14
New Hampshire is one of the few states that has allowed its major utility – in this case, PSNH – to hang on to its power generation assets. But for a variety of reasons, including an increase in costs to operate the utility’s Bow coal plant, this has resulted in massive migration of customers from PSNH, led by large commercial users and followed by small businesses and residents to buy electricity from wholesale competitors, which have been relying for the most part on energy generated with natural gas.
Fighting the power: New documentary on opposition to Northern Pass
The Wire 1/8/14
If the film is one-sided, it’s by choice. Marvel calls it a “David and Goliath situation.” “Hydro-Québec and Northeast Utilities, the kind of money they’re putting into their PR machine and propaganda is enormous,” she says. “How do you fight a machine like that? They have so many people, so many lobbyists, their legal team … that are being paid salaries to do this every single day.”
Montreal Extreme Cold Impacts
Montreal Gazette 1/7/14
While last week’s cold front pushed Quebec’s power grid to the cusp of its capabilities, Hydro-Québec was able to better manage the cold this time around. Quebec had to tap into electrical grids in Ontario and New York last Thursday to avoid maxing out its own capabilities, but no such measures were taken during the brief cold spell this week. Quebec has a comprehensive plan for these kinds of situations,” said John Moura, the head analyst at the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. “If the province approaches its maximum capacity, it can purchase megawatts from neighbouring provinces. If that doesn’t work it can ask industrial partners to shut down their factories for a little and if that doesn’t work they can do rolling brownouts, where people would not have electricity for 15 to 45 minutes so that the power grid still exists tomorrow.
Documentary on Northern Pass coming to Music Hall
Portsmouth Herald 1/7/14
Indian Stream Productions is owned by Jan Marvel and Michelle Vaughn. Marvel is a national award-winning sign designer as well as a singer/songwriting and founder of Atta Girl Records, a record label devoted to causes for humanity. Vaughn is a sign craftsman, musician, sound engineer and co-owner of Atta Girl Records.
Last week’s cold snap pushed Hydro-Québec network to the limit
Montreal Gazette 1/7/14
Despite being Canada’s foremost producer of electricity, Quebec has purchased power from New York in past winters — a practice Rouy says is relatively common. For one thing, Quebecers consume 48 per cent more electricity per capita than the rest of Canadians, according to a study conducted by the Montreal Economic Institute.
Plan to run power lines from Canada through N.H. faces hurdles in 2014
Associated Press 1/5/14
The past year ended with the group that runs New England’s power grid making the determination that Northern Pass could safely and reliably connect to the existing power system. After a three-year review, ISO New England announced Dec. 31 that it had approved the interconnection application, meaning Northeast Utilities can continue pursuing the project. The ISO decision also requires the project to submit more detailed plans.
Northern Pass transmission line project clears first major hurdle
New Haven Register 1/1/14
ISO-New England gave the project its “I.3.9 approval,” a process used to determine whether a proposed transmission line expansion can reliably interconnect with the regional power grid. By giving the Northern Pass the I.3.9 approval, ISO-NE has determined the project will have no significant adverse effect on the reliability or operating characteristics of the regional energy grid.
NESCOE on Northern Pass
Bury Northern Pass 12/28/13
The New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE) advises the New England Governors on energy policies. On September 9, 2013, NESCOE published a whitepaper on Canadian hydropower imports.
Northern Pass: No Exchange, No Returns
Nancy Martland op-ed 12/27/13
In the end, we simply couldn’t keep the package. We found out about an alternative. We learned that technology exists to place the lines underground. NP’s partner, Hydro-Quebec, markets this technology as a cost-efficient low-impact alternative to overhead lines. Yet, Northern Pass insists that burying is too expensive and too impractical. Many disagree with them on this point.
The Northern Pass Alternatives (Part II): Fill Up or Upgrade Existing Lines
Conservation Law Foundation 12/27/13
Something that goes unmentioned in the Northern Pass project’s omnipresent (even on Christmas Day) marketing campaign is that New England already has several major transmission lines that deliver power from eastern Canada. If more imports are what New England wants, could we increase imports by filling up or upgrading these existing lines, rather than building new transmission projects like Northern Pass?
Northern Pass: Permit Approvals Deadline Pushed Back To 2017
Caledonian Record 12/21/13
While Northern Pass maintains that all permits for its project will be in hand by 2015, a new federal filing shows the company has pushed back its permit approvals deadline by two years, into 2017. And as the project advances, company representatives said the challenges in permitting and development remain. On Dec. 11, in a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Northern Pass requested an amendment to its February 2011 Transmission Service Agreement (TSA) with Hydro-Quebec.
ISO-New England Reliability Committee votes down Northern Pass
ISO New England 12/19/13
There is concern about the risk of concentrated (non-diversified) power supply from HQ, particularly in the area where the Phase II line (so-called National Grid line) and NPT line would be almost coexistent. The same ice storm, say, could take out both lines at once. Here’s the solution ISO proposes: bury it (in this area), or come back to us with some other fix that we approve at our discretion:
"6. NPT will require Hydro Québec TransÉnergie to mitigate the risk of a single event that causes the loss of both the NPT HVDC and the Hydro Québec Phase II HVDC at the transmission line crossing south of the HQ Nicolet Substation in Québec by a method found to be acceptable by ISO New England. This can be accomplished by undergrounding the NPT HVDC at the crossing or another method found to be suitable.”
Plymouth hosts hearing on bill for tougher scrutiny of power projects such as Northern Pass
Union Leader 12/18/13
Peter Martin said the public should be involved in the new SEC, if a decision is made to change the system. "Speculative corporate projects should be placed (on town warrants) as warrant articles," he said. "The public should be first among stockholders; it's time for the people to have the last word." Joanna Tuveson said the current SEC favors developers. "Many of us feel the current system is weighted heavily toward the developers," she said. Will Abbott of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests made the point that now, "the SEC essentially overrides local zoning," leaving local communities with little governmental power over new power projects.
NE States Split Over Power Line Cost Sharing
Vermont Public Radio 12/18/13
“The cost allocation that was proposed puts the vast majority of costs, almost three-quarters of the cost, of a transmission project on the other states that may or may not have unmet policy needs. So fundamentally, the people who need the project the most, are paying the least amount,” Johnson said.
NH PUC joins RI and VT in protest to FERC over transmission cost sharing
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 12/16/13
The Filing Parties [ME, MA, CT] also fail to acknowledge that because Public Policy Transmission Upgrades may run through scenic landscapes including forested and open wetland areas, they can burden the host states with significant economic and non-monetary costs, such as impacts on viewsheds, recreation and tourism, human health and overall environmental quality. As the State of Connecticut’s moratorium on wind development,15 in place since June 2011, and the controversy surrounding the Northern Pass Transmission Project in New Hampshire attest, these long-lasting economic and non-monetary costs can outweigh the short-term employment/economic benefits usually associated with local infrastructure projects.
...at the present time, New Hampshire’s largest utility, which accounts for approximately 70 percent of all distribution sales in the state, has sufficient Class I Renewable Energy Credits under contract to meet its Renewable Portfolio Standards obligations for the foreseeable future, has no current need for additional renewable energy purchases, and therefore is unlikely to request service from any developer of Public Policy Transmission Upgrades.
Hydro [Quebec] expects another tough winter
La Presse 12/11/13
The other measures provided by Hydro to help its network through the winter are lowering the voltage on the network, which could allow it to gain 250 megawatts, occasional imports from neighboring networks, and calls for reducing customer consumption, which have now become common.
Understanding Northern Pass
NH Magazine- January 2014 issue
Is Northern Pass inevitable? Would we ever get used to it? The headlines focus on towers and power, but it’s really a story about people and land.
New England governors sign energy agreement
Connecticut Mirror 12/6/13
The Northern Pass transmission line proposed by Northeast Utilities, for example, faces opposition in New Hampshire. The pact signed Thursday does not represent an endorsement of Northern Pass by New Hampshire’s governor, Maggie Hassan, Esty said.
Speak Out at This Week’s Public Meetings on Reforming New Hampshire’s Transmission Line Siting Process
Responsible Energy Action LLC 12/2/13
We can’t overemphasize the importance of the SEC to the outcome of Northern Pass. In New Hampshire the “buck stops” with the SEC, and the SEC’s determination may be the “make or break” for the project. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has a separate, much more limited federal process and takes great care to make it clear that siting decisions inside New Hampshire (versus the international border crossing) are up to the state (that is, the SEC), not federal authorities.
Northern Pass collects geotechnical information on proposed route
Coos County Democrat 11/26/13
They are undertaking a total of 29 geotechnical borings, of which this was the 25th, Shay said. He had also consulted information collected fro when the 24-inch Portland Natural Gas Transmission System line was installed, available on the state's geologic maps, and in reports published after conferences are held on the area's geologic history. Haley & Aldrich also contracted for a LIDAR (light detection and ranging) flight using a state-of-the-art remote-sensing technique to gain very accurate measurements of the earth's surface.
The Northern Pass Alternatives (Part I): Going Underground
Conservation Law Foundation 11/17/13
From the underground projects’ public filings and other information, CLF compiled a basic comparison of underground HVDC transmission’s characteristics and costs. We also referenced a white paper, authored by an independent transmission consultant, that describes a conceptual underground alternative to the 140-mile HVDC portion of Northern Pass that would use overhead lines. We assembled this information, with basic details about each project, in a one-page fact sheet, which you can download here. (All the details and references are in CLF’s final scoping comments to DOE, linked above.)
New England States Debate Sharing Costs For New Power Lines
“The problem is; what are you paying for? If there is 150 mile transmission line from extreme northern Maine to move wind power down to Massachusetts or southern Connecticut, we don’t know that would benefit Vermont to a great degree,” he said.
Northeast Utilities' Northern Pass plan may face delays
New Haven Register 11/11/13
Regulatory hurdles and substantial political headwinds will likely prevent the project from going into service before 2018, at the earliest with delays until 2019-2020 very possible as well,” Rains and VandenBerg write in their report. “We simply disagree with Northeast Utilities’ past statement that it expects Northern Pass to be in service in 2017 and that it will receive state siting approval in 2015.”
The challenges of Northern Pass
Nashua Telegraph Editorial 11/7/13
Northern Pass officials dismiss those objections as rooted in a not-in-my-backyard mindset pervasive among the project’s opponents. There may be some of that, but given the millions of visitors who come to the state each year – many of whom are attracted, at least in part, by its sweeping, unspoiled mountain vistas – visual impact is not a small point. Some of those visitors bring money with them, too.
Northern Pass’ Highest Hurdle
Responsible Energy Action LLC 11/6/13
In a letter to Tom Wagner, the Forest Supervisor for the WMNF, REAL shows that Northern Pass does not meet the requirements for a permit and formally requests that the US Forest Service summarily reject the Northern Pass application for a SUP to cross the WMNF. Second, if the SUP is not rejected, REAL formally requests that the US Forest Service consider the alternative of burying both the new transmission lines as well as the existing transmission lines along I-93 and the Franconia Notch parkway to avoid damage to the WMNF. Finally, REAL requests the US Forest Service not to consider any special exemptions (site-specific amendments) for Northern Pass to allow the transmission lines to be built even though the WMNF requirements are not met.
NHPUC issues report regarding PSNH costs related to Northern Pass
NH Public Utilities Commission 11/5/13
Northern Pass should consider reducing those questions by making it clear during public events that, ifPSNH personnel are involved, all costs associated with PSNH' s involvement are being charged to Northern Pass. In addition, I suggest that the companies refrain from the use of PSNH bill inserts to promote the Northern Pass project.
PSNH Powerline Change Application
Northern Pass 11/4/13
The proposed relocated PSNH line in the WMNF, with steel monopoles up to 115' tall, must also be approved by the Forest Service. PSNH's request is dated November 4, 2013. It makes no concession to the overwhelming opposition to new or relocated, higher towers in the national forest. See also: PSNH Powerline Change Application Exhibits
3rd major project adds to crowded field in the Northeast
Environment & Energy Daily 11/4/13
That TDI proposed to construct its project into New England below ground is crucial. Northern Pass has generated a fair amount of hostile opposition from New Hampshire residents who have insisted Northeast Utilities should bury the project despite claims by the company that doing so would be economically prohibitive.
A Promising Option: What the New England Clean Power Link Means for the Region and Northern Pass
Conservation Law Foundation 10/31/13
We have known for a long time that—despite millions invested in public relations—Northern Pass, in its current form, is as good as dead. With the Clean Power Link, we may be seeing the first real indication that the region is now ready to move beyond the slick marketing and misinformation campaign of Northern Pass and toward real solutions that could responsibly bring additional Canadian hydropower to New England.
Hydropower line proposed
Burlington Free Press 10/30/13
Privately financed project would go from Quebec and under Lake Champlain
Rebell der Wildnis
Der Tagesspiegel 10/27/13
Vier Millionen bot ihm der Stromkonzern für seine Farm in New Hampshire. Eine Leitungstrasse soll hier gebaut werden. Aber Rod McAllaster wollte das Geld nicht. Weil der Mensch einen Ort braucht, den er Heimat nennen kann.
EPA to DOE: Investigate burying more of Northern Pass
Environmental Protection Agency 10/24/13
The EIS should explore these issues more fully and examine whether there are reasonable opportunities for additional transmission line burial (beyond the two areas currently proposed by the applicant) that would further reduce project impacts along portions of the various aligrunents under consideration.
Pembroke selectmen speak against Northern Pass
Concord Monitor 10/23/13
In 2011, a warrant article approved at town meeting registered the town’s “objection, opposition and commitment to stop the construction of any new portion of the high voltage transmission line that deviates from the alignment of the present existing right of ways.” The article continued to say the town could not welcome the project because “such a huge scar constructed and erected through and above the town’s treasured residential and scenic private properties will cause inestimable damage to the orderly economic development of the town, and the health and well-being of its residents.”
Resort-versus-Northern Pass lawsuit heats up
Concord Monitor 10/18/13
Mullen said yesterday that when Northern Pass officials learned he was considering a lawsuit, they offered to relocate the future Northern Pass line farther from the resort’s residences. Mullen said they also offered him and his partner a “not insignificant” amount of money toward their financial losses.
Response to Lawsuit Directed at Northern Pass
Northern Pass 10/17/13
For our part, we are focused on continuing our landowner outreach efforts and working to address legitimate concerns with our proposal through open, thoughtful, and fact-based discussions. We are confident the project can be sited in a responsible manner that ensures New Hampshire can benefit from clean, low-cost hydro power, hundreds of jobs, and millions in new taxes Northern Pass will provide.
How’s business in the North Country?
NH Business Review 10/18/13
Rick Kelley, general manager, Loon Mountain Resort, Lincoln: Uncertainty, lower property values and negative impact on the vast beauty of our mountains and valleys, which is our most precious resource.
Dick Huot, director, Northern Forest Heritage Park, Berlin: All negative if the current plan is fully implemented. I feel there would be a very different outcome if Northern Pass is buried through Coos County.
Northern Pass: Your views at risk
Appalachian Mountain Club 10/18/13
The Appalachian Mountain Club opposes the Northern Pass project in New Hampshire, a 186-mile transmission line that will visually impact the White Mountain National Forest, Appalachian Trail, Franconia Notch State Park, and over 95,000 acres throughout the state. Northern Pass’s June 2013 preferred route for the northernmost 74 miles is of great concern to our organization and many others who value northern New Hampshire’s character and rugged beauty. AMC is conducting a new visual impact analysis of the half-mile range along the full Northern Pass corridor and we provide the following video series depicting the visual impact of proposed transmission towers along the 186-mile route.
Whitefield Selectmen ask USDOE to consider requiring Northern Pass to be buried
Coos County Democrat 10/16/13
"While not an aesthetic or environmental concern, we asked PSNH two years ago how will the proposed HVDC line be depreciated and over what time period? "PSNH has had a history of continually challenging municipal utility assessments," the trio point out, "and PSNH has been unable to give an estimate of how depreciation expenses would be determined."
DOE should suspend Northern Pass permit application
Sandi Hennequin op-ed, Union Leader 10/14/13
All aspects of the reliability issue must be examined as part of the Presidential Permit application, including the reliability impacts for our region from relying on more power over a long-distance transmission line from an area with a significant history of transmission-related problems. Further, the Independent System Operator New England, the region’s electric grid manager, has repeatedly said publicly that this project is not needed for electric system reliability.
Clean and Renewable Energy Or The Death of Tourism in New Hampshire?
The Clock, Plymouth State University (student newspaper) 10/11/13
One member of North Conway’s Planning Commission went so far as to call the crowd, “very, very ignorant,” and spreading a “profound perfusion of propaganda,” against the Northern Pass. Francine Wendelboe showed her strong support of the Northern Pass, while Senator Jeanie Forrester rebutted Wendelboe’s stance and stated, “The Northern Pass is a clear and present danger to New Hampshire.” However, Jeb Bradley, NH Senate Majority Leader, eloquently presented a compromise to the need of the power and the atrocity of the view by having Northern Pass, “Bury the Lines!” This sentiment seemed to reverberate throughout the entire proceeding.
Northern Pass opponents bring ‘bury the lines’ argument to Telegraph
Nashua Telegraph 10/9/13
“They say it’s more expensive but we haven’t heard them articulate how much more expensive is it, and articulate their reasons for that (estimate),” Abbott told The Telegraph editorial board. “They ought to do the full engineering analysis on the underground alternative.”
Keep our state’s beauty intact
Terry Cronin op-ed, Foster's Daily Democrat 10/8/13
In the meantime, ignore the hysteria about our need for energy and appeals to the “greater good”; they’re just the prospect for private gain spun from an investors dream. There can be no more perfect or greater good than to keep the beauty of Connecticut Lakes, the White Mountains and the rest of New Hampshire intact.
Facing foreclosure, White Mts. resort sues Northern Pass
NH Business Review 10/3/13
What PSNH knew and when it knew it would come out in the discovery, presaged by extensive interrogatories filed with the suit by Mullen’s attorney, Art Cunningham. Cunningham, who practices in Hopkinton, has been a frequent foe of PSNH in other battles, such as the effort to install the mercury scrubber at the utility’s coal-burning plant in Bow.
Wheels have fallen off Northern Pass bus
Joe Drinon op-ed, Foster's Daily Democrat 9/30/13
There has also been some pretty clear evidence in the past week that nearly all the Northern Pass supporters are those with a direct financial interest — including those at the DOE scoping hearing in Concord wearing “Support Clean Energy — Support Northern Pass” tee shirts. One estimate of the audience at the Sept. 24 DOE scoping hearing in Plymouth was 650 opposed to Northern Pass, 8 in support.
John Harrigan: Volunteer rescuers, inside and out, and a pass on the Northern Pass
John Harrigan, Union Leader 9/28/13
Several speakers at the Colebrook hearing said they really don't care whether the power line is overhead or buried - a scar on the landscape is still a scar - and not for any demonstrable public need but for corporate greed. They just want the boosters and hustlers to fold up their tents and go home.
Northern Pass: Scoping Hearings Attracts Big Crowds
Colebrook Chronicle 9/27/13
Elliott West of Whitefield, who was an economist with the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC) said, “Frankly, I am all in favor of importing Hydro-Quebec into the New England market. My objection is that this project as proposed will be a huge monetary windfall for Hydro-Quebec while hurting the people of New Hampshire. When asked about underground lines, Northern Pass responds that undergrounding is expensive. Well yes, it is, but there is more than enough money sloshing around in this deal to cover any underground lines. Undergrounding the lines would also go a long way to dampening the opposition on this project. Northern Pass has boxed themselves in by making a bad deal with Hydro-Quebec—my feeling is this process should be frozen until Northern Pass gets serious about estimating the cost of undergrounding the line."
Video Report: Whitefield & Colebrook Scoping Meetings
Colebrook Chronicle 9/27/13
A Canterbury State Rep., Howard Moffett, spoke at the Colebrook meeting he said to show support for those who have fought this line as it is proposed. “I am not opposed to hydro power, I am opposed to bringing it in 100 feet up in the air,” he said. “We have the technology to bury a line like this. And states do, to the east of us and to the west of us. Northern Pass says it would cost too much to bury it. Don’t believe it. They can put this stuff six feet underground where nobody is going to be bothered by it. But to trash landscapes for electric consumers in southern New England is simply unacceptable. Stick with your guns. Make them put this underground. Bury it.”
#NorthernPass #Fail: New Hampshire Speaks Out
Conservation Law Foundation 9/27/13
An overwhelming majority of the nearly 2,000 attendees (an astounding turnout for evening events on two weeks notice) wore hunter orange—the color adopted by the opposition to the project. The audio record (helpfully compiled and edited by radio host Brian Tilton) shows that close to 200 speakers—current and former elected officials, local residents, small business men and women, conservation advocates, youth, and other people from all walks of life—spoke against the project. The public’s reaction followed Governor’s Hassan’s strong comments in Sunday’s Boston Globe taking a clear stand against the current proposal and in favor of pursuing other more innovative energy alternatives.
AMC: It's Time to Speak Up
Appalachian Mountain Club 9/27/13
Please take a minute to tell the DOE your views. And then ask them to consider what 1,566 new steel towers slicing through New Hampshire will mean for the tourism economy of the state, for the peace of mind of the people who find escape in the mountain scenery, and for the future of our precious public lands like the White Mountain National Forest, Appalachian Trail, and the several state parks that will be scarred by this project.
Colebrook shows up wearing orange against Northern Pass
Union Leader 9/27/13
Jack Savage of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests brought a large gift bag full of comment cards, collected over the past week and bearing the names and addresses of 1,100 people opposing the Northern Pass proposal. He ceremoniously emptied the bag onto the table in front of DOE senior planning adviser Brian Mills, then followed up by placing the 22 supporting comment cards on the table in a neat stack. "That's a 50-1 ratio, by the way," Savage said.
A False Choice: Northern Pass Isn’t the Only Option
Conservation Law Foundation 9/25/13
Together, these messages show that the choice posited by the Globe—no new imports or Northern Pass—is a false one. It is long past time for the region to get past the phony promises of New Hampshire’s worst polluter, which continues to fleece New Hampshire households to support its failing dirty energy business. There are transmission and other alternatives—from the Hudson River Valley to the Gulf of Maine and everywhere in between—for us to arrive at solutions that make economic sense, respect host communities, protect our treasured natural resources, reduce emissions, and nurture an innovative clean energy sector across state and national borders.
Tensions high at latest Northern Pass hearing in Plymouth
Union Leader 9/25/13
Bradley said the project will mainly benefit neighboring residents of southern New England states, “who would never allow this in their back yard, yet they don’t seem to mind it” if it runs through New Hampshire, he said. “Putting towers above our tree tops doesn’t make for good neighbors,” he said. “We should send a message: Bury the lines.”
REAL’s Northern Pass Project Reference
Responsible Energy Action, LLC 9/24/13
This dispersal of information effectively hides the project details in plain sight. Nowhere to be found, for example, is the fact that there are over 2,300 new structures (1,219 HVDC, 319 HVAC, and 747 relocated HVAC) in this proposal. Also missing is the fact that the new HVAC structures on the southern section of the route are actually TALLER than the HVDC structures on the northern section of the route (100' vs. 90' on average). Using this tactic, project sponsors meet the requirement for disclosing project information while making it virtually impossible for the casual observer to comprehend the magnitude of the project.
Pursuing energy alternatives does not require accepting Northern Pass
Gov. Maggie Hassan oped, Boston Globe 9/20/13
Since entering office, I have focused on working with the people and businesses of New Hampshire to build a stronger economic future through innovation, and in no sector is innovation needed more than our energy industry. And yet, the Northern Pass project discounts innovative technologies and new approaches in favor of old transmission methods that could harm our state.
The Missing Fine Print in Northern Pass Clean Air Propaganda
Conservation Law Foundation 9/20/13
Perhaps what PSNH really forgot was the fine print, something along the lines of: “BREATHE DEEPLY, GRANDKIDS (provided you don’t live downwind of our coal plants, when they’re operating).” Or perhaps PSNH was really referring to future grandchildren who will benefit from the retirement of these polluting, highly uneconomic facilities. Certainly, when the Merrimack and Schiller coal plants stop operating, grandchildren, grandparents, and everyone in between will be able to breathe a little easier. But that’s not PSNH’s plan—it wants to keep these plants running indefinitely.
Comments of Conservation Law Foundation, Appalachian Mountain Club, and Society for Protection of NH Forests on Amended Application
CLF, AMC, SFPHFF Comments to U.S. Dept. of Energy 9/20/13
In addition to these deficiencies, the Amended Application provides virtually no information on the environmental impacts associated with the power sources for the Northern Pass project, other than to repeat that that the power will be “clean” and “low-carbon” power from u bec. See, e.g., Amended Application at 1, 6, 9, 27, 55, 71, 73, 76, 77, 78, and 79. Despite these representations, the Amended Application provides no analysis regarding the net carbon impact of the project. Especially given the Applicant’s efforts to tout the environmental attributes of the project’s proposed power sources, the Applicant was required to describe the full set of environmental impacts of those power sources, including the hydropower facilities planned or under construction in Québec to facilitate electricity exports that are at least in part to be delivered through the Northern Pass project.
NEPGA: Northern Pass Presidential Permit Application Should Be Withdrawn
New England Power Generators Association Comments to U.S. Dept. of Energy 9/18/13
It seems clear that New England can only be assured that HQ will shift its sales from other regions (Ontario, New York, the Maritimes) to New England via NPT if it enters into over-market, long-term contracts that would need to be subsidized by New England consumers at above market prices for like products in order to provide a return on investment for the hydroelectric plants and transmission line as discussed above.
Northern Pass application 'incomplete'
Union Leader 9/18/13
In their joint comments, the Conservation Law Foundation, Appalachian Mountain Club and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests say the amended application fails to offer a single alternative to the project; fails to provide required information on its environmental impacts; and is full of unsubstantiated assertions and improper legal arguments. "Despite the passage of three years, thousands of public comments questioning many aspects of the project, and millions of the applicant's dollars spent on property acquisitions and public relations, the amended application is incomplete and inconsistent with DOE regulations," wrote attorneys for the three groups.
Burying Northern Pass Is Up to New Hampshire
Jane Difley op-ed, Berlin Daily Sun 9/19/13
In New Hampshire we cherish our natural landscape and the economy it supports. We must defend ourselves from those who would sacrifice those values for their own profit. We do that by not only making the right choices, but by making the right choices easy.
Egregiously Incomplete: DOE Should Reject Northern Pass’s New Presidential Permit Application
Conservation Law Foundation 9/17/13
Today, CLF, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests filed joint comments with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) bearing a simple message: the Northern Pass project’s new “amended” application for a federal Presidential Permit once again doesn’t cut it. The application, filed in July, fails to provide the comprehensive and required information that DOE and the public need to evaluate the project. This time, project developer Northern Pass Transmission LLC (NPT) should not get another bite at the apple.
Northern Pass foes urge more research into burying lines
Union Leader 9/15/13
Forrester said she was frustrated that the commission could not get any cost estimates on underground transmission. "PSNH keeps telling us how expensive it would be, but they've never done a study to actually figure it out," she said.
Easton, Sugar Hill Get Closer Look At Northern Pass
Caledonian Record 9/13/13
Statewide, however, PSNH is one of more than a dozen large utilities filing tax abatement appeals. In some cases, the companies, including PSNH and the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, both represented by the same attorney, seek to use the unit method of assessing their properties that local utility appraiser Skip Sansoucy has said would cut the value of utility properties in half in 12 years and run it to zero in 25 years if no new utility property is built. Selectmen in Dalton, one of more than 30 towns PSNH has filed an appeal against at the state Board of Tax and Land Appeals, estimate PSNH's assessment in their town would be reduced by at least 50 percent. "My constituents tell me they have a hard time trusting when PSNH is suing small towns in the North Country to have their taxes lowered," state Rep. Linda Lauer, D-Bath, said at the open house.
Northern Pass Environmental Impact Statement Public Scoping Meeting - Change in Venue
U.S. Dept. of Energy 9/10/13
In response to public requests that raised concerns about insufficient capacity at the West Stewartstown venue, the Thursday, September 26, 2013 public scoping meeting previously scheduled for West Stewartstown, has been moved to a larger venue in Colebrook, NH. The new venue is Colebrook Elementary School, 27 Dumont Street. The public scoping meeting will be from 5-8 pm.
Concord could become consulting party in Northern Pass project
Concord Monitor 9/10/13
Mayor Jim Bouley said he supported Concord becoming a consulting party. He said the proposed route maps show power lines near residents’ backyards and “practically on their porch.” The vote does not mean that the council has taken a position on Northern Pass, and Councilor Steve Shurtleff noted that the city council does not have the power to vote on plans for the Northern Pass project.
DOE gears up for hearings on Northern Pass project
Union Leader 9/10/13
Jim Dannis a North Country resident and member of Responsible Energy Action, is among those who have pre-registered to speak at the Whitefield meeting. He said he will focus on the White Mountain National Forest, where Northern Pass is requesting a waiver or “project-specific amendment” to restrictions on commercial development in the conservation area.
Commissioner's Corner - Rick Samson
Berlin Daily Sun 9/9/13
At the Millsfield presentation I asked an NP representative why the lines and poles they were showing were not the steel towers that they were going to use. I did not get an answer. I explained to him the poles shown were southern pine, round, on a 115 kV line and only 60' high. He asked if I had any more questions and I responded no. He then proceeds to notify other NP people that I knew something about high line construction and should be avoided. There was more NP people present than Millsfield residents. People not from Millsfield were asked to wait outside and after all Millsfield residents were briefed they would be let back in.
'Scoping' Hearings On Northern Pass This Month
The hearings are required because Northern Pass filed an amended route in July, changing its route through a portion of Coos County. The meetings are to gather comments and information as the DOE considers whether to grant Northern Pass a Presidential Permit. That permit must be approved before Northern Pass and Hydro-Quebec can bring energy across the international border.
New Opportunities to Make Your Voice Heard
Conservation Law Foundation 8/30/13
If you are concerned about Northern Pass, you have three immediate opportunities to weigh in on the project and its amended permit application.
Why the U.S. Power Grid's Days Are Numbered
Bloomberg Busines Week 8/22/13
That’s the opinion of David Crane, chief executive officer of NRG Energy, a wholesale power company based in Princeton, N.J. What’s afoot is a confluence of green energy and computer technology, deregulation, cheap natural gas, and political pressure that, as Crane starkly frames it, poses “a mortal threat to the existing utility system.” He says that in about the time it has taken cell phones to supplant land lines in most U.S. homes, the grid will become increasingly irrelevant as customers move toward decentralized homegrown green energy. Rooftop solar, in particular, is turning tens of thousands of businesses and households into power producers. Such distributed generation, to use the industry’s term for power produced outside the grid, is certain to grow.
Northern Pass jobs? Another transparent PR push
Union Leader Editorial 8/21/13
Actually, the North Country already has two entities designed specifically to accomplish much of what this fund is supposed to do. They are the White Mountains Community College in Berlin and the Littleton Academic Center. Through these institutions, students from all over the North Country can receive job training, even advanced degrees, in many fields of study. And in the last few years the Community College System of New Hampshire has made an aggressive effort to tailor job training to local industries that are growing and hiring.
Northern Pass $7.5M jobs initiative blasted by foes, lauded by supporters
Union Leader 8/21/13
Executive Council Ray Burton, an early opponent of Northern Pass, said the North Country deeply opposes the project. He thinks the job creation fund will have little bearing on people's thoughts about the project. "I would not serve on any panel that distributes that type of money," he said. But that didn't stop him from suggesting a possible use for the fund: The Balsams Resort Hotel, which is undergoing restoration.
Letter to U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Secretary
NH Congressional Delegation 8/19/13
Request for opinion if Northern Pass' proposal violates the terms of the federal grant used to help create the Connecticut Headwaters coinservation land.
Letter to U.S. Energy Secretary
NH Congressional Delegation 8/19/13
Request for more public scoping meetings alone entire proposed rouyte as well as the disclosure of more information to the public.
Northern Pass announces $7.5 million job fund for the North Country
Union Leader 8/19/13
The fund will receive $1 million after Northern Pass receives federal and state permits and begins construction, and $500,000 each year thereafter, until it has received $7.5 million total. In the meantime, Northern Pass has agreed to provide the local advisory group with up to $200,000 in seed money to begin its work, according to a statement issued early Monday by Northern Pass officials.
Northern Pass hosts open house for Dummer and Stark residents
Berlin Daily Sun 8/15/13
Faith Kimball of Holt Road in Dummer said the maps show the line will come within a third of a mile of her house. She said the tower will be about 300 feet higher than her house. "I think there's a good chance I will see it from my house," she said. Bill Joyce of Stark said he also believed he will be able to see the line from his house. Joyce said he feels the line will ultimately be built and is advocating burying it.
Forest Society predicts Northern Pass land dispute will end up in court
Union Leader 8/14/13
Former Public Utilities Commission chairman Doug Patch, who served as vice chairman of the Site Evaluation Committee, said he doesn’t expect the SEC to resolve the matter. “If there’s an underlying land dispute, then the site committee doesn’t typically resolve land disputes between land owners and others who think they have rights to use of the land, presumably between a land owner and Northern Pass,” said Patch, who more recently represented wind-power developers before the SEC.
PSNH proposes to replace 115 kV wood poles with taller steel monopole
Coos County Democrat 8/14/13
Using an aerial map of Stark at the Paris Road intersection, Schibanoff superimposed drawings of the proposed towers of both the proposed Northern Pass Transmission (NPT) project and the replacement line for the existing 115kV distribution line that runs from Dummer to the Lost Nation substation in Groveton — the northern leg of the Coös Loop.
Opposition meets with public in Stark
Colebrook Chronicle 8/9/13
She was able to use this image as an example for Stark, which will see the current AC powerline poles replaced with taller poles, plus the addition of the Northern Pass line within the same right of way. “They are proposing to rebuild 90 miles of current PSNH power line” [8 miles of which would be] in Stark, said Schibanoff, and then add the Northern Pass transmission lines into the right of way as well. There also is a gas pipeline which takes up 50 feet of the right of way. “I would argue this is overloading this easement,” she said.
Canadian fires cause close call for New England power supply
Connecticut Mirror 8/8/13
In the last week, officials at the independent system operator that runs the New England grid have revealed that on July 3, four transmission lines from Hydro-Quebec shut down because of raging fires near James Bay in northern Quebec. The loss affected the grids in New England and New York as well as Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario in Canada.
Northern Pass to Impact the Grant
The Dartmouth Review 8/9/13
Transmission towers would affect the scenery of the Grant. The new route cuts into the Swift Diamond River Valley south of Diamond Pond and then runs parallel to the Swift Diamond River until it reaches a point about three miles west of the Grant. Here it turns south and runs along Corser Brook and Greenough Pond Roads. Clearings to make way for the transmission lines would be 150 feet wide, with towers up to 100 feet high running its length. These towers would be visible from many places in the Grant, especially Sam’s Lookout, a viewpoint that provides stunning views to the west.
Northern Pass Says State Could Overrule Forest Society Land Claim
Abbott disagrees. He says the Forest Society’s lawyers will argue the Site Evaluation Committee does not have the authority to take private land. “Northern Pass seems to be making the argument that they can go to the state and the state can wave some magic wand and use land that is privately owned for this project as they are proposing,” he says. Indeed the Site Evaluation Committee does not have the authority to take private land, says Michael Iacopino, the SEC’s lawyer.
Northern Pass dominates legislative panel’s talk
Union Leader 8/7/13
"Is it good public policy for the state to protect the natural landscape of New Hampshire from the degradation of utility development?" Abbott asked. "We think it is. We don't want our children asking us 25 years from now 'Why didn't you do something.'"
Northern Pass numbers do not add up
Kathy Sullivan, Union Leader Op-Ed 8/6/13
Northeast Utilities responded by attacking the highly respected society, expressing disappointment that it was trying to block underground construction. No, actually the society is exercising its rights as a land owner to tell Northeast Utilities to get off its property, while saving the state from the blight of a for-profit transmission highway.
Northern Pass project hosts first open house in Millsfield
Union Leader 8/6/13
Bill Schomburg of Columbia had a different opinion. "It was highly structured and heavy on the propaganda," he said. He said he could not get a definitive answer on some questions, including the origin of the materials used to build the line.
Northern Pass holds meetings to address concerns
“We want to continue the dialogue with every person who has a concern about this project,” said Mike Skelton, spokesman for Northern Pass. “We think we have solutions to all those problems that are out there for people that are interested in having an open dialogue with us.”
NH panel takes up bills inspired by Northern Pass
Associated Press 8/4/13
The House Science, Technology and Energy Committee held some bills related to the project to be voted on next year. A subcommittee begins work Tuesday on three that focus on transmission lines.
Forest society tells Northern Pass: Hey, we own land under Route 3
Union Leader 8/1/13
“We’ve been doing research to find out exactly what the state owns and what we own and what other rights of way exist and so forth,” Savage said. That research revealed that the Forest Society owns the land under Route 3, and under the Connecticut River, in the Washburn Forest area, according to the Forest Society.
Welcome to the White Mountains! Northern Pass's Five Proposed Crossings of I-93
Bury Northern Pass 7/30/13
Crossing the most traveled tourist route in New Hampshire, the proposed Northern Pass towers would be at their tallest and cause adverse visual effects on myriad tourists traveling north to escape industrialized landscapes. Acquired between the 1920's - 1940's, the original PSNH easement would never have been sited where it is had I-93 existed.
Northern Pass Predicts Approval In Two Years
Our plan has both the state and federal permitting processes complete by mid-2015. On that schedule we expect to bring the project into service around mid-2017," said Northeast Utilities chief operating officer Lee Olivier during a conference call with analysts.
Forget the film; here are three big reasons to oppose Northern Pass
John Harrigan op-ed, Concord Monitor 7/29/13
Hydro-Quebec, after three decades of maiming the Far North, on its federal government’s dime, is being called into account for a payback. It is a Crown corporation, given huge license to despoil the Far North. I’ve been there, fished and paddled and flown all over. I’d challenge the “clean, green, renewable” proponents to do the same and come back with their oh-so-clean stances.
'Northern Trespass' talk at film hosted by NBA player Matt Bonner
Union Leader 7/26/13
It also shows scenes of the results of previous projects by Hydro-Quebec, such as emptied rivers and accusations of increased mercury in fish, and makes the argument that the transmission lines have links to an increased risk of cancer in adults and leukemia in children. The film also tried to shoot holes in the claim made by Northern Pass that the project would bring more than 1,000 jobs to the state, with interview subjects saying the jobs would be highly technical, highly skilled positions that would likely go to out-of-state contractors rather than New Hampshire residents.
Unneeded Power Line Would Scar New Hampshire
Nancy Martland op-ed, Hartford Courant 7/26/13
We fight for the same respectful treatment that other states are demanding and receiving from energy developers. Northern Pass insists that the transmission lines are too expensive to place underground. We in New Hampshire are flummoxed by this claim. We know that in Vermont and New York, Blackstone Group's Champlain-Hudson Power Express project will go under Lake Champlain and then nearly 140 miles underground along roads and rail beds to New York City.
Proposed NPT route laid out on 4,000 feet in WMNF's Kilkenny Unit
Coos County Democrat 7/24/13
"I also checked in with Tiffany Benna (at WMNF's headquarters in Campton), who is on the Forest team that would be addressing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and she indicated that the Forest doesn't have an application that reflects the new route location."
Northern Pass chief Gary Long says support for project increasing
Concord Monitor 7/24/13
Long said yesterday that the stockholders of Northeast Utilities, which is partnering with PSNH and Hydro-Quebec on the project, will likely pay for that unused land. Hydro-Quebec has agreed to pay for the 187-mile transmission line if it is approved by federal and state officials.
Franconia Notch chamber opposes Northern Pass
Union Leader 7/23/13
“We firmly believe that Economic Impact Studies performed have over-estimated the Northern Pass project’s short- and long-term benefits and underestimated the negative effects on the North Country economy,” the chamber stated. “The Franconia Notch Regional Chamber of Commerce is a pro-business organization, but we do not feel that the Northern Pass as proposed or amended will benefit the North Country, its businesses, communities or citizens in any economic, financial or civic way.”
Matt Bonner to emcee movie Q&A about Northern Pass
Union Leader 7/21/13
Two filmmakers from the White Mountains, Jan Marvel and Michelle Vaughn, spent two years filming. They traveled across New Hampshire, Vermont, Quebec and Connecticut regarding the controversial electricity transmission project through New Hampshire. The Q & A will be with the movie's producers.
Northern Pass project power is not needed
Lee Sullivan, Foster's Daily Democrat 7/21/13
A recent report (“Final 2013 Energy-Efficiency Forecast 2016-2022”) by ISO New England — the entity which oversees the electricity grid for the region — shows otherwise. ISO projects that energy demand in New England will remain flat through 2022 due to already-planned investments in energy efficiency by all six states. In fact, according to the report, $260 million in planned transmission line upgrades have been deferred for at least ten years due to the projected decline in demand for energy due to increased energy efficiency.
Northern bailout -- PSNH, public assets and private profits
Fergus Cullen, Union Leader 7/19/13
That right-of-way is worth a fortune. PSNH needs Northern Pass to monetize the right-of-way by turning it into a lucrative toll road for Canadian-generated power en route to higher value markets in southern New England. The right-of-way was granted to PSNH because the utility served the public interest by providing power to New Hampshire customers. The toll money would not go to ratepayers, though. It will go to stockholders of Northeast Utilities, PSNH’s parent company. Thus would the value of public assets be transferred to private interests without compensating New Hampshire ratepayers.
Off the beaten path: PSNH infomercial lunches for state legislators
Bury Northern Pass 7/17/13
Are PSNH ratepayers picking up that tab too? Think this is all too much? Tell your legislator. And, if your legislator received the invitation to lunch, please tell him or her what questions you want Northern Pass to answer. The first one might be, who is paying for my meal?
Zombie Talking Point on Northern Pass Climate Benefits Rises Again
Conservation Law Foundation 7/17/13
With all these assumptions in the open, Northern Pass’s 5 million ton estimate is, in a word, indefensible. Northern Pass’s strategy of endlessly repeating this 5 million ton fabrication—to investors, to permitting agencies, and to the public— signals that Northern Pass version 2.0 will be pursued with exactly the same adversarial, greenwashing tactics that accompanied version 1.0. Worse, it reflects apparent contempt on the part of Northeast Utilities and PSNH for well-informed dialogue regarding a key supposed benefit of their project.
New Northern Pass pamphlet is full of biased talking points
Tom Carter, LTE, Laconia Daily Sun 7/16/13
When you open the pamphlet to page two, there's more soft and gooey language. It's important to note they keep saying the words region or regional because truth be told New Hampshire is just a tool. Hydro-Quebec needs to come through New Hampshire to be able to sell its juice to all the other states to the south of us. Their wording in the pamphlet is designed to make us feel GUILTY if we don't act like good neighbors. (Throat-clearing noise.)
Hydro-Québec should bury its proposed Northern Pass power line
Nancy Martland op-ed, Montreal Gazette 7/17/13
I’ve got news for Northeast Utilities, the company that owns the proposed right of way, and Hydro-Québec. This new proposal for a network of unsightly huge metal towers through New Hampshire will not succeed. If they had listened to the original opposition to Northern Pass, as this transmission-line project is called, they would know that. If they had reached out in good faith, things might be different. Instead, they have chosen once again to manipulate public opinion, and we are just not having it.
Plugging into Canada
Common Wealth 7/16/13
Canadian hydro appears to be a good fit for New England, but should it be treated as renewable?
N.H. doesn't need or want this power line
Brian Tilton op-ed, The Day 7/14/13
PSNH/NU/Northern Pass have all said the project is not dependent on RPS subsidies. Why was NU the biggest lobbyist in Connecticut for ratepayer subsidies of foreign government-owned large-scale hydro? It's the same company that sent scores of lobbyists to the New Hampshire legislature to oppose efforts to protect private property.
Conservation Law Foundation Statement on Executive Changes at PSNH
Conservation Law Foundation 7/12/13
With this transition, Mr. Long and Northeast Utilities management have a renewed responsibility to engage in a real dialogue on acceptable alternatives. We look forward to working with the company and other stakeholders to find solutions which contribute to, rather than detract from, New Hampshire’s vitality and quality of life.”
Northern Pass Reps Meet With Stewartstown Board
Colebrook Chronicle 7/5/13
Public open house meetings are planned starting in August and will be held in several towns along the route proposal, though not necessarily all of the towns. In addition, the revised route that includes the underground sections was filed on July 1 with the U.S. Dept. of Energy, where the Northern Pass project is looking for a Presidential permit to cross from Canada into the U.S. New scoping hearings are expected to take place.
Feds get Northern Pass route(s)
Union Leader 7/5/13
Northern Pass holds only a 62 percent interest in one of the parcels along the alternate route. "If it were pursuing this alternative route, Northern Pass would have to sue for partition to obtain the right to construct on that parcel," the company said.
Worst Case, Northern Pass Still Might Ask To Cross Tiny Bit Of Conservation Area
Late last month Northern Pass officials revealed a new northern route through Coos Country. It calls for burying almost eight miles of line alongside roads, mostly in Stewartstown. But that will require the approval of the state’s Site Evaluation Committee. And if for some reason that doesn’t work Northern Pass says in the newly filed document that the alternative would be to cross about one hundred feet of the Connecticut Lakes Headwaters conservation area.
Northern Pass land grab must be blocked
Op-ed, Portsmouth Herald 7/3/13
The will of the people had become clear. Northern Pass had failed to win the heart and mind of New Hampshire. When it ran out of property owners willing to sell land that would enable the project to work around Connecticut Lakes Headwaters conservation tracts, the project was at a dead end. This result should have led to a new proposal respectful of New Hampshire's people and environment or ended the project, but neither occurred.
Northern Pass opponents redirecting their fight
Concord Monitor 6/29/13
Like most everyone else following Northern Pass, the selectmen in Stewartstown had no idea before Thursday that project leaders had decided the solution to their route problems was running about eight miles of transmission line under local roads. Selectman Allen Coates said he got word at 7:15 a.m. Thursday, about four hours before the news was made public, from Scott Mason, a North Stratford farmer working for Northern Pass. Hasen Burns, chairman of the selectmen, got a similar call.
New Northern Pass route includes 8 miles underground
Concord Monitor 6/28/13
Project leaders have also not discussed burying the lines with town officials in Clarksville and Stewartstown, where 7½ miles of the line would be buried, Long said. Long said existing state law and permitting processes allow Northern Pass to pursue burying lines under state and local roads. Long said the local towns can offer input but that the final decision will be made by the state Site Evaluation Committee. Long said Northern Pass doesn’t plan to file its permit request with the Site Evaluation Committee in 2014.
An Insulting “New Route” for Northern Pass
Conservation Law Foundation 6/28/13
Filled with gauzy statements about working with stakeholders and using precisely the same song and dance we’ve been hearing since 2010 regarding the project’s supposed benefits (complete with deliberate falsehoods about emissions reductions), Mr. Long’s announcement follows two years of adversarial, scorched earth tactics by PSNH, and PSNH affiliate Northern Pass Transmission LLC, like gaming the federal permitting process, attacking land conservation efforts, and blatantly misrepresenting the project’s support and its illusory economic and environmental benefits.
Ayotte Statement on Northern Pass Announcement
Sen. Kelly Ayotte 6/27/13
"Protecting New Hampshire's pristine landscape is inextricably linked to preserving our state's identity as well as a key source of economic strength. I opposed this project as it was originally configured, and I've made clear that burying transmission lines is an option that should receive strong consideration. I look forward to carefully reviewing this proposal in consultation with New Hampshire stakeholders and local officials. I remain committed to ensuring that the application process is responsive to the views of New Hampshire citizens, and I will do everything in my power to ensure that those views are heard."
After A New Route What's Next For Northern Pass?
Northern Pass says it hopes to file an application with the SEC in 2014. However, state officials say if the application is filed before any changes take place Northern Pass would be considered under the existing system.
Forest Society Reaction
Society for Protection of NH Forests 6/27/13
“From early on, the Forest Society has not objected to the idea of transmitting more power from Hydro Quebec," said Jane Difley, president/forester of the Forest Society. "Our strong objection has been to Northern Pass's proposed means to doing so. With this announcement it would appear that they still have in mind to erect more than 1,000 towers across New Hampshire, including our own Kauffmann Forest and Rocks Estate and other conserved lands. This continues to be of great concern to us.”
Governor Hassan Statement on Northern Pass Announcement
State of New Hampshire 6/27/13
It is encouraging to see that Northern Pass officials listened to people across New Hampshire and are not proposing to violate the Connecticut Lakes Headwaters easement. But it is clear that many questions remain regarding the impacts that the proposed project could have on the White Mountain National Forest, as well as on New Hampshire's economy, environment, natural resources, communities and people.
Northern Pass Proposes Improved North Country Route
Northern Pass 6/27/13
The new North Country route includes two sections of underground construction. A 2,300 foot section of underground is proposed for the Route 3 crossing in Pittsburg, and a 7.50-mile section is proposed within town and state roads through portions of Stewartstown and Clarksville. The project plans to make these major investments in underground construction in order to address public feedback while completing a vastly improved route in the North Country.
Hassan Signs Bill To Study Site Evaluation Committee
In a statement Hassan said the bill “requires a review of the state’s energy siting law and process, including consideration of the role of the public and municipalities in the siting process, the need for funding and staffing of the Site Evaluation Committee, and the use of transportation rights of way for energy infrastructure. It also requires new rules for the Site Evaluation Committee which can help provide clarity about siting requirements.”
Northern Pass Flirts With Hail Mary Play
Caledonian Record 6/20/13
"Many of us have been waiting for Northern Pass to make an effort to bust a state-held conservation easement to protect this important North Country spot," state Sen. Jeff Woodburn, D-Dalton, said in a statement. "Today, we learned they are moving forward -- at least in concept."
Northern Pass eyes underground crossing of protected land
Concord Monitor 6/19/13
Asked about Northern Pass’s interest in the easement property, Gov. Maggie Hassan’s spokesman said protecting the conservation easement is a top priority. “In recent months, our office has met with as many stakeholders potentially impacted by Northern Pass as possible, including North Country community leaders, the conservation community, and families and landowners, as well as Northern Pass officials and proponents,” Marc Goldberg said in an email. “The governor fully understands that protecting the North Country’s beautiful vistas and natural resources is an important part of maintaining New Hampshire’s high quality of life and for keeping our tourism-driven economy strong. The state has a responsibility to uphold the terms of the Connecticut Lakes Headwaters conservation easement, and the governor takes that responsibility very seriously.”
Northern Pass opponents strategize again in Easton
Littleton Courier 6/12/13
Coös state representative Larry Rappaport said ATV riders are generally opposed to Northern Pass. Further work with them would be another way to join forces. Donna Alexson said innkeepers and the hospitality industry in general can help inform people about the potential negative impacts of Northern Pass.
Towering trees, not transmission towers
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and & Judd Gregg 6/9/13
This group’s collaborative nature and commonsense approach showcased some of our state’s best attributes. And it underscored what we can accomplish when we work in a bipartisan way with an eye on a common goal. As a result of this effort, the state now holds a conservation easement on 146,000 acres of these lands, with the land itself remaining in private ownership subject to the terms of the easement. With these property rights comes a responsibility to steward the area for generations to come in partnership with the private landowner.
North Country Chamber of Commerce comes out against Northern Pass
Union Leader 6/3/13
"As the Northern Pass project stands today, the board of directors of the North Country Chamber of Commerce does not support the project," saidChamber President Jonathan W. Brown in the press release. "We have concerns about the project's proposed pathway, the intention of for-profit companies as it relates to the proposed benefits to the North Country, and the potential impact to the value of our properties."
Power line study buoys Northern Pass foes
Union Leader 6/3/13
“It would certainly be an argument for looking carefully at all the alternatives to Northern Pass,” said Christophe Courchesne, an attorney with the Conservation Law Foundation in Concord, “including better use of existing transmission corridors that already link Quebec and New England, investing in increasing capacity for those lines, or putting another line in the same corridor.”
Lawyer says Northern Pass in 'a corner'
Union Leader 5/18/13
“There’s been widespread speculation that Northern Pass may make such a request, and we wanted to make it clear that there are no conditions under which the state could consider such a request,” he said. “We fully intend to defend that easement, and so this is part of our research and preparation, should Northern Pass attempt to penetrate the easement in some fashion.”
Legal Memo on the Connnecticut Lakes Headwaters Tract
Society for Protection of NH Forests 5/17/13
We concluded that the expressed terms of the Conservation Easement Deed prohibit the penetration of the Northern Pass project into, on or under the land protected by the conservation easement and there is no easement provision which would allow the State to consent to utilizing any portion of the land subject to the easement with the Northern Pass project. Moreover, the State of New Hampshire, as the easement holder, has the duty and responsibility to defend and enforce the easement.
Worth Remembering: Northern Pass Would Mean Big Changes in the White Mountains
Conservation Law Foundation 5/8/13
Oddly, the federal environmental review of Northern Pass seems to be moving forward even as the project is stalled and the northernmost route has not been disclosed. As field work, studies, and analysis proceed, the Forest Service is hearing from many voices registering strong opposition to Northern Pass’s special use permit application, through efforts like ProtectWMNF.org and this recent citizen-generated petition. If you are concerned about the impacts of the Northern Pass project on the White Mountains, you can add your voice through those resources or by filing a comment with the United States Department of Energy.
Advocate: NU's CEO misled shareholders
New Haven Register 5/3/13
John Humphries, a representative of Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs, said Friday May’s denial that Senate Bill 1138 needs to be approved in order for NU to go ahead with its Northern Pass transmission line project is misleading to the public and the company’s shareholders. The legislation, which would overhaul the state’s renewable energy portfolio, was passed by the state Senate on Wednesday.
Northern Pass: This Line Will Be Built
Concord Monitor 5/3/13
The Colebrook Chronicle has covered Northern Pass closely, and Editor Charlie Jordan said he also had heard nothing about meetings between Northern Pass and concerned communities.
Senate Passes Controversial Energy Bill
Hartford Courant 5/1/13
"This legislation was opposed by environmental advocates, consumer advocates, clean energy businesses, dirty energy businesses," Phelps said. "Literally, the only ... interest group that supports it is Northeast Utilities and the Canadian utility they want to buy power from.''
Northeast Utilities - Using the CT Legislature to Subsidize the Northern Pass
Energy Tariff Experts, LLC 4/29/13
ETE firmly believes that if the Northern Pass is currently uneconomic, then it shouldn't get built until the economics of the power market justify it. In addition, it most certainly shouldn't get a subsidy as renewable energy since Hydro-Quebec does not need a subsidy for power they'd be delighted to sell us without a subsidy.
Esty to return contributions from Northeast Utilities
Connecticut Post 4/25/13
Esty's husband, Dan, the commissioner of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, regulates the utility company and this week gave a briefing to an investment banking firm.
Department of Energy Contractor To Conduct Further Field Research and Scientific Data Collection
U.S. Dept. of Energy 4/23/13
The Department has instructed its NEPA contractor to conduct this work only on lands that are open to the public or for which the Department has received authorization to enter. Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) has granted the Department’s NEPA contractor team temporary permission to access and enter the PSNH right of way for purposes of this work. Authorization letters from PSNH can be found below in the News entry for March 12, 2013.
The Role of Hydropower in ISO New England Operations
Connecticut Power & Energy Society 4/10/13
At the April 10th meeting of the Connecticut Power & Energy Society Meeting, "The Role of Hydropower in Connecticut's Energy Future," Stephen Molodetz, VP, Business Development, HQ-US (headquartered in Hartford CT), reportedly said that Northern Pass will make the new route announcement in a few weeks. The map slide that accompanied Molodetz's talk, which shows the Coos route area blacked out, says the revised route will be "announced shortly." (See p. 43). The audience was mainly lawyers and lobbyists. Molodetz has been spearheading HQ-US's new campaign to convince New England states to change their definitions of "renewable" so that Quebec hydropower (read: Northern Pass) qualifies. (See next entry.) If there is a new route announcement as Molodetz predicts, it will likely be made in advance of, or in, NU's Q1 investor call, which usually occurs during the first week of May.
Concord Conservatiion Commission Meeting Minutes
City of Concord 4/8/13
The group also suggested that the right-of-way easements on city-owned land should be reviewed by the Legal Department to make sure the expanded use is permitted. C. Kane said that there was also a rare and endangered grass located under the right-of-way in the vicinity of the McKenna’s Purchase.
Concord Planning Board Minutes
City of Concord 4/8/13
Ms. Foss said that the Planning Board and the City needs to look at the total impact of the project in the entire City, and not just this one neighborhood. Mr. Swope asked if there were any other neighborhoods that would be impacted by the project. Ms. Hebert responded that the Farmwood, Alton Woods, and Turtle Pond developments would all be affected.
Planning officials weigh in on project
Concord Monitor 4/8/13
The planning board and conservation commission came to their positions recently, after hearing from residents of McKenna’s Purchase, a condominium development off Loudon Road that abuts the proposed Northern Pass route.
Alternate Routes Included In Northern Pass Blocking Action
Caledonian Record 4/4/13
Every few months for the past two years, and often near the end of NU's quarters or its quarterly earnings reports, NU representatives have said they will soon be releasing the details of a new route in Coos, only to postpone that announcement.
Northeast Utilities Still Can’t Reveal “New Route” for Northern Pass
Conservation Law Foundation 4/2/13
Securities regulators should take note of this pattern of behavior and insist on honesty and transparency from NU, just as Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley did when NU recently balked at revealing its CEO’s 2012 compensation package. As we’ve said before, investors, the public, and our energy future depend on accurate information and forthright disclosures from energy companies. That’s not what we’re getting from NU on Northern Pass.
Northern Pass not vital for CT hydro proposal
Hartford Business Review 4/1/13
The only way Connecticut's proposal necessitates more transmission is if other states decide to pursue more hydropower, which they are considering, Stratton said.
Northern Pass misses another route deadline
Concord Monitor 3/30/13
In an annual report filed in late February, company officials said they expected to unveil a new 180-mile route from the Canadian border through New Hampshire by the end of March. Yesterday, a spokesman for the proposed hydropower project said the route wasn’t ready for public view. Michael Skelton referred reporters to the project’s website for a prepared statement... Skelton said he didn’t know when the route would be announced.
Northern Pass Lets Another Route Deadline Pass By
In a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission project officials had said it would propose a new route in the first quarter of 2013. They had also previously said they would have a route by December of 2012, but missed that deadline as well.
Senate Opts For Study on Northern Pass and Wind Farms
Before the final vote, Senate majority leader Jeb Bradley, who'd angered Northern Pass critics by stripping a ban of that project out of an earlier version of the bill, told colleagues he hoped more study would cool what he called the "white-hot rhetoric" surrounding these issues.
Legislation gives Northern Pass project a pass, foes insist
Union Leader 3/27/13
"You led people to believe, if not outright lied to them, that you would read their testimonies. You intentionally led us to believe the bill was done for the day. You went on to the next bill, and after we left, you brought back SB-99 for a vote. That was devious and underhanded, made all the worse because you never read the testimonies."
NH House budget writers scale back education plans
Associated Press 3/27/13
The committee rejected an attempt to include a provision in a companion bill that would have placed a moratorium on wind and transmission projects. The proposal would have blocked the Northern Pass project to build a 180-mile transmission line from the Canadian border carrying power from Hydro-Quebec. Opponents argue New Hampshire would not benefit from the power but its landscape would suffer from the towers built to carry the power.
Widespread dissatisfaction with energy bill process and changes to renewable power
Connecticut Mirror 3/27/13
The main controversy stems from what many see as a compromised legislative process that has prompted descriptions such as "sham," "flawed" and "rammed through." But there are also worries about the substance of the measure, which many view as a step back from the state's commitment to renewable energy. It would make Connecticut, a longtime leader in renewable energy, the first state in the nation to retreat.
New England Power Generators Association Issues Updated Northern Pass Podition Paper
New England Power Generators Association 3/25/13
Dan Dolan, President of NEPGA said, “NEPGA has long been engaged on issues associated with Northern Pass with a focus on its impact to the economy, environment and competitive electricity market. Despite tremendous improvements in New Hampshire to the oversight process and private property protections, we remain concerned that, as proposed, the project continues to seek special treatment. Private energy infrastructure projects, like Northern Pass, must be required to compete on a level playing field. To date, NEPGA has not found that to be the case with Northern Pass.”
Capital Beat: Renewed push at State House for a moratorium on wind farms
Concord Monitor 3/24/13
“A lot of people have been motivated and have come to the Legislature looking for some relief around Northern Pass, and those people were left just twitching in the wind after that committee hearing,” Corkery said. “And I think that does a real disservice to those folks.”
Nashua Telegraph 3/24/13
“Meanwhile, Northern Pass folks are once again denied by the state legislators in their search for relief,” Sierra Club spokeswoman Catherine Corkery said.
REAL's testimony on SB99
Responsible Energy Action, LLC 3/20/13
Submitted in writing to Committee members to read the full text before voting, immediately tossed on the recycle pile after the fake hearing, unread.
Rebecca More: Save White Mountains from power line
Providence Journal Op-Ed 3/19/13
A century ago, Congress passed a series of conservation acts, such as the Weeks Act, because its members understood first-hand that stewarding natural resources for the long term was good business practice. The Obama administration and Congress together must develop a coherent, comprehensive energy policy to protect our natural resources for the long term - not for the short-term gain of businesses and their stockholders.
State's New Plan For Renewables Turns To Large Hydropower, Away From Biomass
Hartford Courant 3/18/13
The new study of renewable energy sources sets up the state to buy power from large hydropower projects such as Hydro-Quebec or those in the Canadian Maritimes. It would also wean the state off of old, out-of-state biomass plants and create more renewable projects in Connecticut.
Debunking The IBEW’s Myths About The Northern Pass
Responsible Energy Action, LLC 3/16/13
As just one example, literally thousands and thousands of acres of residential development land will be reduced to no-build or low-value build status because of the damaging visual impact of the lines. Every home that does not get built because of Northern Pass represents a dead-weight loss of several jobs a year during the construction period. Also, the declines in real estate values will cause a negative “wealth effect” among affected property owners, reducing their spending and causing a ripple effect through the state’s economy.
DOE hears from NH Sens. Shaheen, Ayotte on Northern Pass project
Concord Monitor 3/13/13
"It is unclear whether an assignment of any such property rights by PSNH to Northern Pass, a completely different corporate entity, is subject to official approval by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission," they wrote. "Our constituents have also inquired about whether conducting research and data collection in support of the project is appropriate at this juncture, given that Northern Pass does not currently have an active Presidential Permit application pending before DOE that identifies the proposed route."
Grafton, New Hampshire Adopts Community Bill of Rights That Bans Land Acquisition for Unsustainable Energy Systems
Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund 3/12/13
The ordinance recognizes rights to pure water, clean air, a sustainable energy future, a “fundamental and inalienable right to protect and preserve the scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the town,” and that the people of Grafton at all times enjoy and retain “an inalienable and indefeasible right to self-governance in the community where they reside.” It also recognizes natural communities and ecosystems have “inalienable and fundamental rights to exist and flourish within the Town,” and that “residents of the town shall possess legal standing to enforce those rights on behalf of those natural communities and ecosystems.”
State Senator Bradley Visits Campus
The Clock, Plymouth State University 3/11/13
On energy policies, Bradley said, “my view on Northern Pass is that there are areas that it has to be buried,” Bradley also wants to see more benefits for the people of New Hampshire out of the proposed plan. But, when it came to the windmills, Bradley said, “you can’t bury windmills—they’re just uneconomic. Northern Pass is ‘base load power,’ whereas windmills, it’s [energy is] not always there.”
PSNH stresses route change not linked to Northern Pass
Littleton Courier 3/10/13
The first round of debate on the proposed right of way change occurred at the February 25 meeting of the selectmen. Several residents expressed concern that PSNH may be attempting to find a new route for Northern Pass, the controversial power project not liked by many in the North Country.
Plymouth Regional Chamber of Commerce Opposing Northern Pass
Plymouth Regional Chamber of Commerce 3/8/13
We understand that some Chambers of Commerce in regions of NH not subject to any direct impact from this project have chosen to publicly support the project. As a Chamber representing an area where the project will have significant direct impact, an impact which we feel will be negative, we feel the need to state our opposition to the proposed plan. The Plymouth Regional Chamber of Commerce is a pro-business organization, but we do not feel that the Northern Pass Project as proposed will benefit central NH, its businesses, communities or citizens in an economic, financial or civic way.
Delay worries windfarm opponents in Bristol
Union Leader 3/7/13
"I helped save (HB 580); keeping it in committee will give us a chance to fine-tune the writing so we can make our points sharper and so we can talk to other legislators," said Rep. Harold "Skip" Reilly Sr., R-Grafton County District 8, who lives in Bristol.
Another Wind Farm Eyes The Lakes Region
If all of the proposed wind projects for area were built, this would be the fourth wind farm for the area around Newfound Lake. Groton already hosts one 24 turbine wind farm, operated by Spanish Renewable developer, Iberdrola Renewables, and there are two more that have been proposed in the towns of Grafton, Danbury, Alexandria and Groton.
Deerfield's Northern Pass warrant articles for town meeting
Union Leader 2/4/13
Article 17 is a non-binding referendum that asks if "the Town of Deerfield shall state its opposition to any new overhead development of alternating current and direct high current voltage transmission lines within its borders," and in addition if the town has a strong preference for the burial of such lines (with the exception of utility lines for residential and commercial use).
Article 18 asks if the town will "state its opposition to the Northern Pass Transmission project as currently proposed" due to the "impairment of Deerfield's rural, small town character and the further degradation of Deerfield's scenic vistas and natural scenic beauty," among other complaints.
Northern Pass told in White Mountains: Get off our land
Union Leader 3/6/13
It's a scenario that has been repeated on at least three occasions since the first spotting on Feb. 23, with landowners challenging the right of Public Service of New Hampshire to use existing rights of way for Northern Pass environmental studies. Property owners say PSNH rights of way on their land cannot be transferred to Northern Pass without some kind of regulatory action or litigation.
Easton, Sugar Hill: Residents Say Northern Pass Contractors Trespassing
Orleans Record 3/2/13
"Before a public utility can transfer any part of its transmission rights-of-way it has to get a PUC order that is issued only if the PUC finds it in the public good," said Dannis. "Here, we have PSNH granting an authorization to Northern Pass to send contractors onto land ... We don't believe PSNH has a right to do that."
Most important thing is to establish an energy plan for our state
Letter to the Editor, Laconia Daily Sun 3/1/13
The energy that would flow through these transmission lines would have virtually no affect on our electric rates; 1/10th of a cent for every 200MW purchased from Hydro Quebec at .03 cents per KWH, according to testimony before the commission. This rate would not compensate taxpayers for the loss of thousands of dollars in property value of those located in close proximity to the transmission lines. The loss of tax assessment dollars would be borne by other taxpayers in the community in the form of higher property taxes. For those who lose property value, this would constitute a "taking" by a company for the sole purpose of generating profit.
Northern Pass to head to Vermont?
Union Leader 2/28/13
Jack Savage, spokesman for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, said it would be possible for Northern Pass to attempt a Vermont route from Quebec to Littleton. "With Northern Pass' intended route blocked farther north, Littleton residents look warily at the existing (power line) corridor running from Quebec through Vermont and crossing into New Hampshire at Littleton," he said. "They are concerned that PSNH is setting the stage for Northern Pass to cut through the heart of their town."
Northern Pass May Cross Public Land
Valley News 2/24/13
Last year, in an effort to tamp down fears they’d use eminent domain, Northern Pass officials said often that they’d use only land they’d bought from private landowners for their transmission lines. As for the conserved lands, several of the people who sold easements to the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests did so after turning down offers from Northern Pass.
Sparks fly in New Hampshire over Hydro-Quebec’s Northern Pass power line
Toronto Star 2/24/13
Meanwhile, the chess game continues in the North Country. Earlier this month, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests announced it has obtained conservation easements on more than 1,000 acres of land, including Placey’s. The company responded by saying those easements have “had no effect on our efforts to identify and propose a new route and that fact will be made clear when we release the details of our new proposal in the future.”
DRED commissioner nominee questioned about Northern Pass
Union Leader 2/22/13
Rose, of Goffstown, never mentioned the proposed power project during his opening remarks, but some of his past remarks about the project and perceptions of his support for it were among the first questions leveled at him by Executive Councilor Ray Burton, who participated in the hearing by conference call as he continues to battle kidney cancer.
Hassan’s pick for DRED commissioner post faces tough questions on Northern Pass
Concord Monitor 2/22/13
“I have never seen a project or proposal that has brought people from all walks of life, every part of the political spectrum . . . to oppose the Northern Pass,” Burton said via telephone from home, where he is recovering from cancer treatments. “I thought over time, (Northern Pass officials) would smarten up and get out of here, but they have not.”
Littleton chamber says 'No' to Northern Pass
Union Leader 2/20/13
The Littleton Area Chamber of Commerce, representing communities north of the White Mountain National Forest, issued a statement on Feb. 14 in opposition to the project, while the North Country Chamber of Commerce, based in Colebrook, is surveying its members.
Jeffrey Rose Should Not Be Confirmed As The Next DRED Commissioner
Responsible Energy Action LLC 2/19/13
Mr. Rose is currently listed as a board member and strategic planning chair of the Nashua Chamber of Commerce (NCC) on the NCC’s website. (See http://www.nashuachamber.com/about/board.htm.) The NCC’s Board has recently unanimously endorsed the Northern Pass project. While Mr. Rose states that he is no longer on the NCC’s board, his name is still associated with it.
Northern Pass’s Next Target: Public Land
Responsible Energy Action LLC 2/15/13
In sum, we already know that it is not going NP’s way in Coos and elsewhere in NH, that pressure on NU to keep the rosy “investment story” alive is reaching a critical point, and that NP has recently put out unofficial feelers to use SR 3.
VIDEO: A Little Time
No Northern Pass Coalition/NH Wind Watch 2/9/13
How do we know if these destructive projects are worth the cost to thousands of people's livelihoods, property value and the state's tourism if we don't have a comprehensive energy plan for the state? Watch this video to find out what is at stake for the state.
Northern Pass’s Unhappy Valentine’s Day
Responsible Energy Action LLC 2/8/13
With the project blocked in upper Coos County, Northern Pass does not have a route under its ownership or control. And even if a new route could somehow be cobbled together and announced today, it would take a minimum of 2-3 years (that is, into 2015 or 2016 at the earliest) to complete the detailed environmental impact study that makes up the core of the federal permitting process (Presidential Permit and Special Use Permit to cross White Mountain National Forest).
Five Questions for Hydro-Quebec
Bury Northern Pass 2/8/13
Following are five questions that Hydro-Quebec should ask itself about whether the proposed Northern Pass project is really a match made in heaven.
Is Northern Pass looking at state land?
Concord Monitor 2/7/13
An executive councilor and state senator believe the Northern Pass is going to offer the state money to run a portion of its transmission line along Route 3 in northern New Hampshire to get around conservation land blocking its path.
Northern Pass to cross Route 3?
Union Leader 2/7/13
The purpose of the Site Evaluation Committee, Northern Pass says on its website, is to prevent delays in energy projects and to decide all environmental, economic, and technical issues in an integrated fashion.
BULLDOG RESPONSE: That translates into- we know the SEC has never rejected a project and we know they will not be independent and that the governor is about to appoint someone to head DRED which has a big seat at the table on the SEC and supports Northern Pass.
Who Will Clean Up PSNH’s Mess?
Conservation Law Foundation 2/1/13
Fundamentally, the job of a utility commission dealing with a regulated utility like PSNH is to ensure that prices mimic the results of market competition while ensuring the best service for ratepayers. Thus far, the PUC has shielded PSNH from the consequences of its poor decisions, lack of meaningful planning, and insistence on retaining antiquated power plants that sit idly due to their high costs.
AMC posts WMNF stakeholder letter to Supervisor Wagner on the DOE EIS site
Appalachian Mountain Club 1/30/13
The lead agency for the NEPA review, the United States Department of Energy (“DOE”), has no particular expertise with the requirements and standards governing your review of the SUP application, such as United States Forest Service (“USFS”) regulations and guidance and the provisions of the WMNF Land and Resource Management Plan (“Forest Plan”).
Not all in Franklin favor Northern Pass project
Union Leader 1/21/13
"By appearance, the mayor is in the minority, at least along the route where the economic impact will be felt, primarily West Franklin," said resident Brian Hupper, who cited "gigantic" towers to be built as part of the project.
The Nation 1/20/13
“You’re shocked to find out you have no say,” says Nancy Martland, a retired child-development researcher who moved to Sugar Hill in 2007. “Even your whole town. Even at town meeting. Even your Select Board. You have no power. People in New Hampshire—maybe everywhere, I don’t know—we want to stand up for ourselves.”
Northern Pass power line to profit on incentives
Union Leader 1/12/13
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission agreed to allow profit incentives for the Northern Pass project. The incentives gave a 2.16 percent bump-up prior to the project beginning commercial operation and 1.42 percent once operations get under way.
Northern Pass misses deadline to unveil new route
Concord Monitor 1/1/13
“They’ve been saying for a year and a half now that they would identify a new route,” Savage said. “They’ve been saying for two years now that they would build public support. They’ve had a governor challenge them to build public support. And none of that has come to pass. “I think you are seeing the result of a poorly conceived project falling flat,” Savage said.
Northern Pass 12/31/12
"...improved structure design along the White Mountain National Forest portion of the route."
The Latest on Northern Pass: A Year-End Roundup
Conservation Law Foundation 12/28/12
Whatever the success of NPT’s attempt to buy a transmission corridor through New Hampshire’s North Country, Northern Pass overall will remain the same flawed proposal that affected communities and stakeholders have overwhelmingly rejected over the last two years. Susan Arnold of the Appalachian Mountain Club and I penned an op-ed with this message, and it was widely published in New Hampshire newspapers this month.
Group seeks to block N.H. hydroelectric project
Boston Globe 12/23/12
“This is a project being pursued without community support that does not advance a clean energy future for the region,’’ said Christophe Courchesne, a staff attorney with the Conservation Law Foundation.
Northeast Utilities CEO under fire for Northern Pass comments
Boston Globe 12/23/12
Misstatements to the investor community can be considered a serious infraction, according to attorneys who know securities law. However, those infractions usually have to be part a pattern of misstatements over time – the Globe did not find that to be the case – and those statements must affect a company’s stock price. That also does not appear to be the case.
SPNHF buys 530-acre conservation easement to try to block Northern Pass
Cooos County Democrat 12/19/12
"The Green Acre Woodlands parcel is a strategic part of our efforts to compel Hydro Quebec, Northeast Utilities and PSNH to look at other viable options for their private transmission line," Difley said. "We remain confident that they will not successfully acquire an unimpeded route through northern New Hampshire, thus sparing the rest of the state through the Lakes Region, Concord and onto Deerfield."
Forest Society unveils new blocks to Northern Pass
Concord Monitor 12/16/12
The forest society already had what it considers one block, in Pittsburg, through land it conserved several years ago. It then worked with the owners of the Balsams property to put a conservation easement on a parcel similarly along the apparent Northern Pass route. That move alone won’t block Northern Pass because project officials have bought land to get around that block.
Gauging support for Northern Pass isn’t easy
Concord Monitor 12/15/12
Lynch was more pointed in his meeting with the Monitor. “If PSNH or the forest society goes in and they offer an obscene amount of money to buy an extra half acre because that’s where the transmission line goes, that should not be how this decision is made,” he said. “If (local communities) don’t buy into this and they become convinced that this is going to negatively impact them and negatively impact the travel and tourism... then I don’t think it should go through."
DOE To Shaheen: No Problem With Northern Pass Contractor Selection
A U.S. Department of Energy official has told Senator Jeanne Shaheen that the federal agency did nothing wrong in approving several contractors to work on the Northern Pass project, dismissing allegations to the contrary from the Conservation Law Foundation.
Northern Pass path power line route in 'final stages'
Union Leader 12/2/12
December is the do-or-die month for Northern Pass to make good on NU's claims to investors. Like clockwork, the project developers began the month by announcing that they hope to announce the new route this month.
Environmental groups blast Northeast Utilities' claim on $1.1 billion Northern Pass transmission project
Torrington Register Citizen 11/23/12
“In fact, CLF is not aware of a single New England environmental group that supports the Northern Pass project as proposed,” Courchesne wrote in a Nov. 15 blog post on the group’s website. “May’s statement is all the more puzzling given the energy that NU has devoted to attacking the efforts of groups like CLF, the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.
Northern Pass gains another 20 miles of right-of-way for towers
Union Leader 11/22/12
The Society for the Protection of NH Forests, which had hoped to strike its own deal for the Wagner land, maintains that it can still block the 180-mile high-power transmission project. Forest Society spokesman Jack Savage said it is seeing more money coming in to preserve private land in the Stewartstown area.
Northern Pass official under fire over assessment of project’s support
Concord Monitor 11/22/12
Several environmental groups say a Northern Pass official grossly misrepresented the project’s standing in New Hampshire at a financial investor conference last week by claiming the groups and Gov.-elect Maggie Hassan support the project. The official says his comments are being twisted to hurt the project.
Getting Desperate: Northeast Utilities CEO Falsely Claims Wide Support for Northern Pass
Conservation Law Foundation 11/15/12
This month, NPT’s parent company, Northeast Utilities (NU) - the largest energy utility in New England, sunk to a new low. In a major presentation to investors, NU’s CEO Tom May claimed that Northern Pass has the support of every environmental group in New England, the regional grid operator ISO New England, and New Hampshire’s governor-elect Maggie Hassan. Not one of these claims is remotely true, as explained in this blog post. Whether deliberate misrepresentation or recklessness, May’s statements breached NU’s obligations to its investors and to the public. CLF has previously highlighted NU’s false and misleading claims about the environmental benefits of Northern Pass; this disturbing pattern of corporate behavior is vivid proof that the Northern Pass project needs vigorous and independent scrutiny by federal and state permitting agencies.
Real estate appraisals raise Northern Pass temperature
Union Leader 11/11/12
Meanwhile, Dannis said the charges against Walker were part of a strategy by a large company with deep pockets to intimidate appraisers who find that the proposed high-voltage lines would decrease property value.
Northern Pass vs. Natural Gas
Responsible Energy Action, LLC 11/5/12
Admittedly, forecasting prices and supply is a risky business. On October 30, 2012, E. Russell Braziel, President & Principal Energy Markets Consultant for RBN Energy, published a mea culpa admission that his summer forecast of a decline in the production of natural gas was in shambles. As Braziel now states, “we are not about to be pulled back into the forecasting mode…. There is a lot of gas out there. If it gets cold and the price runs up, that will just motivate those darned Marcellus and Eagle Ford producers to drill more. Inventories are still in the stratosphere…. Gas producers better hope those power generators keep on burning large volumes of gas, otherwise they might find the winter no more fun than this summer was.”
Appraisal Triggers Latest Dispute Over Northern Pass
Underwood previously did a report for Northern Pass that concluded high-voltage towers do not adversely impact property values. Underwood also heads up New Hampshire’s Real Estate Appraiser Board, which is considering the disciplinary action.
I worry Mr. Lamb is a vehicle being used by Northern Pass
Letter to the Editor, Laconia Daily Sun 10/31/12
I wonder why Mr. Lamb has not taken any pro-active steps to fight this ill-conceived project. Why is there nothing on Mr. Lamb's website relating to the environment or Northern Pass? I also wonder why he is waiting until after the election. Is it because he wants to help us or will he hurt us?
Health effects of burying power lines debated
Union Leader 10/26/12
McLaren has been an opponent of the Northern Pass and lives in Easton near the existing line. Currently that line only has one type of current, but co-locating alternating current and direct current lines, as is proposed by Northern Pass, create a hybridized line that is more problematic to health, he said.
Request to Terminate Current Third-Party Contractor Team
Conservation Law Foundation 10/24/12
DOE’s actions greatly undermine the public’s confidence that DOE’s review will be independent, impartial, comprehensive, and consistent with the law. We are also concerned that DOE’s actions will discourage meaningful public involvement in the NEPA process, given the perception that the process has been unfairly structured in NPT’s favor.
Northern Pass proxy spent $4.125 million for 362-plus acres
Coos County Democrat 10/17/12
When asked how the size of this tax stamp compared to other on proxy purchases, Coös County Register of Deeds Carole Lamirande of Gorham replied, "This is the largest tax stamp related to this project. We have received quite a few conveyances to Renewable Properties, but none this large. Previously, the largest tax stamp relating to the proposed project was based on a selling price of $750,000."
Northern Pass officials defend third-party contractor
Union Leader 10/17/12
Christophe Courchesne, staff attorney for the CLF, said on Tuesday that the Northern Pass Transmission letter “leaves us in exactly the same place: the fairness and integrity of the process remain in serious jeopardy. The facts speak for themselves; as NPT admits, NPT handpicked the contractor team and was given enormous influence over the process so far. The public can have no confidence that the contractor team will exercise its duties independently and impartially when it owes its job to NPT.”
CT may expand renewable energy definition
Hartford Business Journal 10/15/12
When adopted, the RPS objectives included reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Connecticut; providing subsidies to renewable technologies so they eventually could compete on cost with grid power; and developing clean energy industries and technological research and development in Connecticut.
Conservation group: Documents show too-cozy relationship between DOE, Northern Pass
The CLF is specifically concerned that Swartz, who has also consulted on the Champlain Hudson Power Express project, does not see that Canada-New York line as one of the "alternatives" that needs to be examined in the environmental impact statement. "CHPE or some modified version of CHPE is a potentially reasonable and practical alternative worthy of full evaluation in the NEPA process for the Northern Pass project," the CLF said, and emails from Swartz show that she thinks the two projects are neither in conflict nor alternatives to each other.
Northern Pass 'runaround' cited
Concord Monitor 10/14/12
The commission, which includes four lawmakers and officials from several state agencies, is charged with exploring the feasibility of using existing state "transportation corridors" for future power lines. The main questions include these: Can future transmission lines be safely buried in those corridors? If they are, can local communities still collect pole taxes? Are buried lines an advantage or disadvantage in storms or natural disasters? What transportation corridors could the state use and would it have to use eminent domain to bury lines there?
Holding Fast: People Who Won’t Sell To Northern Pass
Colebrook Chronicle 10/12/12
“You would think,” said Rod McAllaster, “that the Northern Pass representatives would understand that I have a legal contract with the Forest Society. Either they think the contract can be broken before it is recorded or they think the funds won’t be raised and the contract will be voided.”
Who Is Mary Anne Sullivan?
Bury Northern Pass 10/12/12
At the center of CLF's charge that Northern Pass Transmission LLC (NPT) exerted undue influence on the selection of the EIS contractor is NPT's counsel, Attorney Mary Anne Sullivan. Who is she?
DOE and NPT Don’t Get It: the Public Deserves an Unbiased Review of Northern Pass
Conservation Law Foundation 10/12/12
While it is clear DOE signed off on the new team, DOE is ignoring that its actions were wrong because of the undisputedly pervasive role DOE allowed NPT to play –with NPT’s counsel personally recruiting, assembling, and coaching the team, helping the team make its proposal to DOE, making a side agreement (of which DOE apparently has no copy) with the team setting the budget and schedule for the process, and actively helping to draft key DOE documents governing the environmental review.
Connecticut considers Canadian hydropower
“DEEP is also preparing a study of the state’s RPS targets and timetable with an eye toward evaluating the impacts of allowing additional clean resources, such as low-cost, clean hydropower from Canada. These additional clean resources may qualify for some portion of the new RPS in a way that reduces overall costs while promoting more extensive in-state development of traditional renewable resources,” according to the report. The plan references the Northern Pass transmission project in New Hampshire. That project would bring 1,200 Mw of hydropower from Quebec into New England. The project was being jointly developed by Boston-based NSTAR and Hartford, Conn.-based Northeast Utilities. Those companies have since merged.
More NU Analyst Call- big hydro
Northeast Utilities 10/5/12
* And then I want to talk about Connecticut energy policy, which I think is just distinct, because Connecticut is working on this right now. It's really about a 6-month effort. And as I've just learned, the Governor, Governor Malloy in Connecticut just finished his sort of keynote presentation this morning to and in this industry group that kind of revealed the plan. It's a draft plan. I'll talk about many of the elements, but you'll want to check that out, it's up on the Web right now. . . . But to cut to the chase a little bit, what you're going to find in there is on the renewable side, the deep directing study around increasing the renewable portfolio standards in Connecticut, it's 20% now by 2020. They are thinking about increasing that, not only increasing that, but broadening the definition. And they're specific in their plan, broadening the definition to potentially include large-scale hydro. Very powerful if you think about one of the projects that we're going to talk about this morning. So that's a study that's being directed, but Connecticut is not moving off the dime around RPS standards. They're looking at to broaden it, and they are really cementing RPS in Connecticut. --David R. McHale, CAO, EVP, NU
* Talk about Northern Pass. David talked a lot about the very aggressive goals and if you look at New England, the goals are somewhere about 2020 we would have about 20% renewable energy requirements, RPS requirements in the region. You would also have a goal in places like Connecticut, Massachusetts, where you have a reduction of 80% of the carbon by 2050. There is probably no better project anywhere than the Northern Pass project, it's all a big part of those needs.-- Leon J. Olivier, COO, EVP, NU
Northern Pass: NH Sen. Shaheen presses for details
Union Leader 10/8/12
In 2010, Shaheen raised concerns about the hiring of Bedford-based Normandeau Associates to do the environmental impact statement, noting the company had ties to Northeast Utilities, which is proposing the project. SE Group was then chosen to complete the EIS.
Northern Pass works to connect the dots in NH land acquisition
Union Leader 10/8/12
While Northern Pass has refused to identify the northern route, documents in the Coos Country Registry of Deeds show it has spent more than $15 million to acquire at least 40 parcels, at times paying 20 times the assessed value for the land, according to Will Abbott of the Forest Society.
Northeast Utilities - Shareholder/Analyst Call
Northeast Utilities 10/5/12
And Thomas May, CEO of NU, struggled to find words to answer a simple question about how filing alternative routes with the DOE would affect the timetable. He danced around until he seemed to say that NU will have "other preferable routes" to the current "new Coos route." Will these be called the "new new Coos routes"?
Northern Pass: Claims Progress On Route
BULLDOG'S ANALYSIS: No they don't. Almost 10 miles of the "lower 140" is through the White Mountain National Forest and that route is nowhere near close to being secured, and I doubt it ever will be. Second, there still has been no Coos route announced yet, so these folks are far from nearing completion of a route.
Two studies tackle question of economic benefits of Northern Pass
NH Business Review 10/5/12
Economic analyses should take all market forces into account and use reliable methodologies based on current data when projecting reductions in energy costs. When local jobs are at stake, projected employment benefits should consider both short- and long-term impacts, as well as regional, state and county-specific impacts. To the extent that the two studies help to qualify and to quantify economic benefits from Northern Pass, policymakers will be better equipped to weigh all costs and benefits that could flow to New Hampshire.
Not So Fast, Northern Pass
Bury Northern Pass 9/30/12
Under cover of the V-string news, the newly revised “Communities” pages on the Northern Pass website have taken all previous proposed tower height information for 140 miles of the project off the table. This comes on top of a project that has taken required alternative routes and a large chunk of the preferred route out of consideration; Northern Pass remains “headless” for some 40-60 miles in northern Coos County. Northern Pass must be the only major infrastructure project in history to offer the public less and less required data as time goes on. Northern Pass’s disrespect for New Hampshire apparently knows no limits.
Northern Pass Project Would Impact Resources of Regional and National Significance
Appalachian Mountain Club 9/26/12
Visual impacts of the project would also affect such public resources as the Pondicherry Division of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, as well as four rivers and four scenic and cultural byways specially designated by the state of New Hampshire. Many towns could also be visually impacted, according to AMC's study. Visual impacts may affect more than 9,000 acres in Concord and more than 5,000 acres in Jefferson and Whitefield.
AMC's Visual Impact Statement
Appalachian Mountain Club- Northern Pass EIS Comment 9/25/12
The purpose of this study is threefold: i) to identify important viewpoints within New Hampshire that potentially could be impacted by the proposed Northern Pass Transmission Corridor project (aka Northern Pass, NP, or the Project) and prioritize those that warrant site-specific analyses, ii) to bracket the cumulative visual impact of the Project on New Hampshire’s landscape, and iii) to understand how individual towns’ view sheds may be impacted. The US Department of Energy Presidential Permit and the White Mountain National Forest Special Use Permit review processes are under way; absent to date is any scenic impact data. Northern Pass will also need to seek approval from the NH Site Evaluation Committee. It is imperative that the three permitting processes fully assess and describe the impact that this project would have on the integrity of New Hampshire’s iconic landscape.
Campaign to Block Northern Pass Surges Past $300K
Society for Protection of NH Forests 9/25/12
More than 330 donors have contributed $310,000 to date toward the Trees Not Towers campaign to block the intended route of the proposed Northern Pass transmission line and towers. The Forest Society needs to raise $2.5 million by Oct. 31 in order to acquire conservation easements that would interrupt the route Northern Pass is attempting to find through northern New Hampshire.
Northern Pass Informative Meeting
Powering a Sustainable New Hampshire 9/25/12
Organizations from across New Hampshire presented their information to update the interested citizens on where the Northern Pass currently stands and what we can be doing to get involved. During the meeting, a fully engaged Anti-Northern Pass audience, took notes and asked questions.
Responsible Energy Action LLC 9/21/12
REAL believes that this V-String “discovery” is nothing more than pre-planned theatre and that Northern Pass entered into its negotiation with the citizens of New Hampshire holding many concessions back in order to use them later on in order to appear to be “cooperating” or “listening.” This is exactly what happened early on in the project with the original “Alternate Routes” – Northern Pass took those routes off the table under the guise of “listening to the public.” However Gary Long later admitted that they “never had a keen interest” in using them in the first place. And so it is with the 135’ towers – they never seriously considered using them either. By working late into the night and “discovering” decade old technology they want everyone to see how trustworthy and compassionate they are.
Real New Hampshire greens oppose the Northern Pass project
Op-Ed, Union Leader 9/19/12
Ironically, the Hydro-Quebec website has a page devoted to “Better living in neighborhoods with underground lines.” The company, parent of Northern Pass, even suggests that aesthetic considerations are important: “Today, people like to relax and entertain in the backyard. Imagine your backyard, your street, your entire neighborhood without utility poles or overhead lines …Discover the advantages of undergrounding.”
Structure Design Update in the White Mountain National Forest
Northern Pass 9/19/12
The submittal of this proposed redesign serves as a formal update to our application before the USFS. The proposed structure design has been lowered to a typical height of 85 feet for areas in the WMNF. As before, this new design can safely be sited within the existing 150 foot right-of-way without the need for widening.
Northern Pass officials say towers can be 85 feet
Concord Monitor 9/19/12
The new design was given to Tom Wagner, forest manager of the White Mountain National Forest, late yesterday afternoon. Wagner has a big say in whether Northern Pass goes forward. As part of the project's permitting process, Wagner must decide whether the proposed project is in the public interest.
Northern Pass foes fight to pay for North Country land
Union Leader 9/17/12
Jack Savage, Forest Society spokesman, said 200 donors have come forward so far. A $50,000 donation just arrived from the Thomas W. Haas Foundation, which is administered by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.
What Will You Do?
Responsible Energy Action LLC 9/13/12
Northern Pass will announce its new route soon, REAL believes.
Candidates weigh in for Senate seat
Concord Monitor 9/8/12
Pearl does not support the Northern Pass project as it is currently proposed. He said he would be in favor of burying the power lines to preserve the state's open spaces and hopes the project could reduce electricity costs in New Hampshire. "Northern Pass as it's presented won't fly," he said. "It's not doable. . . . One of the things that we have to not lose focus on is that we are a tourist-driven state. Our economy is tourist-driven, and that needs to be a priority."
Reagan said he will not take a stand on the Northern Pass project.
Youth vs. experience in state Senate race
Concord Monitor 9/8/12
Grimm supports the project. But he said he wouldn't if he thought the project was bad for the rest of the state. "Obviously this is a good deal for Franklin," he said. "But if I thought everybody else was going to get screwed, I wouldn't be for it." Grimm sees the hydropower as clean energy that will benefit the state. He would like to see the transmission lines buried where possible.
Youssef opposes Northern Pass. "I do not trust the state to refrain from use of eminent domain for this project," he wrote. "I would consider a plan which routes the power into a New Hampshire sub-station for distribution through the New Hampshire grid." The current plan would put the energy into the New England grid.
VIDEO: Hand Across NH
Colebrook Chronicle 9/7/12
Bass also spoke at the "Hands Across NH" protest in Colebrook on Sept. 1.
Two Years Later and No Path Forward for Northern Pass
Conservation Law Foundation 9/5/12
After a summer when many in New Hampshire expected to hear about a revised route and a renewed public relations campaign for the Northern Pass transmission project, the current proposal, which surfaced almost two years ago, is facing new obstacles:
Commission hears how to bury Northern Pass lines
Union Leader 8/31/12
Polymer insulated cable systems for transmission began to be developed in the 1970s first with 145 kilovolt lines. By the 1980s, it was a proven technology and today there are a number of projects in the United States, including 24 miles between Middletown and Norwalk Conn., developed in a densely populated area by Northeast Utilities, which cost $1.2 billion.
Forests society raises $53,000 to fight Northern Pass route
Union Leader 8/23/12
Will Abbott, vice president for policy at the state’s largest conservation organization, said one of the first gifts came from a snowmobiler who noted that if everyone with a registered sled sent $50, the goal would be met.
Blocking the pass: Forest society's buyout plan
Union Leader Editorial 8/22/12
That is a much more agreeable route to take. This issue is about more than just scenic views. It's also about property rights. In protecting one, we cannot forget to protect the other.
Lynch will not nominate Bald replacement
Union Leader 8/22/12
Lynch said he will look internally for someone to run the agency until the next governor nominates a replacement. Lynch is not seeking a fifth term.
Statement, regarding SPNHF Announcement
Northern Pass 8/21/12
SPNHF has used this project as a convenient fundraising tool to lock up land and prevent it from being used for economic development and job creation. We see today’s announcement as more of the same. They’ve tried and failed to stop the project. We will continue to work with willing landowners, because New Hampshire and the region need the clean energy, hundreds of jobs and many economic benefits it will deliver to residents for decades to come.
We have responded to previous concerns about the project by removing proposed alternative routes, and we’ve made exceptional progress over the course of the last several months in securing a new route in the North Country that has the support of landowners.
Northern Pass Newsletter
Northern Pass 8/17/12
Are these landowners who are living in harmony with the towers violating their easement agreement by using the ROW for other purposes?
Wall Street skeptical about Northern Pass
Letter to the Editor, Concord Monitor 8/5/12
Northeast Utilities has yet to hear a question from analysts about its repeated assertion that it owns all the land rights it needs on the lower 140 miles of the proposed route. When analysts come to understand that Northern Pass faces perhaps the highest regulatory hurdle of the project in its effort to cross the White Mountain National Forest and the Appalachian Trail, where it does not, in fact, have existing rights-of-way, look for even more doubt from Wall Street.
First Meeting For The Undergrounding Commission
Alliance Against Northern Pass 8/3/12
Jeanie Forrester is the chairperson of the commission and encouraged public input. In the original bill, SB 361, Senator Forrester requested that there be 7 members of the public on the commission. This was shot down in Governor’s office… Instead, Senator Forrester spent the time to ask the public viewers for questions and comments.
Bob Lamb is Johnny-come-lately to Stop Northern Pass effort
Letter to the Editor, Laconia Daily Sun 8/2/12
I welcome you to the battle against the Northern Pass and any help you provide is appreciated, but why don't you join us on the front-lines rather than trying to undermine Senator Jeanie Forrester.
America's Green Summer: From Vermont to Appalachia to Texas, Citizens Say No to Dirty Power
Indeed, the causes celebrated at Sunday's convergence were diverse - as they are at most environmental protests. For Peter Martin, 74, a retired airline pilot for Delta: "We want the governors to understand that thousands and thousands and thousands of people are against [the Northern Pass]. In New Hampshire town meetings over the last two years, more than 30 towns voted unanimously against this project," he said, because "we don't feel like having our economy, the health of our people and the beauty of our environment destroyed for someone else's profit."
Northern Pass foes: Can you hear us now? 1 cell phone tower is enough
Union Leader 7/28/12
Residents are “wildly in favor of the cell tower because that is going to benefit the town and the people in the area,” member Al Rossetto said. “Northern Pass has no benefit; it's just a liability.” Northumberland's planning board is expected Wednesday to approve the tower on Morse Mountain; residents at last year's town meeting unanimously rejected the Northern Pass project, he said.
Deer Towers for Northern Pass?
White Moutain Ridge Runners 7/26/12
Across our landscape, electrical towers always seem somewhat out of place. They clash with the natural aesthetic of the environment, yet they are needed in this to bring electricity into our cities and towns. A Moscow-based design organization called Design Depot has proposed a design concept that has the potential to remedy this visual dilemma—deer-shaped transmission towers.
Property Rights 2.0
Responsible Energy Action LLC 7/23/12
Northern Pass’s Unfair Destruction of Property Values along Existing PSNH ROWs
Northern Pass: Woodstock letter-writers go to the top
Union Leader 7/23/12
“The continuance of the Northern Pass project, however, is causing irreparable damage to our relationship with, and feelings toward, Quebec. The goals and local methods of Quebec's crown corporation are at irreconcilable odds with our local values and environment.”
Spotlight put on Northern Pass studies
Union Leader 7/18/12
But Christophe Courchesne, staff attorney for the New Hampshire office of the Conservation Law Foundation and a leading critic of the project, said Northern Pass is not doing the studies to benefit the agencies, but because it is required to. And the work needs to be verified to be sure it is accurate, he said.
Northern Pass foes plan protest
Union Leader 7/17/12
“Stand on your town common, across the (right of way), in your backyard, in the street, wherever you think you will get the most attention,” Martha Richards of Holderness wrote in an email.
N.H.'s economic future needs projects like Northern Pass
Martin Murray, PSNH 7/17/12
Meantime, Coos County has experienced negative population growth during the past decade. Twice as many people have migrated out of Coos County as in, since 2005 and the county has, by far, the highest unemployment rate in the state.
Landaff Selectmen Letter to Premiere Cherest
Town of Landaff 7/11/12
This is to advise you and, by copy, Hydro-Quebec's management that the Northern Pass Project was unanimously rejected by the voters of the Town of Landaff at our 2011 Tolvn Meeting. It wouid despoil our envirorment and confer little or no benefit on the citizens of New Hampshire. If your province wishes to mortgage its wild and pristine environment to the tycoons of massive hydro-development, that is your people's concerfl, but you should find a way to do it that does not trample on your neighbor's rights and values.
A Guest Column by Rebecca Weeks Sherrill More
Bury Northern Pass 7/11/12
Rebecca W. S. More, PhD, is a Visiting Scholar in History at Brown University and Adjunct Professor of History at the Rhode Island School of Design. A part-time resident of Lancaster NH, Rebecca is a descendant of John W. Weeks, U. S. Representative and Senator whose name-sake bill, the Weeks Act (1911), created a national forest in the east and authorized purchase of the land that today forms the White Mountain National Forest. We are pleased to reprint her thoughts, originally published in November 2010, on the similar threats--and opportunities--that faced northern New Hampshire in the first decade of the twentieth century and again now, a century later.
PSNH -- NU's Cash Cow
Bury Northern Pass 7/11/12
Call it cash cow or workhorse, PSNH leads the herd of Northeast Utilities subsidiaries for anticipated rate increases that investors cherish. New Hampshire rate payers are not surprised.
Study targets Northern Pass' effect on scenery
Union Leader 7/8/12
On Friday, Arnold said the visual intrusion of Northern Pass on that trail, which is within the White Mountain National Forest, is of key concern. Also worrisome would be the effects on the 17 miles of forest and the view of the forest from Route 93 between Lincoln and Thornton, for example, she said. The project would dramatically change the view from the highway, she said.
Questions and Answers about Northern Pass
The Forum 7/7/12
Following the Northern Pass presentation to the Deerfield Planning Board reported on in the summer print edition, the audience was given the opportunity to ask questions. Responders included representatives of the Northern Pass Transmission Project (Anne Bartosewicz NPT Project Director and Lauren Brown, NPT Communications Mgr); PSNH (Sr. Corp News Representative Martin Murray and Project Mgr Brian Bosse) and Coler and Colantonio (Project Mgr Tom True).
PSNH Deerfield Substation
Alliance Against Northern Pass 7/5/12
Alliance Against Northern Pass visits the Deerfield substation. This is a shorter version of the first attempt, both disrupted by the EMF radiation. An interesting look at how standing under the high voltage AC lines affects the audio on our camera.
Real New Hampshire Voices Speak Out on the Northern Pass Proposal
Conservation Law Foundation 6/29/12
From the families who live along the proposed route, to the small businesspeople in the state’s tourist economy who are concerned about the effect of the project on their livelihoods and communities, to the New Hampshire residents and groups questioning the wisdom of erecting massive new towers through treasured landscapes like the White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire’s many critical voices are focused on real, legitimate concerns about the impacts of Northern Pass on our state and beyond. We will not be marginalized, bullied, or deterred as we raise these issues in public forums and in the federal and state permitting processes to come.
Northern Pass risks region reaping benefits of economic change
NH Business Review 6/29/12
Arrogantly, Northern Pass remains intransigent on the only the option that maximizes a cash return to its partner, PSNH - the more costly route through the mountains and private land. Burial along pre-softened, public corridors would achieve its objective of bringing power to its southern clients without jeopardizing our future. Other states are demanding burial, given new technologies that make it competitive from a cost and reliability perspective.
Northern Pass Hurts the White Mountains
Society for Protection of NH Forests 6/28/12
Should Hydro Quebec be allowed to build a high voltage transmission line with towers upt to 135-feet high through ten miles of the White Mountain National Forest? Susan Arnold of the Appalachian Mountain Club puts this latest threat to our scenic landscape in perspective.
Easement Setbacks: Northern Pass Shoots Itself in the Foot
Bury Northern Pass 6/22/12
We'll let you decide who is lying, the Deerfield couple or Northern Pass. But it is always suspicious when corporate news departments feel compelled to defend themselves late on Friday afternoon. It suggests they are worried, feel pressured to retort, but do not want to have to answer questions for a few days at least, if ever. Throw the barb and retreat behind the curtain of the weekend news lull.
Why is SPNHF distorting reality?
Northern Pass 6/22/12
It’s also inaccurate to claim, as SPNHF does in the video, that “…more than 1,000 families are similarly impacted.” Homes can be built right up to the edge of a right of way, if a home builder chooses. In most cases, however, homes and other structures on properties abutting existing power line rights of ways are located a greater distance from the edge than the property cited here.
Northern Pass Hurts New Hampshire Families
Society for Protection of NH Forests 6/19/12
The Neily family of Deerfield doesn't see the value in the private powerline proposal known as Northern Pass. PSNH wants the Neilys to allow the widening of an existing powerline right-of-way that would bring the proposed high-voltage AC transmission line even closer to their home.
Meet Northern Pass’s “New” Coos Route: Same as the Old Route
Responsible Energy Action LLC 6/20/12
Northern Pass’s purchase of zig-zagging strips of land does not constitute community support, does not represent good siting for a transmission line, and does not address the massive problems created by this proposed project. Like the old route, the new Coos route is all about money for PSNH, Northeast Utilities, and Hydro Quebec, not about what is good for New Hampshire. Like the old route, the new route was developed in complete secrecy with no consultation of key stakeholders. And like the old route, the new route sticks New Hampshire with the Northeast’s only proposed transmission project to use antiquated, visually jarring, and health-threatening overhead technology.
Energy Market Changes Undermine Economic Case for Northern Pass
Conservation Law Foundation 6/14/12
The new study’s conclusion: the supposed energy benefits of the project – that it will lower the region’s energy costs and diversify the region’s power supply – won’t materialize. The study also shows that the economic merits of the current proposal are much weaker today than they were when the proposal was formulated two years ago, due to reductions in the cost of natural gas.
Report Questions Benefits of Northern Pass Proposal
New England Power Generators Association 6/13/12
The PA Consulting study said the revenue that Hydro-Quebec would gain by selling the power to New England would barely pay for the cost of Northern Pass and equivalent facilities in Canada.
Northern Pass – Not the Option for New Hampshire
Progressive Action NH 6/12/12
Utility companies have a vast store of capital at their disposal due to the combined dependency of the public on their services and their for-profit structure. Like all corporations, they exist to realize a return for investors and stock holders and therefore have decided to spend their capital waging a war against common sense.
Stewartsown to Canada: Show us respect on Northern Pass land buys
Union Leader 6/11/12
Selectman Allen Coats said the point of the letter was to put Charest on notice that the project proposed by Hydro-Quebec, a crown corporation, is “unwanted and not needed” and that it threatens the goodwill the town has had for Quebec as a neighbor.
Northern Pass buys key land
Union Leader 6/10/12
He said the May 31 purchase of the two parcels from Kevin Edwards of Greensboro, N.C., represents a victory of sorts for the project and signals to those landowners who haven't sold parcels yet that they can get “more than their wildest dreams” for their North Country land.
The “New Route” for Northern Pass Won’t Cure Its Failings
Conservation Law Foundation 5/24/12
Not so fast. Before the news arrives (if it does), it’s worth remembering that whatever new lines the developer manages to draw on the map do nothing to change the project’s DNA or to demonstrate that the project will benefit New Hampshire.
NU's New CEO Dismisses Northern Pass Opposition
Bury Northern Pass 5/18/12
Thomas J. May, CEO of the newly merged NStar-Northeast Utilities (NU), held a thirty minute press conference on May 16 in Hartford. Mr. May's closing remarks concerned opponents to Northern Pass.
Realtor Q and A: Easements can affect property values and uses
Union Leader 5/18/12
When buying a property with an easement, always review the easement for understanding. Make sure you are clear on the purpose for which the easement is granted. If you are unclear, ask your attorney or title company for clarification.
Mother-Daughter Duo Donate Conservation Easement in Easton
Society for Protection of NH Forests 5/17/12
Why the fame? Because these two conservationists are also Anti-Northern-Pass activists. It seems fairly certain that their "fame" has spread to the offices of PSNH, where a map undoubtedly hangs showing Northern Pass bisecting their beautiful landscape. While the easement cannot stop the use of the existing power line, it should make expanding it onto the easement property very difficult indeed.
House subcommittee initiates action on hydropower regulatory legislation
Renewable Energy World 5/9/12
Studies conducted in recent years concluded that there is tremendous U.S. hydropower growth potential. Navigant Consulting found that 60,000 MW of hydroelectric capacity could be built by 2025, with the right policies in place. Over one million cumulative jobs could be created in pursuit of that goal. The Department of Energy recently found over 12,000 MW of untapped potential at the nation’s 54,000 existing non-powered dams.
Massachusetts Can’t Rely on the Northern Pass Proposal as a Short-Term Climate Solution
Conservation Law Foundation 5/4/12
Last December, CLF identified a significant problem with Massachusetts’s “Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020”: it adopted and relied on Northern Pass’s sales pitch that the project will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 5 million tons annually and then claimed all those emissions reductions for Massachusetts. After examining the basis for the 5 million ton figure, we concluded that – no way around it – the figure was just wrong; it was calculated on the false assumption – belied by Hydro-Québec’s own data – that imported hydropower has no greenhouse gas emissions. The way Massachusetts was relying on Northern Pass was dubious for other reasons, including the unfairness of Massachusetts claiming all the benefits of a project that will not be located in the state and the fact that there is no concrete commitment regarding how much Northern Pass power Massachusetts electric customers will actually receive.
The Battle Over The Northern Pass
Business NH Magazine 4/24/12
The Forest Society has called on Northern Pass to withdraw the proposal and look at other options. Savage notes there is an existing Hydro-Québec high-voltage line that runs through northeast Vermont into NH at Monroe, through southern NH to Massachusetts, and he suggests looking at using that right-of-way. Others, including Republican Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich, have called for burying the line.
Why the Free Ride for the Utilities?
Bury Northern Pass 4/14/12
Plymouth resident Peter Martin, a member of the No Northern Pass Coalition, is a former commercial airline pilot. In this guest blog, he questions why utility companies get a free ride on rights-ofway.
GCRC Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner 4/12/12
Alliance Against Northern Pass 4/14/12
Another Republican candidate for governor, Ovide Lamontagne, whose law firm happens to also represent PSNH and the Northern Pass project, stated that the Northern Pass needs to bury all of its cables underground and that no towers should ever be erected. Lamontagne also stated that he is in favor of having PSNH enter into a Purchase Power Agreement (PPA) guaranteeing that New Hampshire will receive the potentially low cost power first in the case of any major outages, and that without such a PPA, the project should not move forward. To be fair, Lamontagne has recently asserted that within his law firm, he has formally distanced himself from any and all matters pertaining to Northern Pass and PSNH and the Alliance has no reason to believe otherwise.
1 Year Down and No End in Sight
Responsible Energy Action LLC 4/12/12
As one might expect with a grossly incomplete plan, problems emerged almost immediately. The public EIS scoping hearings were hastily arranged and filled with people questioning the proposed route and complaining about the lack of any consideration of alternatives. Many citizens demanded that the application be withdrawn and resubmitted only when it was complete. Those complaints fell on deaf ears at DOE. The Applicant pressed on, the process continued, and DOE stood idly by – unable or unwilling to intervene.
Utility Merger Could Impact Northern Pass
During a conference call, CEO Tom May said the acquisition would help his company pursue the Northern Pass project. "The new NU will, because of the financial strength of the combined companies, actually have credit rating upgrades, which should make it a lot easier to finance this project," said May.
The Right to Determine our Energy Future – No Northern Pass
Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund 4/9/12
Easton and Sugar Hill adopted the ordinance unanimously in both towns, earlier that same evening, with the approval of 76 and 175 voters, respectively. Plymouth adopted the local law a week later, with a vote of 75:42, followed by a comment from their town moderator that the vote was “advisory.” Holderness town moderator played the part of dictator that day and declared the ordinance “unenforceable.” He added that the town had decided to table the warrant article until next year and no discussion was allowed. In Northfield, there was a motion from the hall to table the article and it was seconded and approved by a swift voice vote, allowing for no discussion. Another warrant article unrelated to the Northern Pass, but also brought forward by petition to ban GMOs in the town of Warner was tabled before the petitioner could make her way to the microphone.
Northern Pass Developers Refuse to Face Facts about Hydropower Emissions
Conservation Law Foundation 4/4/12
Where do NPT’s non-responses leave us? Unfortunately, NPT seems poised to continue on with its false and misleading public relations campaign and has shown no interest in an open, honest debate. CLF will continue to use all the tools at our disposal to ensure that the public and decision-makers are fully aware of all the issues associated with the Northern Pass proposal.
Northern Pass Makes No Financial Sense Today. Why Build It?
Bury Northern Pass 3/30/12
When Hydro-Quebec (HQ) started planning Northern Pass (NP)several years ago, gas prices were four times higher, and HQ’s hydropower had a big pricing advantage. Not so now, when today, literally, gas prices hit a 10-year low. Today, HQ’s power does not enjoy a price advantage.
Interview With Brian "Bulldog" Tilton About The Northern Pass Project
Alliance Against Northern Pass 3/26/12
Heather from Alliance Against Northern Pass interviews Brian "The Bulldog" Tilton about his thoughts on the Northern Pass project. He has a unique perspective having spent many hours in the statehouse with Senators, attending events to support those in opposition to the project, and interviewing people about the subject.
Publisher offers perspective on Northern Pass project
Union Leader 3/23/12
“Northern Pass is a rallying point the likes of which I haven't seen since Onassis' oil refinery at the Isles of Shoals and the Seabrook nuclear plant,” McQuaid said Thursday night at the Northern Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce annual dinner in Whitefield. “My paper backed both, at the same time, though in hindsight we might have done better just backing the nuclear plant.”
White Mountain National ForestNorthern Pass Transmission Line Special Use Permit
U.S. Forest Service 3/18/12
WMNF is estimating 3/2013 as the start of the comment period for the Special Use Permit for NP to cross the national forest. This undercuts NP's projection that it will start the SEC process in late 2012. DOE and WMNF permits must be secured first. But notice WMNF's bureaucratic jargon of "milestone," as if collecting public comments is just one more routine step in NP's march to the end. We'd prefer to see "hurdle."
Northern Pass shows up on a dozen ballots
Union Leader 3/12/12
The rights-based ordinance language was developed by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), a Pennsylvania-based law firm. The Sugar Hill Northern Pass Action Committee (SNOPAC), appointed by the town last year to research ways to block Northern Pass, worked with CELDF to come up with the warrant article voters will consider.
Governor Lynch Signs HB 648 Into Law
Governor Lynch 3/5/12
"The use of eminent domain should be limited to projects designed to benefit the public as a whole. In 2006, the voters of this state overwhelmingly supported an amendment to our constitution that prohibited the taking of private property for private use. House Bill 648 is consistent with that amendment."
Normandeau Redux: They're Baa-ck!
Bury Northern Pass 2/29/12
Late last month, a 2012 NPT winter tracking map was posted in the document library of the EIS site. The map identifies two areas of lowland spruce-fir forest for winter tracking in 2012; this is the habitat of state and federal endangered and threatened species such as Canadian lynx and marten. The two areas are on the Stratford-Colebrook border and on the Coos loop PSNH right-of-way in Stark and Dummer.
Northern Pass Response to Hydropower Emissions Research Rings Hollow
Conservation Law Foundation 2/23/12
We agree that there is no one single solution to the climate challenge. But any serious effort to confront climate change in New Hampshire must also confront the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state – PSNH’s aging, inefficient, and uneconomic fossil fuel power plants. As Dr. Tremblay of Hydro-Québec admitted, in comments that NPT is now approvingly citing, “the major environmental challenge facing North America is to replace coal to generate power….” CLF couldn’t agree more.
Northern Pass Worse for the Climate than Advertised
Conservation Law Foundation 2/14/12
In light of today’s report, CLF is calling on NPT and its partners NU, NSTAR, and PSNH to stop citing that erroneous number and to withdraw all marketing materials for the Northern Pass project that state or imply that Canadian hydropower has no or minimal greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s Time to Modernize NH’s PUC Nomination Process
Responsible Energy Action LLC 2/7/12
Here is our bottom line. We believe the current qualification and professional diversity requirements for PUC commissioners are inadequate to protect ratepayers and the public, and we believe the commissioner nomination process is deeply flawed. A legislative fix will ultimately be required. In the meantime, we respectfully request the Executive Council to defer action on these nominations at least until the Council can design and implement ad hoc procedures that protect the interests of ratepayers and the public.
North Country Towns Take On Northern Pass
Orleans Record 2/3/12
PSNH spokesmen Martin Murray and Mike Skelton have recently said Northern Pass was never predicated on the use of eminent domain, but testimony to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by Northern Pass Transmission President James Muntz says otherwise.
A Tribute to North Country Landowners
Bury Northern Pass 1/31/12
Bury the Northern Pass joins with Bob Baker (Columbia, NH) in paying tribute to the brave and selfless landowners of Coos County who value landscape, heritage, and community over private gain.
Freshman Senator Forrester leaves big mark on eminent domain issue
Laconia Daily Sun 1/31/12
Opponents of Northern Pass rallied round the Forrester-Bragdon amendment. fearing that Bradley's language would allow Northern Pass and its corporate sponsors to qualify as a public utility then petition for the power of eminent domain. Their fears mounted when attorney Don Pfundstein, representing Northern Pass, told a House committee that the company did not intend to to use eminent domain, but if it did, the state would have to determine whether the project conferred a compelling public benefit.
Northern Pass's Newsletter (Issue 2): Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
Bury Northern Pass 1/30/12
The column to read carefully, however, is “Working With You: Rights-of-Way Access.” You or your predecessor may have deeded a ROW to PSNH, but not to Northern Pass. Northern Pass has zero authority over your contractual relationship with PSNH. But read the column anyway. It’s tricky. Watch the sleight-of-hand and ask yourself why Northern Pass is giving you “guidance” on an easement that it does not own and rights of access that it does not have.
NH State Senator Bob Odell's Column at Sunacom.com
Sen. Bob Odell 1/29/12
Senator Odell is Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee; Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee; Vice Chairman of the Finance Committee; Vice Chairman of the State Parks Advisory Council; and member of the Capital Budget Committee.
Breaking Down Who Does–And Doesn’t–Support Eminent Domain For Northern Pass
State Impact/NPR 1/27/12
First of all, our bout of data entry made one thing abundantly clear: There’s strong–and in some cases, overwhelming–opposition to eminent domain across the demographic groups surveyed. Depending on the group, anywhere from 60 to 81 percent of respondents were against the project.
Lawyer advocates for municipal rights during presentation
The Citizen of Laconia 1/27/12
Supporters of such an ordinance say it is aimed at protecting the health, safety and welfare of each town by recognizes each town’s right to a sustainable energy future by prohibiting the siting of energy projects such as Northern Pass. Each town meeting will be asked to consider its adoption — a challenge due to its detail and length, some in the room pointed out.
Senate Passes Eminent Domain Bill (HB648)
Society for Protection of NH Forests 1/25/12
"HB648 still needs to be agreed upon by a Committee of Conference between the House and the Senate, but we are extremely pleased that the Senate has joined the House in speaking loudly and clearly on the sujects of which kinds of projects have access--and which do not have access-- to eminent domain under Article 12a of the New Hampshire constitution."
Re: the debate over eminent domain
Northern Pass 1/25/12
We are reviewing the amendment passed today by the NH Senate and what impact, if any, it may have on the project if enacted. Our initial review of the amendment suggests that:
Northern Pass Employment Study Released
New England Power Generators Association 1/23/12
Brian Gotlob, the author of the study said, “Results of this analysis indicate that the job impacts associated with the proposed transmission line project will be substantially lower than estimated in Northern Pass Transmission, LLC (NPT) studies. Our estimates of job impacts are less than one-half of the estimates presented in studies issued by NPT. The vast majority of jobs from the project will be short-term construction jobs and many of these will be undertaken by out of state workers who have specialized construction skills required for the project.”
Analysis: Two Reasons Why PSNH Will Not Announce a PPA with Hydro-Quebec
Responsible Energy Action LLC 1/23/12
Let’s look at the numbers. Fairly stated (that is, including an appropriate cost allowance for the Bow scrubber and the costs of the above-market small biomass PPAs), PSNH’s electricity rate is somewhere between 8.5 cents and 9 cents per kWh. This is a high rate (one of the highest in the nation) because PSNH continues to run its old, inefficient plants (Bow, Schiller, etc.), and also because PSNH has locked itself into a series of long-term, above-market PPAs. Wholesale prices run roughly 5 cents per kWh, which means PSNH’s customers are paying WAY above market for our power. We’re subsidizing PSNH’s failed business model.
Bradley Amendments Undercut NH Property Rights!
Bury Northern Pass 1/22/12
Bradley’s changes disregard our state constitution and the will of the people by enabling unconstitutional "takings." In sharp contrast, Bragdon-Forrester respects our state constitution and brings the eminent domain statutes into line with the strict constitutional limits in Article 12-a of the constitution against eminent domain by private development projects.
Northern Pass: taking land for greed, not need
John Harrigan, Union Leader 1/22/12
The project is the controversial Quebec Hydro transmission line, better known as Northern Pass. Push is coming to shove on the controversial issue of eminent domain, the question of whether and when the state should allow a utility to take property against the owner’s will. It is an issue that strikes directly at the heart of landowners’ rights, right up there with family legacy, tradition and religion.
Lakes Region senators in tug-a-war over Northern Pass
Laconia Daily Sun 1/20/12
Forrester insists that her overriding aim is to ensure that the constitutional prohibition against taking private property by eminent domain to serve private interests is upheld by statute. "The Constitution is the Constitution," she declared.
Poll: Most Granite Staters oppose eminent domain for Northern Pass
Concord Monitor 1/7/12
Earlier today, Northern Pass lobbyist Donald Pfundstein told a House committee considering other eminent domain bills that Northern Pass would be entitled to use eminent domain because although it’s a private project not deemed necessary by regulatory agencies, the energy from Canada would be benefit the public.
Why New Hampshire Needs HB 648 (Bragdon/Forrester amendment) Now: Some Q’s & A’s (Part 1)
Bury Northern Pass 1/14/12
HB 648 B/F does not target Northern Pass or any other specific project. It doesn't even mention Northern Pass or hydro power. It is general property rights legislation. But those who oppose 648 B/F typically want to talk about it in terms of how it is aimed at Northern Pass alone, so let’s start there with a few questions and answers. As you’ll see, however, 648 B/F is broad legislation that would protect all land and home owners, tenants, business owners, and others by preventing any private utility project, whether it be hydro, wind, biomass, solar, from abusing eminent domain.
Pass the Bragdon/Forrester Amendment on January 18!
Responsible Energy Action LLC 1/11/12
Before January 18, please call or email your state senator and ask him or her to vote for the Bragdon/Forrester amendment to HB648. This amendment will ensure that private developers cannot use eminent domain for private, for-profit energy projects.
Huntsman heads north
Concord Monitor 1/7/12
"Well, first of all, private property rights need to be respected. I know how important that is to the people in this part of New Hampshire, indeed throughout New Hampshire," Huntsman told the Monitor at the Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods. "And there're very legitimate concerns about the environmental impact, the quality of life impact, and I believe it would be a legitimate request to ask that some of the lines be buried, if not all of the lines."
Republicans Forced to Take Awkward Pro-environment Positions in New Hampshire
Burnt Orange Report 1/6/12
Unsurprisingly, Mitt Romney is closely tied to the project’s coporate overlords. Greg Butler, the project’s Vice President and General Counsel, has co-chaired a major Romney fundraising event in New York, and has donated the $2,500 maximum to the Romney campaign. Romney’s lone statement about the project expressed concern (albeit cryptically) about the large scale use of eminent domain seizures the project would require, saying “if land is going to be taken for purposes of a private enterprise, that’s the wrong way to go.”
Gingrich opposes Northern Pass transmission project
Union Leader 1/5/12
If the request to build the above-ground corridor through the Great North Woods were to come to his desk as President, Gingrich said he wouldn't sign it. The project requires a U.S. Deptarment of Energy Presidential Permit as it crosses an international border.
The Kelo Decision: Robbing the Poor to Pay the Rich (2)
Bury Northern Pass 1/1/12
On December 8th the judiciary committee met again to straighten out the mess. The result was nothing short of farcical. The committee, comprised of supposedly intelligent adults could not seem to understand the words, “or a participant-funded (private) transmission facility,” added to a statute forbidding the use of eminent domain for the construction of a generating facility. They did, however, agree to substitute a three page amendment filled with instructions enumerating the procedures needed to take private property. So, they turned a bill meant to protect our private property from corporate for profit taking, into an instruction manual on how to take our property.
Northern Pass Mulls Options
Orleans Record 12/31/11
"The way PSNH and Northern Pass handled the Balsams situation has clearly triggered people's indignation," he said. "It remains to be seen whether or not this has long-term ramifications for the Northern Pass project, but there's no question that it has angered a whole new group of people."
The Kelo Decision: Robbing the Poor to Pay the Rich (1)
Bury Northern Pass 12/31/11
Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms. As for the victims, the government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more. The Founders cannot have intended this perverse result. "[T]hat alone is a just government," wrote James Madison, "which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own."
Balsams deal appears key to power plan
Concord Monitor 12/29/11
She also believes Northern Pass is a "done deal" that will happen whether she agrees to sell or not. She said company officials never threatened to take their land by eminent domain, but she feared they would if they had to.
Northern Pass’s Balsams Bid – A New Valuation Benchmark
Responsible Energy Action LLC 12/24/11
Landowners should also note that the Balsams benchmark reflects only the first part of the fair price equation – the value of the right of way to Northern Pass. There is also a second component of fair compensation, which is the loss in value to the landowner’s remaining land if the easement is sold and the transmission lines are built.
Letter of Approval from Charitable Trusts Unit
Society for the Protection of NH Forests 12/24/11
Having reviewed and considered the information provided to our office, and having discussed this matter with Attorney General Michael Delaney, we find that the Trustees have acted within the limits of their discretion and the provisions of the Trust. As such, we approve the Purchase and Sale Agreement between the Corporation and the Society.
Northern Pass sweetens Balsams deal
Concord Monitor 12/23/11
It wasn't immediately clear today how the offer would affect the pending agreement the land's owners already have with the forest society. That deal is awaiting approval from the state attorney general's office, which is overseeing the sale because the land is owned by a trust.
Project Offers to Purchase Conservation Easement
Northern Pass 12/23/11
The Northern Pass project today notified the Neil Tillotson Trust that it is willing to purchase the conservation easement over much of the property of “The Balsams,” if a sale of the easement to The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF) doesn’t occur.
Northern Pass’s AG Filing: Just Plain Wrong on the Facts, Law and Policy
Bury Northern Pass 12/23/11
This blog analyzes the key arguments made in NP’s filing to support their claim that the conservation easement should be set aside insofar as it prevents the transmission lines. We conclude that NP’s arguments are wrong on the facts, law and policy. We believe it is highly likely the AG’s office will reject NP’s filing and will approve the conservation easement.
Northern Pass Tries to Torpedo Tillotson Conservation Easement
Bury Northern Pass 12/22/11
First, Northern Pass has now lost any remaining credibility in the eminent domain debate. Northern Pass’s original proposal in October 2010 would have relied on massive use of eminent domain to ram the transmission lines over the property of non-consenting landowners and through the very heart of the North Country. After a huge public uproar, Northern Pass supposedly saw the light and said it would find a new route through the North Country based on “consensual” transactions – that is, willing sales by landowners.
Northern Pass Aims to Block Balsams Land Conservation
Society for the Protection of NH Forests 12/21/11
We believe that the Attorney General’s office will agree with the Tillotson Corp that the transaction outlined in our Purchase and Sale agreement with them is in the best interests of the North Country. The attempt by Northern Pass to interfere with a transaction between two private parties is a clear indication of their desperation. It’s the moral equivalent of using eminent domain to force a private landowner to sell to them.
Would Northern Pass swamp the regional market for renewable projects?
Conservation Law Foundation 12/21/11
The bottom line for CLF: any plan to increase imports will need a robust and comprehensive set of enforceable commitments – which are completely absent in the current Northern Pass proposal – for the region to ensure that New England’s own renewable energy industry will prosper and grow into the future.
Hydro-Quebec celebrates pulling plug on clients
QMI Agency 12/21/11
A recent memo, adorned with a wreath, congratulates staff in the termination department for "excellent results" after the unit pulled the plug on 50,680 clients so far this year.
The New Hampshire Gold Rush (3)
Bury Northern Pass 12/17/11
From these known facts, two obvious questions arise. First, it's clear why a new PSNH transmission line would "jump off" to the west of Franklin in order to inject Hydro Quebec power into Vermont, but why would one jump off to the east? Second, the Doucet Survey map shows the reestablished PSNH ROW passing through Rochester and ending at the Maine border? What would it connect to?
The New Hampshire Gold Rush (2)
Bury Northern Pass 12/16/11
The 19 mile PSNH easement from Deerfield to Maine crosses through the following towns: Northwood, Strafford, Rochester. PSNH's 32 mile easement from Fitzwilliam to Amherst crosses the town of Rindge, New Ipswich, Greenville, Mason, Milford, and Brookline.
The New Hampshire Gold Rush (1)
Bury Northern Pass 12/15/11
Whoever dreamed up this transmission line using Franklin as the "jump off point" for Hydro Quebec power would build towers from Franklin to Claremont through Newport, Croydon, Sunapee, Springfield, Wilmot, Andover, and other towns. (This line runs through towns in Senate districts 5 and 8, and both its senators, Matthew Houde and Bob Odell, respectively, voted against passing a bill, HB 648, that would strengthen eminent domain protection last June.) How much "widening" (read: eminent domain) would be required on the existing easement to include this new 345kV line?
BULLDOG NOTES: Further evidence of this proposal is at the bottom this document filed with the PUC in 2008. Here's the legal notice. See: "PSNH states an application for Certificate of Site and Facility Is not required".
The Bradley/Carson Amendment: All Smoke and Mirrors
Responsible Energy Action LLC 11/12/11
This proposed legislation purports to help landowners who are faced with the potential for eminent domain by Northern Pass or any other private, participant-funded transmission line. Does the bill really protect property owners?
Northern Pass buys 118 acres in Franklin, NH
Foster's Daily Democrat 12/12/11
The station would convert direct current from Canada into alternating current. The Concord Monitor reports it would take up between 30 to 40 acres of the former Thousand Acres Family Campground.
The Bradley/Carson Amendment 2: All Smoke and Mirrors
Bury Northern Pass 12/11/11
This guest blog continues to scrutinize Bradley/Carson and looks at four other proposals in the bill. Do they help landowners in any significant way? Do the provisions make any sense? No, and no again.
Why not bury power lines for Northern Pass project?
Op-Ed Nashua Telegraph 12/11/11
The line is still several years away from construction – if indeed it passes all the state, local and federal regulatory hurdles – but it makes sense to be con-sidering this now, not after the fact.
The Bradley/Carson Amendment: All Smoke and Mirrors
Bury Northern Pass 12/9/11
The first key change in the Bradley/Carson amendment is a new provision that purports to protect property owners from wrongful threats of eminent domain. Unfortunately for landowners, this provision is all hat and no cowboy. Let’s go to the scoreboard:
Decision bolsters Northern Pass
Nashua Telegraph 12/9/11
Will Abbott said the Senate panel ignores the so-called 12-A constitutional amendment voters overwhelmingly approved in 2008 that opposes eminent domain for private development. “They just threw 12-A under the bus,” Abbott said after the committee vote. “Private property owners are not protected.”
Latest NH bill no threat to Northern Pass project
Associated Press 12/8/11
"In my opinion, it's an attempt to not deal with an issue that's apparently too thorny to deal with," Mullen said. Mullen owns the Owl's Nest Resort in Campton and Thornton that lies within the proposed 180-mile route the transmission lines would take.
What the Keystone XL decision should mean for Northern Pass
Conservation Law Foundation 12/6/11
With all the legal, procedural, and substantive deficiencies our national advocate colleagues have been pointing out for years, the Keystone XL review (before last week) is a dramatic example of what we can’t allow to happen with Northern Pass. Right now, things don’t look good – it appears that the Department of Energy is engaging in an “applicant-driven,” narrow review of a few potential project routes, not the broad, searching analysis CLF and many others have demanded again and again (and again). Last week’s decision to conduct a wide-ranging new review of Keystone XL shows that there is still the opportunity (and now a clear precedent) for the Department of Energy to bring the same spirit of renewed scrutiny and public responsiveness to its review of Northern Pass.
Eminent domain bill to face panel
Concord Monitor 12/2/11
Sen. Fenton Groen, a Rochester Republican who supports Northern Pass, said Friday he will support the bill because he believes the state Constitution prohibits private companies from using eminent domain.
Committee unbiased on Northern Pass
Letter to the Editor Concord Monitor 12/2/11
Committee member Stephen Neily rebuts Tom True's opinion of the committee and reminds readers what the committee has indeed accomplished. One has to wonder why an actual employee of NP was on the committee in the first place. Why didn't True "conflict out" on the basis of his employment by NP? Could Deerfield find no other proponent of NP to put on the committee?]
Northern Pass: The 5 million ton elephant in Massachusetts’s climate plan
Conservation Law Foundation 12/1/11
Although you wouldn’t know it from the media or the developers’ “MyNewHampshire” advertising campaign, Northern Pass also is a Massachusetts issue. Why? As if hidden in plain view, it’s at the center of Massachusetts’s plan to combat climate change. You might say it’s the elephant in the room. Massachusetts’s 2010 “Clean Energy and Climate Change Plan” (the Plan) seeks to reduce Massachusetts’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) 25% below 1990 levels by 2020. CLF has applauded the Plan as an aggressive, nation-leading effort. However, we long have been dubious of the Plan’s reliance on potential imports of Canadian hydropower.
Anti Northern Pass group charges PSNH put the kibosh on them organizing debate with ad spokesmen
Laconia Daily Sun 11/30/11
"It appears PSNH is so desperate to win the debate over the Northern Pass that it is sacrificing the good names and the reputations of people it has an economic hold over – people who have unwittingly been lured into appearing in its ads because their firms, or in the instance of Casey, his union, are reliant upon fees for services from PSNH and the Northern Pass."
The "Northern Pass Transmission, LLC Bulletin," Issue 1
Bury Northern Pass 11/29/11
Pardon the lack of a glossy color format and the postage to mail it. (The Province of Quebec is funding you, not us.) We make no apologies for eschewing euphemisms and other rhetorical figures of speech and grammatical devices that obscure or misstate the facts. Indeed, we'll be calling out some of yours since they are highly offensive to us. This blog will spotlight the top five offenders.
Northern Pass and Morton's Fork
Bury Northern Pass 11/23/11
In other words, Northern Pass says, if landowners don't grant a wider easement, they face higher towers, towers closer to their residences, businesses, or schools, as well as higher EMF radiation levels. But the so-called choice is up to landowners. Give Northern Pass your left leg -- or your right arm.
Northern Pass 11/23/11
Expanding the right-of-way, however, must be a collaborative decision involving multiple landowners along specific portions of the existing rights-of-way proposed to be used for The Northern Pass project. If you have been identified as a landowner along the route where expansion is an option, we will be glad to show you the design and discuss options.
Tillotson: Trust, or Betrayal of Trust?
Responsible Energy Action LLC 11/17/11
In REAL’s view, it is beyond any serious argument that Northern Pass’s proposal — to bisect beautiful and largely untouched areas of the North Country with visually jarring, environmentally damaging and value-destroying above-ground transmission lines — is flatly inconsistent with the Trust’s mandates. The North Country’s natural resources would be irrevocably compromised; economic development in the region would be seriously impaired; and the wellbeing and sense of place of North Country residents would be critically damaged.
LITTLETON PETITION:No Northern Pass
Orleans Record 11/16/11
The warrant article reads, "This project would blight the landscape and devastate the values of properties within its transmission corridor and lines of sight."
Tillotson Corp. is considering sale of ROW for Northern Pass
Coos County Democrat 11/16/11
Selling a right-of-way that could be used as a route for the Northern Pass Transmission (NPT) line through the northern reaches of the state "has not been taken off the table," said Tillotson Corp. president Tom Deans in a Sunday afternoon phone call.
Conflicting Out: Northern Pass’s MyNewhampshire.com
Responsible Energy Action LLC 11/9/11
The Northern Pass project has been plagued by undisclosed COIs, bias, and worse. For instance, long employed by PSNH, Normandeau Associates failed to conflict out as the Department of Energy’s “neutral” EIS contractor until forced to do so, and even then they admitted no wrongdoing. The Memorandum of Understanding between the DOE and the new EIS contractor, SE Group, has a secret “consulting services agreement” between SEG and its paymaster, Northern Pass. Even the DOE doesn’t know what’s in the CSA, which is outrageous. And REAL has recently pointed out an official and prejudging action on Northern Pass by the NH Public Utilities Committee and called upon the chair to conflict out of further decisions about the project in the interest of maintaining public credibility.
Another Delay In The Northern Pass Project
Responsible Energy Action LLC 11/7/11
The updated timeline also pushes back the filing date with the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee to the fourth quarter of 2012. This is a delay of at least 6-9 months from the SEC filing schedule still predicted as of this morning by Northern Pass on its website (“early 2012”). This may indicate that there are further difficulties in locating a potential route in northern Coos County. NU previously forecast that a new route in northern Coos County would be announced by December 31, 2011, and this schedule may now be subject to further slippage.
A REAL Opinion Poll: Eminent Domain in NH
Responsible Energy Action LLC 11/7/11
REAL recently commissioned an opinion poll to ascertain the attitude of New Hampshire citizens on a single issue – eminent domain. The results of the poll are clear. With HB648 approaching a vote in the New Hampshire State Senate in January 2012, we feel it is imperative that our State Legislature realize, recognize, and vote in accordance with the priorities of the people they represent.
Romney Walks A Fine (Power) Line
The New Republic 11/4/11
It was lost amid Cainamania this week, but it's worth noting that there was a rare blip of trouble for Mitt Romney this week in the friendly territory of New Hampshire. The Boston Globe and Concord Monitor both reported on the support Romney's been getting from Greg Butler, the senior vice president and general counsel for the Northern Pass project, a controversial plan to import hydroelectric energy to New England from Canada along 180 miles of new transmission lines in New Hampshire. Butler has co-chaired two New York fundraisers for Romney this fall and contributed the $2,500 maximum to him in May. It may not surprise you terribly to learn that despite the strong support from Butler, Romney's stance on the power line has been...not to take a stance. This has left some New Hampshire voters distinctly nonplussed.
PSNH's Way, NOT the Highway
Bury Northern Pass 11/2/11
Christopher Clement, the Commissioner of NH DOT, addressed the North Country Council annual meeting at Bretton Woods on October 27. He was asked about the possibility of burying utility lines, such as those for the Northern Pass project, in state-owned transportation corridors. Clement responded that the DOT has not received a proposal from the utility company. Upon receipt of such a proposal, DOT has a process for use of State-owned right-of-ways, and the DOT is prepared to perform the required analysis for such a proposal.
Northern Pass is Romney Friendly
Blue Hampshire 11/2/11
The power line path does NOT go through Wolfeboro. Romney's $10 million mansion will NOT be taken by eminent domain.
Romney still neutral on controversial N.H. power-line project
Boston Globe 11/1/11
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has not taken a position on the controversial Northern Pass power project in New Hampshire, although a top official involved in the project is co-chairing a Romney fundraiser. But Romney has opposed the use of eminent domain to seize land for the project.
Romney gets fund-raising aid from official with firm seeking to build controversial power line
Boston Globe 10/31/11
An official involved in a controversial power project in New Hampshire is co-chairing a fundraising event for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. According to an invitation provided by the liberal Center for American Progress, Greg Butler, the senior vice president and general counsel for The Northern Pass, is one of the co-chairs of a $500-a-head fundraiser for Romney at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan this Wednesday evening. Butler co-chaired another Romney fundraiser in September, and has donated $2,500 to Romney’s presidential campaign.
Northern Pass works on new preferred route
Union Leader 10/30/11
“This is a million-dollar view. If they put that line through, I’ve got to look right through that line to see the view. My dad saved this land for me, and I want to save it for my children,” he said.
Battle Lines: The Northern Pass Energy Project
Yankee Magazine 10/30/11
But "staggering and historic" is an apt description for another aspect of the Northern Pass proposal: the near-ubiquity and overwhelming ferocity of the public's opposition to it. Resistance began immediately following the project's official announcement in October 2010, and over the ensuing months has only gained momentum, like a chunk of granite careening down a mountainside.
There’s Nothing New or Renewable About Northern Pass
The RPS is designed to provide needed financial support for new technology. Hydro Quebec does not need that financial support. In fact, in order to justify approval of the project to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), they argued that it will reduce costs to the region by displacing higher cost generation in the market. By definition, that means it will be grid competitive. It does not need the added financial support of the RPS to be built.
Dressing Up Power Lines Comes With Limits
New York Times 10/27/11
Erik Gronlund, 53, has been dairy farming in the village since 1989, when his father bought a farm there with its 50 head of cattle. He now has 180 cows, and they graze regularly in the shadow of the pylons. “Many people here in the hamlet, we said no,” he said. “But the authorities said O.K.” Like most farmers hereabout, Mr. Gronlund received a lump-sum payment to compensate for the decrease in the value of his property because of the presence of the pylons.
CLF's Supplemental Scoping Submission
Conservation Law Foundation 10/26/11
The MOU fails to safeguard the legitimacy and independence of the EIS because NPT has been granted extraordinary rights, not shared by any other stakeholders, to influence the schedule, form, and content of the EIS:
Governor’s Office Responds to “the REAL Story”
Responsible Energy Action LLC 10/26/11
To recap, REAL’s blog disclosed a filing made by the Governor’s office and the NH Public Utilities Commission with a regional electricity planning organization, the EISPC. It was filed in the second half of December, 2010. In the filing, the Governor’s office and the NH PUC state (in writing) that the Northern Pass project has a “high probability of being constructed” and is sufficiently “certain” to be completed that the transmission lines should be included in the official regional energy plans.
Petitions to stop the North Pass
Nearly 5-thousand signed petitions were hung up on the Beloin Pariseau farm in East Hereford, Quebec. The entire display spread out over the size of about 11 footballs fields. The North Pass Project, which aims to run 180-miles of transmission lines from Canada to the New England grid has met stiff opposition.
Northern Pass Advisory Committee Report on Findings & Recommendations
Town of Deerfield 10/22/11
At that time, there were a number of questions as to the impact of the project on the Town of Deerfield (as well as the State as a whole). Many questions were posed by property owners on the PSNH right of way, the proposed route for the transmission line, as well as others in town who expressed concern over property values, health and safety, and the effect on our overall “quality of life.” In response, the Deerfield Board of Selectmen formed an informational committee, asking residents who had an interest in the NPT project to volunteer.
Scary world mailer to residents of Franklin
NH Coalition for Sustainable Energy 10/21/11
This is a mailer sent to Franklin residents from the front group for Northern Pass in order to scare the heck out of everyone.
Northern Pass’s Secret New Route
Responsible Energy Action LLC 10/20/11
REAL believes the secret route is already a failure. Families and individuals that we call “Landowner Heroes” (people like Lynn Placey, Bill Weir and many more) have stood tall and told Northern Pass’s land agents that they won’t sell to Northern Pass, no matter what. Because of these Landowner Heroes, REAL believes the secret route is already blocked by landowners who will not sell.
Northern Pass is not legally entitled to use eminent domain
Ransmeier & Spellman 10/20/11
On Wednesday, SPNHF fowarded the attached legal memo on eminent domain to the four members of the Senate Judiciary Committee; the rest of the Senate will receive it on Thursday. The authors of the memo, attorneys at the Ransmeier & Spellman law firm in Concord, conclude that "there is a strong argument to be made . . . that the developers of the Northern Pass are not legally entitled to the use of the power and authority of eminent domain to acquire property that may be needed for the project." In the cover letter to senators, SPNHF extends the findings of the memo to the current situation in Coos County and to the importance of passing 648, which seeks to clarify the protection against eminent domain seizure that Article 12-a affords NH citizens, a conclusion now supported by the authority of a prestigious NH law firm.
Eminent Domain Fight Has a Canadian Twist
Randy Thompson, a cattle buyer in Nebraska, was informed that if he did not grant pipeline access to 80 of the 400 acres left to him by his mother along the Platte River, “Keystone will use eminent domain to acquire the easement.” Sue Kelso and her large extended family in Oklahoma were sued in the local district court by TransCanada, the pipeline company, after she and her siblings refused to allow the pipeline to cross their pasture.
NH PUC Botches Northern Pass During the Pre-Game
Responsible Energy Action LLC 10/18/11
Unfortunately for the public, who want to trust the fairness and objectivity of the PUC, the reality is very different. The Chairman of the NH PUC has already taken an official, public position in favor of Northern Pass in a filing with a regional organization.
Northern Pass buys up land
Concord Monitor 10/16/11
Those familiar with the agreements said the contracts forbid the landowners to discuss the deals and provide generous deposits they can keep even if the project doesn't go through.
How to Tell Astroturf from Grassroots
Bury Northern Pass blog 10/15/11
In July, the press pointed out Northern Pass's efforts to pass itself off as popular among average citizens in New Hampshire through the use of "unmistakably folksy" ads. This blog looks at Northern Pass's new "astroturfing" campaign -- and at a new pro Northern Pass website that also claims grassroots origins.
This Week’s Version of Eminent Domain from PSNH
Responsible Energy Action LLC 10/15/11
Long makes it sound as if eminent domain is not a problem that anyone needs to worry about right now—it’s “premature”– and as if the SEC would somehow be in charge of deciding whether or not eminent domain would be available to PSNH/NPT.
Does The Northern Pass Project Deserve Special Treatment?
Foster's Daily Democrat Op-Ed 10/13/11
The Northern Pass Project’s request to use eminent domain to take private property along the proposed route is wrong. This project is a private facility and, simply put, neither New England nor New Hampshire needs the power. Using eminent domain violates both the state Constitution and the regulatory process. Other competitive electricity projects, like generation and transmission projects, do not use eminent domain, so this would give the Northern Pass Project an unfair advantage in the marketplace.
NU's Northern Pass waiting on acceptable route
Hartford Business Review 10/12/11
Contrary to what opponents are saying, NU will not use eminent domain to secure the right-of-way for any part of the route, Skelton said. "That is not something that is in our plans," Skelton said.
Paul stands up for property rights
Union Leader 10/12/11
He was asked by Tom Thomson, son of the late former Gov. Meldrim Thomson known for his motto “Ax the Tax” whether if as President he would sign the permit needed for the project to bring Hydro-Quebec power across the Canadian border into New Hampshire. “I wouldn’t sign it. I wouldn’t give the permit,” he said. Private property rights are “really basic to solving our problems.” He said in his home state of Texas, where drilling for oil is the norm, there are strict property rights’ laws that he supports.
Land buys made for Northern Pass route?
Union Leader 10/11/11
In early May, Properties Inc. completed three other purchases from the same owner. That land is in Pittsburg at the New Hampshire border with Canaan, Vt., along Halls Stream Road, and previously has been designated as an entry point for the power lines into the state from Quebec.
PSNH's Gary Long On New Route For Northern Pass
“The Columbia land was also purchased from King’s Arrow Realty (Trust). There is 114 acres in Columbia and it includes a winter logging road, the Roaring Brook (which comes out onto Rte. 26 near Diamond Peaks Restaurant), is bordered on the south by the Nash Stream State Forest and on the north by Tillotson Corp.”
Katie Rose shoots music video in opposition to Northern Pass
Littleton Courier 10/5/11
"It was so exciting to see car after car after car just pouring in" Katie said. "The energy was inspirational and powerful. Just seeing the mass of people wearing orange to show their support was amazing….when we sit alone in our houses, we can't do much, but if we join together unified, anything is possible."
Northern Pass foes: It’s about money
Union Leader 10/3/11
“Northern Pass is looking for special treatment and special eminent domain rights that are abusive to New Hampshire property owners and will give Northern Pass unfair advantages over the rest of the market,” said Jim and Sandy Dannis of Dalton, outspoken critics of Northern Pass who hired a study on the impacts of the project on property values.
Fed Plan to Consolidate Power Over Nation's Power Highway Has States Nervous
Fox News 10/1/11
"It turns the whole process on its head," said Robert Thormeyer, spokesman with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. He said the federal government would be "more inclined to build" than the states, if for no other reason than they probably wouldn't have as much interaction with citizens. A bureaucrat in Washington might not hear the not-in-my-backyard pleas as frequently as a bureaucrat in, say, Boise.
New England Power Generators Association Reacts to Proposed Northern Pass Transmission Project
Business Wire 9/30/11
Sole-Source, No-Bid Contracting: PSNH is proposing that New Hampshire state law be changed and the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approve a 40-year power purchase agreement that will allow them to enter into a no-bid, sole-source contract with NPTP to purchase power and supply their default service customers. While it is questionable whether PSNH needs the power, NEPGA believes that this type of supply, if it is needed, should be procured through a competitive bid process. This gives all market participants the opportunity to compete, and guarantees the lowest cost for consumers. NEPGA opposes sole-source, no-bid contracting and has concerns regarding the appropriateness of PSNH contracting with a project in which they and their affiliates have commercial interest.
Northern Pass Foes Meet With Lynch
After a meeting with Governor Lynch a group of five Sugar Hill residents says Lynch not only sympathized with their concerns about the adverse impacts of the Northern Pass project but agreed to ask the Department of Transportation to explore whether transmission lines can follow state roads.
All is NOT Well (for Northern Pass) on the Existing ROWs
Responsible Energy Action LLC 9/26/11
To get a sense of the specific limitations in the existing PSNH ROW easements, REAL started a dialog with affected property owners. We’ve also started our own deed research effort. Right at the start, what popped up are pole height limits that are flatly inconsistent with Northern Pass as currently proposed.
Musician Turns Opposition To Northern Pass Into Music Video
Orleans Record 9/26/11
"The purpose of this music video is to gather people as one body and change the outlook from victim-hood to empowerment," she said. "For the sake of the cause, it is imperative that we have a great turnout. We need as many people as possible to stand together and prove that we do not want the Northern Pass project in New Hampshire."
Sugar Hill residents meet with Lynch about Northern Pass
White Mountain News 9/22/11
Lynch stated that he has met personally with PSNH leader’s to make clear that he does not believe the necessary community support exists. He has told PSNH officials that the company needs to go back to the drawing board and work to develop alternatives that can win community support if they wish to move forward with this project. He committed to contacting PSNH again for more information on alternative plans and the current status of the project.
North Country’s top pols differ on Northern Pass pledge
White Mountain News 9/21/11
The wording of the pledge is as follows: “As a Candidate for public office, I hereby pledge to honor the New Hampshire Constitution, which protects the property rights of New Hampshire’s landowners from all attempts by private persons and business entities to use eminent domain to seize real property without the owners’ consent for private development or other private, “for profit” uses in violation of citizens’ constitutionally protected private property rights.”
Hurricane Irene and Hydro-Quebec
Bury Northern Pass 8/29/11
H-Q's Patrice Lavoie had earlier promised that "the 54 teams sent to New Hampshire to help with that state's power outages over the weekend would not affect the provincial utility's ability to restore power in Quebec." Lavoie would eat those words soon enough. What did H-Q do late Sunday or early Monday morning when it realized the extent of outage in its home territory? Exactly what one would expect. It pulled the 54 crews out of New Hampshire and brought them home to work in Quebec.
All Is Not Quiet: Northern Pass Trying To Buy Land In Clarksville
Colebrook Chronicle 8/19/11
Both owners also asked why the Northern Pass project is looking to buy land before it has even been approved and they said they were told that the project needs to “be prepared.” Said one of the owners, “I told them I couldn’t do that to my neighbors, and he said that no one would know if we sold it—that they would create an LLC blind trust. They’ll try anything to persuade somebody to sell.” The officials then offered to buy the owners’ second parcel so that it wouldn’t be “affected” by the views of the towers. “They asked what would our objection be then. I told him, our objection is we don’t want to see towers going down our valley.”
Advanced Transmission Technologies
Check this out. A power point presentation by TransEnergie US a member of the Hydro Quebec Groups! What, Bury Transmission Lines?
The Not-So-New MOU: How the DOE Forgot the Public This Time
Bury Northern Pass 8/15/11
Before turning to the latest affront from the DOE, the MOU setting forth the “rules of engagement” for the newly-announced EIS consultants, think back. Remember our mindset when the DOE started its process late last year? We thought they’d be even-handed and fair. We thought the public had as much weight with the DOE as Northern Pass and its sponsors. We believed if we led the DOE toward the public interest, they’d see it and embrace it. We were so wrong.
What would Northern Pass mean for our climate?
Conservation Law Foundation 8/12/11
In fact, the study on which this claim is based – a report (PDF) commissioned by Northern Pass and authored by Boston-based energy consultant Charles River Associates – began with the assumption that hydro power is “zero-carbon.” Let me repeat that: the developers’ claim that the project will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by a net 5 million tons is based on their unexamined presupposition that the power to be delivered by the project has no carbon dioxide emissions at all. There’s no other way to say it: this assumption is false.
DOE Selects Contractor Team for EIS
Northern Pass EIS 8/12/11
The Department of Energy (DOE) has selected an integrated team of professionals from three environmental consulting firms to prepare the DOE Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) addressing the Northern Pass Presidential Permit application. This integrated team is composed of SE Group www.segroup.com , Ecology & Environment www.ene.com, and Lucinda Low Swartz www.lucindalowswartz.com.
Light and Invisible
Dag Ravemark, Bo Normark 8/6/11
The high costs of burying cables which has long made this mode unattractive is also losing ground as an argument. The combination of environmental concerns over the impact of overhead lines and the availability of new cost-saving technologies is leading to a re-think. Underground cables are now more attractive than ever before.
FERC Denies NHPUC Rehearing Request
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 8/5/11
In this order, we deny the request for rehearing of the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC) of the Commission’s February 11, 2011 order, which accepted the bilateral, cost-based transmission service agreement (TSA) between Northern Pass Transmission LLC (Northern Pass) and H.Q. Renewable Energy Inc. (HQ Hydro) for transmission service over the proposed Northern Pass Transmission Line (NPT Line).1 Specifically, NHPUC states that it seeks rehearing with respect to the Commission’s authorization of: (1) a 166-basis point Return on Equity (ROE) adder for investment in new transmission facilities prior to and during construction, and (2) a 92-basis point ROE adder for investment in transmission facilities upon commercial operation of the NPT Line. In addition, NHPUC seeks rehearing on the Commission’s authorization of a 50-basis point ROE adder for participation in a Regional Transmission Organization (RTO).
Northern Pass construction delay announced
Union Leader 8/4/11
This winter, the plan for the northern route was scraped and a new preferred route through the North Country would be on the table by June 15, Northern Pass officials said. Six weeks since that date, the route has not yet been announced.
Helium Balloon in Lancaster
Unidentified Coos Resident 8/3/11
North Road – August 1, 2011. The Orange Balloon Represents the 135’ height of the proposed Northern Pass towers.
AUDIO: Northeast Utilities Earnings Conference Call (Q2 2011)
Yahoo Finance 8/3/11
Northeast Utilities, a public utility holding company, engages in the energy delivery business for residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Connecticut, New Hampshire, and western Massachusetts. It operates in three segments: Electric Distribution, Natural Gas Distribution, and Electric Transmission. The Electric Distribution segment engages in the purchase, delivery, and sale of electricity. As of December 31, 2009, it served electric services to approximately 1.2 million customers in 149 cities and towns in Connecticut; 490,000 retail customers in 211 cities and towns in New Hampshire; and 205,000 retail customers in 59 cities and towns in western Massachusetts. This segment also owns and operates approximately 1,200 megawatts of electricity generation facilities. The Natural Gas Distribution segment operates a natural gas distribution system in Connecticut and provides gas supply to residential customers for heating, hot water, and cooking needs, as well as to commercial and industrial customers. It also offers gas transportation services to commercial and industrial customers. This segment serves approximately 205,000 customers. The Electric Transmission segment provides transmission services. The company was founded in 1927 and is headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut.
Listening to Northeast Utilities' Q2 Earnings Call Today
Bury Northern Pass 8/3/11
For the first time, the securities analysts on the call honed in on the right of way, eminent domain legislation, and timing issues for Northern Pass. There were tough, direct questions. This hasn’t happened before, so it’s clear the analyst community is becoming aware of the substantial issues facing Northern Pass.
Will Northern Pass raise electric rates in New Hampshire?
Conservation Law Foundation 7/29/11
As explained in a piece on NHPR featuring our own Jonathan Peress, the above-market costs of PSNH’s aging fleet are causing large customers to buy power from (or “migrate” to) cheaper suppliers. Regulators this week turned back PSNH’s attempt to saddle those customers with its fleet’s escalating costs. But this situation is creating a so-called “death spiral,” because PSNH is forced to raise its rates again and again on a shrinking group of customers – homeowners and small businesses who do not have the purchasing power to contract with another supplier.
NStar warns delay could end deal
Boston Globe 7/22/11
And they are threatening to raise people's rates if the deal is delayed. A disapproval of the merger could threaten the Northern Pass deal also.
FERC Transmission Planning, Cost Allocation reforms to benefit consumers
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 7/21/11
The transmission planning requirements established in the rule include development of regional transmission plans, consideration of transmission needs driven by public policy requirements established by state or federal laws or regulations, and coordination between pairs of neighboring transmission planning regions.
U.S., Seeking to Reshape Electric Grid, Adopts a Power Line Rule
New York Times 7/21/11
The new rule, passed unanimously on Thursday by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, does not specify what the formula should be for allocating costs, or precisely how new lines should be planned. But it does lay out general guidelines, including the notion that the costs should be borne by those who benefit.
Conservation Law Foundation Sues PSNH for Clean Air Act Violations at Merrimack Station
Conservation Law Foundation 7/21/11
CLF’s complaint contends that the plant, which is more than a half-century old and is in the midst of a major, multi-faceted life extension project, never obtained required permits authorizing renovations to major components of Merrimack Station, including much of an electric-generating turbine, even though the changes increased pollution from the plant. As predicted by PSNH’s own projections, the changes led to more emissions of pollutants, including smog-causing nitrogen oxide and particulate matter, or soot, which causes respiratory problems when inhaled and is linked to increased hospitalizations, lung damage in infants and children, and premature death.
Northern Pass: Too many towers
Union Leader Editorial 7/20/11
The original Northern Pass plan would be the least costly to build and operate, and that is no small concern. But Northeast Utilities and Hydro Quebec will do better in the long run for both themselves and New Hampshire by opting instead for either buried lines in more sensitive areas or an alternative route through Vermont.
Hydro power's dirty side
Montreal Gazette 7/20/11
On July 25, 2008, two filmmakers and two environmentalist dipped their canoes into the headwaters of the Romaine River on the lower North Shore and began a 500-kilometre trip down nature's version of a condemned man. They were about to travel down a dead river flowing
FAA approves Northern Pass towers near airport
The Federal Aviation Administration said some towers initially proposed were too high. A Northern pass spokesman says engineers are designing a new plan with shorter towers.
Northern Pass: A call to action
Op-Ed, Foster's Daily Democrat 7/17/11
"Nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." Thus reads the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution in regards to the question of eminent domain. Land can only be taken for "public use" and only when "just compensation" is rendered. But how does the transmission project known as the Northern Pass qualify as "public use?" Certainly this project isn't focused on bringing needed energy into our state; our state already produces an energy surplus.
Northern Pass: Deerfield takes a hard look
Union Leader 7/6/11
Boswak said the town’s analysis was done over the past two weeks after selectmen formed a committee of residents specifically to examine the potential local impacts of Northern Pass, a controversial $1 billion project that would bring hydroelectric power from the town of Pittsburg at the Canadian boarder via transmission lines 180 miles south to Deerfield.
Come to the North Country to see what Northern Pass will do
Op-ed, Union Leader 7/4/11
What are the intended consequences of Northern Pass? Disfigurement of the landscape that is our livelihood and an invaluable resource for all of New Hampshire. Abuse of the State's police power of eminent domain, forcing landowners to surrender their property against their will. Enormous profits for huge corporations and financial penalties for the average landowner and town in its path. These are not fuzzy “unintended consequences.”
Presidential candidates talk Northern Pass
Littleton Courier 7/1/11
The presidential race is starting to gain momentum, and with it comes more focus on the Granite State and its issues. At the forefront of many New Hampshirites' minds in this race is the Northern Pass project, and presidential candidates are beginning to weigh in on the issue.
"To the extent possible": Northern Pass's Conditional Environmentalism
Bury Northern Pass 7/1/11
In the abstract, Northern Pass talks with great certitude about its commitment to the environment. On the ground, it speaks with less conviction, as this sampling of conditional statements from Northern Pass's Special Use Permit application to construct an HVDC power line in the White Mountain National Forest illustrates (emphases added).
WMNF Special Use Permit application filed
Northern Pass 6/29/11
The filing notes, for example, that the project can likely be located within the existing 150 wide transmission corridor, but that structure heights can be reduced if the corridor were widened or if the “span length” between structures were reduced (i.e. reduced height but more structures).
VIDEO: A Land Grab Nightmare
DRM Jones Productions 6/29/11
Includes an extensive interview with State Rep. Al Baldasaro of Londonderry about eminent domain.
Northern Pass opponents try floating balloon
Union Leader 6/27/11
Sunday's flight went up just off U.S. Route 2 east of downtown Lancaster, from the home and farm of Steve and Jenn Hatfield, which is on the proposed route of the Northern Pass. There is an existing power line that goes through the property, but the towers don't rise much beyond the treeline.
Power generators: Hydro savings aren’t a given
Hartford Business Journal 6/27/11
Hydro-Quebec “is presenting itself as a presumptive low-cost provider. This claim is simply unsubstantiated,” said Sandi Hennequin, vice president of the New England Power Generators Association Inc. “We do not have any information on the actual price of (Hydro-Quebec) electricity under any potential contract.”
Northern Pass: NH power play
Nashua Telegraph 6/26/11
But no matter what happens with these and other issues over the next two or three years of debate, comments made by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu during a visit to Hudson in May hold sway. “There are no easy choices. All energy options have drawbacks,” Chu said in response to a question about Northern Pass. And then, showing that even a Nobel Laureate physicist can act like a politician in something this complicated, he declined to say whether he thought the line should be built. “That’s a decision for the state to make, not the federal government,” he said.
Childhood Cancer Cluster near High Voltage Lines in Plymouth NH
Bury Northern Pass 6/24/11
I would also like to object to the distinction being made between cutting through new property and using existing ROWs for these towers. Both are deplorable, but more attention is being paid to ruining virgin land. I wish to point out, however, that the existing ROWs in question have been around from the 40s, with wooden poles that do not rise above the tree line. Previous approval for this does not mean that existing ROWs should be treated as a ''given'' that can be done with as PSNH pleases. They will definitely have to be widened, the towers will affect the surrounding homes in an entirely new way.
Boston Globe 6/23/11
An NStar-NU merger could create a voice with massive clout in the energy debate.
Gov. Straddle: Lynch fakes a northern pass
Union Leader Editorial 6/19/11
In fact, Lynch didn't tell PSNH anything it hadn't already announced it was doing months before when it withdrew alternate routes for the Hydro Quebec lines and said it would work to obtain a route with the cooperation of landowners. Whether that happens remains to be seen. But for Lynch to claim that his initial, overwhelming, slobbering support for Northern Pass was somehow conditional is breathtakingly preposterous. The man does know how to straddle a fence. But straddling a high-voltage power line may be too tricky even for him.
Neighbors wary of taller power towers
Concord Monitor 6/19/11
Mary Lee works in the garden of her Northfield home, June 16, 2011. A stand of white pine trees stands between her house and the power lines that run through the area. Lee fears she will lose that buffer if the Northern Pass is built. "Imagine New Hampshire without trees," says Lee.
The Biggest Land Grab in New Hampshire History
Bury Northern Pass 6/17/11
In reality, both situations represent new ROWs. The difference between them is simply whether the new ROW would be created to abut an existing ROW or not. It doesn't matter whether 10', 25', 50' or 250' is taken if your house or land is seized by eminent domain. PSNH has no inherent right to "expand" their ROWs. The easement deeds do not contain blanket permission for PSNH to come back and take more land whenever it wants it. PSNH would have to condemn and take the additional private property by eminent domain.
N.H. should take a pass on Northern Pass
Burt Cohen, NH Business Review 6/16/11
Once again, the big guys intend to own all the power. And not just electric power. For many decades, PSNH has acted like they own this state. They've never hesitated to trumpet their charitable contributions. They've relied on their power over the Legislature.
NH's Lynch expresses concern about power project
Associated Press 6/15/11
Northern Pass organizers submitted comments in April that it was working to identify additional routes. The Department of Energy has reopened a public comment period as it waits for more information on those routes.
Republican Presidential candidate Andy Martin asks to intervene in New Hampshire’s Northern Pass controversy
Andy Martin for President 6/14/11
The People of New Hampshire are being treated like a colony of Southern New England and potentially New York. Northern Pass represents a process where overseers from afar wish to negatively impact the quality of life in the Granite State to benefit other more affluent regions that have strong “NIMBY” movements. My presidential campaign is committed to defeating Northern Pass. Most respectfully, I request to be designated as an Intervener.
New Public Hearings on Northern Pass Likely
NH Public Radio 6/14/11
The DOE is doing that because it expects Northern Pass to file a new route for the power lines from Canada, according to a Department of Energy spokeswoman. The spokeswoman couldn’t immediately say how long that extension would be. If Northern Pass files the new route that will trigger a new series of public hearings, the spokeswoman said.
Ron Paul, Mitt Romney weigh in on Northern Pass during NH debate
Manchester Examiner 6/14/11
Distaso framed the question within the context of the controversial Northern Pass project, albeit without mentioning the project by name. If completed, Northern Pass would supply New England’s power grid with hydroelectric electricity from Canada. But first, developers need to build 140 miles of new direct-current transmission line and 40 miles of new alternating current transmission line to transport the power from the Canadian border to a converter terminal in Franklin and a substation in Deerfield. Environmentalists, private landowners and property rights activists have joined together to oppose the project.
Northern Pass project spurs lobbying effort
Union Leader 6/12/11
Speaking on the opposite side of the Senate debate on the eminent domain bill was Donna Gamache, PSNH’s director of governmental affairs. As a paid lobbyist for PSNH, she’s been in good company this legislative session. Twelve people were registered to lobby on behalf of PSNH and its Northern Pass partners this legislative session, according to records kept by the Secretary of State’s Office. As of late April, PSNH had spent more than $80,000 on lobbying. (It’s not clear how much of this activity concerned Northern Pass.)
Northern Pass occupies Burton’s school visit
White Mountain News 6/10/11
The long-time Executive Councilor continued to prod Governor John Lynch to take a stand against the project. It would make a big difference if Lynch wrote a letter to PSNH and told them, ”No thanks. We’ll use our own power.”
What Lies Ahead For Northern Pass?
Northern Pass also needs go-aheads from the forest service and the public utilities commission, and the legislature is still wrestling with issues of eminent domain.
NEWS CONFERENCE Andy Martin opposes “Northern Pass” project in New Hampshire
Andy Martin for President 6/3/11
Republican Presidential Candidate Andy Martin puts New Hampshire’s “Northern Pass” controversy on the presidential campaign agenda. Martin says he has studied the Northern Pass proposal and opposes the project as currently planned. Martin’s appeal to New Hampshire environmentalists is certain to roil the 2012 Republican presidential primary.
DOE Issued Interpretive Guidance
Northern Pass 6/3/11
Thus, while the permit applicant should identify alternative routes and any alternatives it deems practical in the application, DOE reviews a range of alternatives and is not limited to only those alternatives identified by the applicant.
NH Senate wants more time on eminent domain bill
Associated Press 6/2/11
The final vote was 14-10 to send it back to the Senate Judiciary Committee for more study. Senators for and against the action agreed the bill was flawed, and although it was designed to change state procedures to take land by eminent domain, debate often focused on the controversial project that inspired the bill: the Northern Pass.
Pass on HB 648: More study needed
Union Leader Editorial 6/2/11
The unintended consequences of this bill could be severe. As Northern Pass is still in the permitting stage, there is no hurry to pass it before its effects are fully understood. The Senate should hold this bill for further study.
Conn. refuses review of massive utilities deal
Associated Press 6/1/11
Connecticut regulators declined Wednesday to review Northeast Utilities' proposed $4.81 billion purchase of a Massachusetts power company, dealing a blow to consumer advocates who fear slower response times to problems and more development in northern New England at the expense of southern New England.
HB 648 opponents: It’s about land rights
Union Leader 6/1/11
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to recommend the bill be retained for study, meaning there would be no decision this year. The Senate is expected to pick up the bill at 1 p.m. Thursday, Senate President Peter Bragdon said. Gov. John Lynch said he has not decided what he would do with the bill if it gets to his desk.
Northern Pass: PSNH disputes drop in value
Union Leader 5/30/11
The Dannises said they do not believe Underwood went on their posted property and saw its magnificent views, which take in Burke Mountain in Vermont. Underwood said he drove by the tract in Dalton off Blakeslee Road, but noted he was not asked to do a full replica appraisal by Northern Pass. Thus, he said, he does not have a before and after value of his own for the property.
Northern Pass Committee Seeks Guidance from Select Board
The Forum 5/26/11
Jeanne Menard appeared before a recent meeting of the (Deerfield) Select Board to ask for a bit more direction as to the role of the Select Board Northern Pass Advisiory Committee. The Committee is gathering facts about the project but requested guidance from the Board as to whether the Committee's function was solely to provide information or could the Committee make recommendations on its own.
Northern Pass: Pushing a Vermont alternative
Union Leader 5/22/11
VELCO's Johnson said any attempt to piggyback on the Vermont route would be complicated by two wildlife refuges — one federal and one state — designated after those earlier approvals. They are the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge and the West Mountain Wildlife Management Area.
Northern Pass: An Elective Upgrade by the Developer
Bury the Northern Pass 5/20/11
ISO-NE considers Northern Pass to be a "part 4b" project: "these projects may be promoted by any entity electing to support the cost of the transmission changes. The entity sponsoring the changes will have their own justification for their actions." Because they front the cost themselves, Part 4 and 5 projects are not subject to the scrutiny, planning, and management that traditional reliability projects needed to keep the lights on are. The new merchant and participant-funded projects can end-run the lengthy regional planning process by fronting the initial funding themselves, although of course they intend to recover it handsomely later on. Northeast Utilities has said that the motive for Northern Pass is not to keep the lights on, but to respond to "social policy goals" and to make money.
Northern Pass opponents and supporters pack hearing
Union Leader 5/20/11
HB 648 would prohibit public utilities from using the state eminent domain process to take private land for the construction or operation of a transmission facility that is not needed for “system reliability.”
Bill Targeting Northern Pass Could Have Major, Unintended Consequences for the State
In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Public Service of New Hampshire today testified in opposition to House Bill 648 (HB 648), noting that the bill as proposed could stop many necessary electric transmission upgrades in New Hampshire—including an upgrade to the Coös Loop—and result in other far-reaching, unforeseen impacts.
Five reasons to back the Northern Pass, by Julia Frayer
Keene Sentinel 5/19/11
Julia Frayer is managing director of the Boston office of London Economics International, a global advisory professional services firm specializing in energy and infrastructure. This column was provided by Public Service Company of New Hampshire, the prime proponent of the project.
More Extension Cords Across New Hampshire?
Bury the Northern Pass 5/17/11
On March 15, 2011, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) held a one-day technical conference on merchant and participant-funded transmission. After the conference, various utilities filed written policy comments. On May 5, 2011, NU/NSTAR filed a comment requesting more flexible regulatory treatment by FERC; the full comment is here. In the two sections examined in this post, NU first explains that Northern Pass, a participant funded transmission project, is not needed for reliability: it's not intended to keep the lights on, but to respond to social policy goals and to make money. Second, NU dreams about building more big transmission lines from rural to urban areas.
Taking the Measure of Northern Pass's New Visual Simulations
Bury the Northern Pass 5/16/11
Here is the "visual simulation" of existing poles (left) and the proposed new transmission towers (right) at Forest Lake Road, Whitefield. (There's another pole to the right the same height as the ones on the left).Those towers sure are ugly, aren't they? But let's stick to the numbers for now. Those towers are about to get bigger and uglier (more ugly).
Taking land for private gain is simply just not right
John Harrigan, Union Leader 5/15/11
Opponents of this money-grubbing scheme are convinced that Northern Pass proponents cannot demonstrate a need, which should be an absolute perquisite for taking private property against the owner's will. My bumper-sticker slogan for this is: “No eminent domain for private gain.”
Hotel New Hampshire: No Vacancy
Bury the Northern Pass 5/13/11
This guest post contains an editorial cartoon by another creative opposition member who has graciously shared her work. We look forward to seeing more.
Power plan sparks outrage
Montreal Gazette 5/13/11
Marc Beloin and wife, Hélène Parizeau, were preparing to retire and turn over their East Hereford farm over to their two daughters when they learned that Hydro-Québec is considering planting a transmission tower on their front pasture for the Quebec leg of the Northern Pass.
Northern Pass 5/11/11
This is what Northern Pass is saying the towers could look like.
Local realtors gather to learn about Northern Pass
Plymouth Record-Enterprise 5/11/11
Among the concerns raised during the question-and-answer session was whether local contractors would have the technical skills needed to install the towers, and whether such small companies would be able to post the required bonds. Donna Gamache, Director of Governmental Affairs at PSNH, explained that Northern Pass officials have already talked with unions such as the IBEW, which have agreed to put up the bonds and hire local labor whenever possible as subcontractors for the actual construction.
Northern Pass believes it will be able to acquire ROWs
Coos County Democrat 5/10/11
Both NSTAR and Northeast Utilities (NU) state in their most recent 10K quarterly reports filed last week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that Northern Pass Transmission (NPT) expects to be able to acquire the necessary rights-of-way (ROW) to go forward with the controversial project.
Matt Bonner Letter to Media
Matt Bonner 5/10/11
Bulldog Live! was the only radio show and the Pulse was the only radio station to receive this letter.
Quebec and Vermont join hands at ‘Hands Across the Border’ rally
Sherbooke Record 5/9/11
Jan Marvel, a New Hampshire resident and organizer of this weekends “Hands Across the Border” demonstration speaks very passionately about the issue “it has very much so become a personal affair for many people” she continues “it should be one of our basic rights to buy a piece of land or property and be left alone”. As for the purpose of the weekend event, she claims it to be pivotal for Americans to show Quebecers that they are both fighting for the same cause “the event was organized really to show support to the people of Quebec by the thousands of people in New Hampshire that are against the project, people in Quebec don’t necessarily have the support and numbers that we do and those affected by the project can sometimes end up feeling very alone” she says.
Video Report of Hands Across The Border
Colebrook Chronicle 5/8/11
The opposition gathered at the approach to the border crossing and walked in a sea of orange in the direction of the border. Once at the line, they symbollicly linked hands, forming a line which stretched a considerable distance.
Remarks by Will Abbott, SPNHF
Bury The Northern Pass blog 5/8/11
Will Abbott, SPNHF, has kindly shared his prepared remarks delivered at the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce "debate" with Gary Long this past week. Will presents a comprehensive overview of the myriad reasons why Northern Pass is a bad idea and a bad deal. He puts matters in their proper perspective, e.g., PSNH may now be focusing on old (existing) rights of way, but they would construct upwards of 1100 new and much higher towers on them. He answers a few of the "unanswered" questions, e.g., in sixty years, has the DOE ever denied a Presidential Permit application?
Project response to CLF call to halt the process
Northern Pass 5/5/11
“…The CLF Motion is without legal support. It appears instead to be nothing more than an attempt to delay consideration of the Northern Pass application for a Presidential Permit, a permit that would enable the delivery of clean, low carbon power to New Hampshire and to New England as a whole and that would likely hasten the shutdown of aging, more expensive sources of fossil-fuel generated power. The Motion also seems designed to postpone the day when this job-creating, economic development-enhancing project can begin delivering on the promise it represents for New Hampshire…”
Reel Brook Trail Field Report
Bury The Northern Pass blog 5/2/11
This was so clearly an area where the lines should never have been allowed to go. There must have been extensive damage and erosion during the construction, though, sixty years later, that is covered. There is no way to put new towers, concrete, access roads, and lines up there without unthinkable amounts of destruction. The “project” route must have been thought up by a bunch of people who either didn’t know or didn’t care about the terrain that is there.
Taking private land sets dangerous precedent
Jasen Stock, NHTOA 4/30/11
As an organization founded 100 years ago on the principle of protecting landowners and their property rights, the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association cannot support any project that would stretch the power of eminent domain. Our board of directors reaffirmed this position following a project briefing with representatives from Public Service of New Hampshire and Northern Pass LLC.
Rep. Bass on Northern Pass at Colebrook meeting
Rep Charles Bass met with residents of Colebrook, NH on April 27th and said he would oppose the Northern Pass project until it becomes "manifestly popular." Video from New Hampshire Public Radio.
Newfoundland Premier Bashes Hydro Quebec
Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams 4/30/11
Speech given on June 9, 2010 at a Canadian Club of Ottawa meeting. Speech turns into a no-hold barred attack on Hydro-Quebec and what they will go through to rush this project through NH.
Groups ask to put NH Northern Pass project on hold
Among the groups filing the request to delay the Northern Pass project are the Conservation Law Foundation; the Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust; the Appalachian Mountain Club; the Coos Community Benefits Alliance; the North Country Council; the Owl's Nest Resort & Golf Club; the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests; and others.
Groups want broader power answers
Concord Monitor 4/29/11
"When you have more than one project and there are cumulative actions and impacts, you should go forward with a single document" reviewing those impacts said Christophe Courchesne, an attorney with the Conservation Law Foundation, which drafted the letter.
Response to broadband question…
Northern Pass 4/28/11
Landowner Susan Schibanoff recently sent a letter to PSNH President Gary Long questioning our recent announcement on how The Northern Pass might assist in the effort to bring broadband technology to areas of the state that are currently without it.
An Open Letter to Mr. Gary Long
Easton Residents 4/26/11
A letter to PSNH President and CEO from five Easton residents about the recent reports that Northern Pass would like to provide broadband internet.
PSNH head touts benefits of hydropower project
Keene Sentinel 4/26/11
“Where I think you’d really notice it ... if we combine our fleet with power from Canada, you’ll see everyone else’s rates go up a lot more than ours,” he said. “New England is sort of a high-cost energy market; we’re hoping to make New Hampshire’s (cost) lower than the rest of New England.”
Couple: Northern Pass kills land value
Union Leader 4/25/11
The results? A 135-acre tract with no home on the site would lose 63 percent of its value. Smaller tracts would see higher losses.
Protect private property from Northern Pass project
Sen. Jeannie Forrester 4/22/11
I am not arguing against clean energy, I am arguing for property rights. And quite rightly, there are others who believe in this basic concept, since it is written into the NH Constitution.
Northern Pass exploring broadband in northern NH
An official says a high-capacity, reliable broadband system has been a major impediment to economic development efforts in the area. Gary Long of Public Service of New Hampshire said Wednesday the intent is to provide "backbone" fiber infrastructure and partner with state and local telecom providers for service to business and residential customers. PSNH is a subsidiary of one of the companies involved in the power project.
Northern Pass: No to underwater, underground
Union Leader 4/18/11
As for burying cable underground, the filing cites "prohibitive costs given terrain and geology" and it being "too fanciful or hypothetical to require detailed analysis."
Easton Conservation Commission's Meeting on Northern Pass
Bury Northern Pass 4/17/11
The towers would cross the Easton Valley, entering at an elevation of 1800' on the northwest corner, dropping to 1200' on the valley floor, then climbing to 2600' on the southeast corner in the WMNF. In the fragile habitat of high-elevation spruce-fir forest, 2600' is the highest point for towers along the entire proposed 180-mile route.
New Hampton Resolution
Bulldog Live! 4/16/11
By a vote of 140-5, New Hampton town voters authorized the selectmen to send notice to the governor, state and federal officials that it is the position of the town to oppose Northern Pass.
Public comment period extended for NH on Northern Pass
Associated Press 4/15/11
The U.S. Department of Energy says it will extend by two months the public comment period for the proposed Northern Pass, giving New Hampshire residents more time to weigh in on the power line transmission project. It's now June 14, instead of April 12.
Northern Pass request stirs up residents
Concord Monitor 4/14/11
The request by Northern Pass for the Department of Energy to drop consideration of five controversial alternative routes on its proposed plan to bring hydroelectricity from Canada via 180 miles of power lines has opponents confused and agitated, not placated as the company had hoped.
Letter to the Governor
NH Association of Conservation Districts 4/13/11
William Stockman, president, writes on behalf of the organization in opposition to Northern Pass.
DOE must step back and consider Northern Pass in its broader context
Conservation Law Foundation 4/13/11
And, consistent with our prior comments and those of Senator Ayotte and Congressman Bass last Friday, our comments also call for DOE’s EIS to consider and compare all reasonable alternatives to the project proposal – including siting, design, and non-generation alternatives. We also emphasize that the EIS must include a searching, technically detailed account of all environmental, social, cultural, and economic impacts associated with the project, as federal law requires.
Northern Pass drops alternatives
Concord Monitor 4/12/11
"We're going to reach out and talk to those communities and make it clear to them," said Gary Long in an interview yesterday. "We don't want people to be concerned when there's not a reason to have a concern."
Why I changed my mind on Northern Pass
Rebecca Brown 4/11/11
Rebecca Brown of Sugar Hill is executive director of the Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust, the regional land conservancy for the North Country.
Hydro power's dirty side
Montreal Gazette 4/9/11
On July 25, 2008, two filmmakers and two environmentalist dipped their canoes into the headwaters of the Romaine River on the lower North Shore and began a 500-kilometre trip down nature's version of a condemned man. They were about to travel down a dead river flowing.
Northern Pass backers consider alternative routes
Montreal Gazette 4/9/11
Lynch, after addressing the Conseil des relations internationals de Montréal, said he favours New England's plan to import more Quebec hydro power but is well aware of opposition generated in New Hampshire by the proposed 65-kilometre routing outside the utility right-of-way.
Ayotte, Bass Announce Opposition to Northern Pass in its Current Form
Congressman Charlie Bass 4/8/11
In a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Ayotte and Bass encouraged the Department of Energy (DOE) to study alternative options as it prepares a draft Environmental Impact Statement, including: the feasibility of burying the transmission line; the feasibility of burying the transmission line under the Connecticut River; and the relative impact of using only existing rights-of-way, or other appropriate routes, while also eliminating or minimizing the use of tall towers.
Delegation seeks longer power line comment time
Concord Monitor 4/8/11
Martin Murray, a spokesperson for Northeast Utilities, the company being paid by the Canadian utility Hydro Quebec to complete the project, said that the project supports the extension of the comment period. However, he emphasized that notices were sent to residents about the project in February and early March, in time for them to participate and comment. Bulldog's Response: I spoke to Deerfield Selectboard chairman Steve Barry on 1/31/11 following the presentation by Northern Pass and I asked him if the board has taken a position on the project and he told me "this is the first time we are hearing of it."
Northern Pass opponents urged to get proactive
Plymouth Record Enterprise 4/6/11
The future of sustainable forestry also depends, at least in part, upon the continued growth here in New Hampshire of the market for forest products, including the biomass plants that are liable to be put out of business if the Northern Pass is approved. The project could have a chilling impact on energy investment funding for the emerging market in locally produced renewable power, "freezing out" investment in biomass, micro hydro and other alternatives.
Northern Pass catches town by surprise
Union Leader 4/6/11
The Neilys said they had to do something after finding red ribbons on their Haynes Road property last December. They discovered through research days later that the ribbons were put there by Northern Pass workers outlining where transmission lines may lie in the future. "We had our house on the market. We took it off because we knew it wasn't going to sell," Gina Neily said.
Northern Pass: Six groups seek info
Union Leader 4/5/11
"We believe that DOE should not only prepare such a report, but also provide the public the opportunity to comment on it. The report on the scoping process that DOE currently intends to issue -- one that simply summarizes public input -- is not enough, especially for this project. The project provides almost no information on alternatives and environmental impacts ... and that lack of information has undermined the public's ability to provide meaningful feedback during the scoping process as a result."
Northern Pass: 2012 campaign issue
Tom Thomson 4/3/11
My suggestion to all potential candidates is to do your homework on this important and very passionate issue, because you will be asked where you stand and "We the People" will be voting come 2012 election.
Northern Pass Knocks on Deerfield's Door
The Forum 3/31/11
We have recently been contacted by agents of Northern Pass regarding the purchase of sections of our property for the purpose of installing these lines. After speaking with several neighbors, we've become quite alarmed at the lack of information present in the community regarding this serious issue. This needs to change. We're calling on every concerned resident to attend an informational meeting at the Deerfield Community School, 66 North Rd., on Tuesday, April 5th at 7pm. The meeting is to be held in the cafeteria.
Northern Pass foes celebrate a win in eminent domain fight
Union Leader 3/31/11
"I am so glad you lost today," said Martin, extending his hand to the Manchester Democrat, who shook his hand. Levasseur was in the minority on a 317-51 vote on Wednesday for a bill that would prevent public utilities from taking private land unless a project is needed for the reliability of the electrical system.
New Hampton selectmen urged to side against Northern Pass
A crowd of about 50, including state Sen. Jeanie Forrester and Sean Thomas from U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta's Manchester office, gathered at the New Hampton School for last Wednesday's meeting, which board Chairman Paul Tierney said the selectmen had scheduled in an effort to gather public input on the project before deciding whether to take a public stance.
NH House votes to slow Northern Pass project
Associated Press 3/30/11
The bill would allow construction if the transmission facility is needed for reliability of the electric grid. Project opponents say that would stop the Northern Pass project from using eminent domain because the electricity from the proposed project is not needed.
Ray Burton's Letter
Ray Burton 3/28/11
Executive Councilor Ray Burton wrote a letter to HydroQuebec, PSNH, Dept. of Energy and White Mountain National Forest.
Northern Pass depends on PSNH, governor says
Concord Monitor 3/27/11
Lynch told Monitor editors last week that he supports the project because it will create jobs and bring to the electric grid as much energy as the state's entire energy load. But he said PSNH must gain the support of the people who would live near the power lines.
Hundreds show up for Northern Pass hearing in North Haverhill
The Bridge Weekly 3/24/11
Half of New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation was there to speak with members of of the crowd. US Senator Kelly Ayotte and US Representative Charles Bass appeared at the session and stood with the crowd as the testimony wore on through the afternoon. The hearing began at 1:00 and was to end at 4:00 but people stayed on for 30 more minutes.
In House, a vote for Northern Pass foes
Union Leader 3/24/11
Rep. Naeda Kaen, D-Durham, said the presence of concerned property owners made a difference in how quickly the committee acted. "To sit idly by and see all these people in such stress would have been inappropriate," she said. "My concern was to provide relief for those people who are stuck in limbo and will be as long as it takes to get the questions around this project settled."
Northern Pass Project Hits Snag
The House Science Technology and Energy Committee voted Tuesday in favor of the bill, which would prevent public utilities from taking private land to build a plant or transmission facility.
Gingrich says he's best candidate, rips Obama
Union Leader 3/20/11
Asked about the local furor over Northeast Utilities' plan to build the Northern Pass high-voltage power line to bring Canadian hydroelectric power through New Hampshire to southern New England, Gingrich said: "There's a way to get to a 'yes, if' rather a 'no' on that. Under what circumstance would (opponents) say 'yes?'
Northern Pass foes voice their objections
Laconia Citizen 3/19/11
Whoever came up with the alternate route for Northern Pass, said Marocco, "could not have devised a more environmentally destructive path."
PUC: Northern Pass incentives too high
Union Leader 3/18/11
In the February order, federal regulators granted Northern Pass's request for a 1.66 percent incentive before the transmission line is operational, a 0.92 percent incentive after it is operational and a .5 percent incentive when the company joins a Regional Transmission Organization. The PUC notes the effect of the incentive awards is an overall rate-of-return on investment of 12.56 percent, compared to regional electric grid operator's -- Independent System Operator-New England -- current rate of return of 11.14 percent on transmission projects.
Northern Pass divides crowd
Concord Monitor 3/16/11
Unlike the first meeting the department held in Pembroke on Monday night, where strong opposition dominated the discourse, the hearing in Franklin seemed to have at least as many supporters as detractors. Many who spoke in favor of the project were from Franklin, where a $250 million converter station is planned. Proponents said that the city is struggling economically and could use the boost to the tax base.
Northern Pass hailed, criticized at forum
Laconia Citizen 3/16/11
City Manager Elizabeth Dragon said the economic benefits of the project would be far reaching, noting that over half the city's students or one out of every two qualify for free or reduced lunch because they are living in poverty.
Hundreds turn out to oppose Northern Pass project
Union Leader 3/15/11
Hundreds of people from Hudson to Stewartstown packed Pembroke Academy High School on Monday night to say they're against the Northern Pass hydroelectric project because it threatens to destroy 180 miles of scenic views and numerous homes along its path.
Northern Pass elicits debate
Laconia Citizen 3/11/11
Speaking in favor of the article for disapproval was former Grafton County Commissioner Martha Richards whose property the power line would pass. "New Hampshire is only to be a conduit for this project of greed," Richards warned. "I attended a hearing in Concord earlier today and they came there from as far away as Colebrook and Pittsburg to object."
Opposition Articles All Approved
Colebrook Chronicle 3/11/11
Dozens of towns up and down the Connecticut River voted on a non-binding warrant article during Town Meetings this week to gauge how residents feel about the proposed Northern Pass transmission line project.
House committee delays bill that would impede Northern Pass
Union Leader 3/10/11
The House Science, Technology and Energy Committee voted 13-5 to hold on to HB 648, which would have prevented utilities from using eminent domain to take land for “a private, large-scale transmission line.” The committee voted 14-4 to also retain HB 649 which would require a regional planning commission to issue a cost benefit analysis of similar projects before the state Site Evaluation Committee.
Northern Pass: Redux Of 1970's Pope County Michigan
Granite Grok 3/10/11
Once Big Power has a lock on your land, they control how you use that portion of land and anything in proximity that they perceive to have an effect. They may exercise a right to keep people off of the land, even the owner! Big Power will often control specifically what activities you engage in on your land. They might write restrictions into leases and easements that effectively vest some future property right against your interests. The only hope and remedy private citizens have against the behemoth big power company willing to take their land, is HB 648.
NPT asks DOE to end Normandeau Associates role in EIS process
Northern Pass 3/7/11
In it’s letter to the DOE, the project acknowledged some public expressions of concern regarding the use of Normandeau in developing a single body of environmental data for both the federal EIS process and the state permitting process.
Northern Pass opponents meet with Shaheen
Union Leader 2/27/11
"People come up to this region to get away," said Lancaster Realtor Peter Powell, who noted that in the few months since the project was announced, "properties have been stigmatized. It's already hurting us, and it hasn't even happened yet."
Conflict Of Interest- Northern Pass and Its Consultant
Valley News 2/26/11
To be clear: Normandeau has been hired both to promote the corporate interests of private utilities underwriting Northern Pass and to advise a federal agency responsible for protecting the public's interest as it relates to Northern Pass. It's like a law firm representing both plaintiff and defendant.
Northern Pass critics speak out
Foster's Daily Democrat 2/20/11
As to concerns that Northern Pass would put small biomass energy producers in the state out of business, Long said that was a "red herring," but Burton on Friday questioned PSNH's seeming reluctance to sign contracts to buy power from plants in Bridgewater, Tamworth and Bethlehem.
VIDEO: Northern Pass Route Unveiled
Colebrook Chronicle 2/18/11
After a four-month wait, residents of Pittsburg and Clarksville finally received information on the routing of the Northern Pass transmission line through their towns during selectmen meetings on Monday night.
Northern Pass foes charge conflict
Concord Monitor 2/18/11
Opponents say the Department of Energy - the agency responsible for evaluating the environmental impact of power projects that would cross international borders - should have selected any other firm except Normandeau Associates. The Bedford-based environmental consulting firm was hired by Northern Pass, the company heading the project, to assist it in obtaining the federal permit by providing information to the DOE and other agencies and to help win state approval, which would occur later.
Taking stands on the issues
Laconia Citizen 2/18/11
During a question-and-answer period Sharps asked them what they thought of the Northern Pass project and what they thought about the fact that the town still pays 100 percent of employee health insurance premiums. Heidenreich said she believes the project will become a reality whether or not Ashland approves. "We need to fight for our town and make sure property values are not decreased by it," Heidenreich said. Steward said she opposes the project and feels it would make the town uglier and lower property values. Straw and Coleman agreed. Potter said he was undecided; the project has pros and cons. One pro is that it is clean energy. A con is the towers that would be placed in Ashland and throughout the state. Golden also said he has mixed feelings.
Northern Pass path at border revealed
Union Leader 2/17/11
The Indian Stream Farm, owned by John Amey, and the Washburn Family Forest, owned by the Society for the Protection of NH Forests, could see huge transmission towers in their midst as the line crosses Route 3 and the Connecticut River in the preferred route. Amey said it is "about time they came through with that information ... They were supposed to have it in by Jan. 31, and they missed it by a couple weeks."
Eminent Domain Letter
"A Concerned Citizen" 2/17/11
This is what eminent domain looks like right next door in Vermont involving a utility company. The resident in this letter requested anonymity.
Environmental Groups Want Normandeau Assoc Out of Northern Pass Study
In order for the U.S. Department of Energy to approve the project, the DOE must consider an environmental impact statement. That study would evaluate potential environmental, social, cultural, and economic impacts.” The Department of Energy has given the work to Normandeau Associates, an environmental consulting firm from Bedford. NorthernPassofficials asked the Department of Energy to give Normandeau the deal. But Normandeau Associates is already working for Northern Pass, helping it to get state permits.
Northern Pass advocates make their case, seek dialogue
Laconia Citizen 2/15/11
Brosseau agreed, saying the fact that people talked to him about Northern Pass "doesn't mean you support the project." He later said Northern Pass would use eminent domain only as a last resort to acquire land.
Find a way to bring hydro power south
Concord Monitor Editorial 2/13/11
Also missing from the arguments of objectors: the potential of replacing a big chunk of the electricity now generated by burning fossil fuels with renewable, hydroelectric power from existing reservoirs in a system that has excess capacity. New and widened power corridors harm New Hampshire's forests. But the forests will be harmed far more if climate change isn't minimized.
Fed hearings scheduled for NH power project
Associated Press 2/12/11
Hearings are Monday, March 14, Pembroke Academy; Tuesday, March 15, Franklin Opera House; Wednesday, March 16, Mountain Club on Loon, Lincoln; Thursday, March 17, Mountain View Grand Hotel, Whitefield; and Saturday, March 19, Colebrook Elementary School. Colebrook's hearing is 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; the others are 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Department of Energy Environmental Impact Statement Public Scoping Meeting
U.S. Dept. of Energy 2/11/11
Northern Pass Transmission LLC (Northern Pass) applied to DOE for a Presidential permit to construct, operate, maintain, and connect a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line across the U.S.-Canada border. The proposed HVDC transmission line would be capable of transmitting up to 1,200-MW of power in either direction (Canada to the United States; United States to Canada). The line would extend south from the U.S.-Canada international border approximately 140 miles to a HVDC converter terminal that would be constructed in Franklin, New Hampshire. The converter terminal would convert the direct current to alternating current (AC) and allow the HVDC line to connect to a new 345-kv AC line that Northern Pass proposes to construct between the Franklin converter and the existing Deerfield Substation in Deerfield, New Hampshire.
Northern Pass Transmission Service Agreement approved by FERC
Federal Energy Regulatory Committee 2/11/11
Northern Pass explains that, under section 3 of the TSA, the parties have the right to terminate the TSA under certain circumstances subject to certain cost reimbursement obligations. During the development phase, the construction phase, or following commercial operation, Northern Pass states that HQ Hydro may terminate the TSA for convenience.
Residents push for buried lines
Concord Monitor 2/7/11
"I don't know what the good part is. What would be the good part?" said Pastoriza, a stay-at-home mother who's part of a group called Bury the Northern Pass, one of several formed in opposition. Their take: If the project can't be stopped, why not bury the lines underground?
Officials: Burying the lines not feasible
The proposed Northern Pass Project would carry Canadian hydroelectric power to the New England grid. Some North Country residents are concerned that a 40-mile section of the transmission line would be an eyesore and effect tourism and property values in the region.
John Harrigan: Northern Pass is about greed, not green
John Harrigan, Union Leader 2/6/11
Sunday News outdoor columnist and former North Country newspaper publisher John D. Harrigan shares with our readers today a letter he sent to state Sen. John Gallus, R-Berlin, regarding the proposed Northern Pass powerline project proposed by Hydro Quebec and the parent company of Public Service of New Hampshire.
Northern Pass Explained?
Deerfield Forum 2/5/11
Locally, the preferred route follows that of the current 7.3 mile PSNH ROW through Deerfield which enters from Allenstown near Bear Brook State Park. If that route is selected, 5.3 miles will require an expansion of the ROW by 35 feet or more.
Opposition Meeting Addresses Landowners’ Rights
Colebrook Chronicle 2/4/11
The meeting was moderated by Peter Riviere of Lancaster, who said, “This project is in New Hampshire’s backyard. Nobody is going to be unscathed by this. Unfortunately, folks below here are not well informed. The press below here is not well informed.” But, he said, “The coalition is building. This is a uniting issue—it’s about as uniting as New Hampshire has ever seen.”
Letter to the Editor
Russ Johnson 1/29/11
Public Service has a horrible track record. Look at the Seabrook Nuclear plant. Poor management and government regulations put the cost of construction into the stratosphere. Costs you are still paying for on your electric bill and they only completed one of the proposed three generators. Make no mistake about it. It’s cheaper to go through private land and or use the eminent domain trump card than any other alternatives.
Power plan has local connection
Concord Monitor 1/21/11
Worries about how transmission lines would affect property values, scenic views and the environment, echo sentiments heard in the North Country, where the proposal of 40 new miles of right of way has sparked significant protest.
What is Merchant Transmission?
Bury the Northern Pass 1/19/11
In March 2006, Canada-based New York Regional Interconnect Inc. (NYRI) sought state approval to erect a 190-mile aerial HVDC transmission line from Marcy, New York to the outskirts of New York City. It was to ship a massive amount of power generated by upstate big hydro sources south to the energy-hungry metropolitan area. Its route would have ripped through thirty seven towns and villages and countless farms and then down through the Catskills and the historic Hudson River valley. The line was to be private, a merchant transmission venture.
Northern Pass sign bares local anger
Union Leader 1/12/11
Since losing his job as a mechanical engineer a few years ago when Wausau Paper in Groveton shut down, McCullock and his dad have been nurturing the sugar bush on 70 acres, tapping 1,400 maple trees. Last spring, Mystical Mountain Maple Syrup produced 375 gallons. "We've done a lot of things over the past 20 years and now this is going to run through the middle of the best section," McCullock said of the $1 billion Northern Pass project, which was unveiled in October.
Northern Pass: 'Green' has consequences
Union Leader 1/2/11
All of which leaves Public Service Company of New Hampshire in a fix, partly of its own making. (PSNH and its owner no doubt plan to use Northern Pass power as a RGGI carbon offset.)
Northern Pass Transmission LLC files Transmission Service Agreement with FERC
Business Wire 12/16/10
"This project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to align energy and environmental policy in a way that will be of enormous economic benefit to New Hampshire electric consumers, while providing HQ access to New England's competitive marketplace for its low-carbon, hydroelectric power," said Gary Long, president and chief operating officer of Public Service Company of New Hampshire. "Because of the participant-funded model, the Northern Pass line will be entirely paid for by H.Q. Hydro Renewable Energy, Inc, and customers' rates will not increase from this project. In addition, the construction and operation of the line will create hundreds of local jobs and provide significant tax benefits for the citizens of more than 30 New Hampshire communities," Long added.
Nature Conservancy public comments filed with the Department of Energy
Nature Conservancy 12/10/10
The Nature Conservancy has helped to protect over 270,000 acres in New Hampshire by utilizing sound conservation science and working with a wide variety of public and private partners. As one of the state’s largest land trusts, we own and manage 30 preserves comprising 25,000 acres of land throughout the state and hold conservation easements on more than 37,000 acres.