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Northern Pass towers tall concern

Sonny Martin of Lancaster is among those who want guarantees on the height of towers, calling the project's height ranges too vague. He lifted an orange balloon to an estimated 135 feet on Sunday as a visual cue to make a point.

The debate on Northern Pass will not be taking a summer vacation.

As project leaders continue to seek community input, as well as support for a new route between Groveton and the Canadian border, some opponents are demanding more information and the exact height of the proposed transmission towers.

Northern Pass officials remain open to talking with property owners about concerns, including about what can be done to reduce the height of structures, said Martin Murray, a spokesman for the project, a joint venture by Hydro-Quebec, NStar, and Northeast Utilities, the parent company of Public Service of New Hampshire.

"This is really a dynamic process," he said. "Things can change, and ought to change, based on the feedback and comments we get from individuals."

Sonny Martin of Lancaster is among those who want guarantees on the height of towers, calling the project's height ranges too vague. He lifted an orange balloon to an estimated 135 feet on Sunday as a visual cue to make a point.

"I don't want any ifs, could-bes, or maybes," Martin said. "I want to know the exact height."

The $1 billion project proposes a direct-current transmission line to send up to 1,200 megawatts of hydroelectric... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The debate on Northern Pass will not be taking a summer vacation.

As project leaders continue to seek community input, as well as support for a new route between Groveton and the Canadian border, some opponents are demanding more information and the exact height of the proposed transmission towers.

Northern Pass officials remain open to talking with property owners about concerns, including about what can be done to reduce the height of structures, said Martin Murray, a spokesman for the project, a joint venture by Hydro-Quebec, NStar, and Northeast Utilities, the parent company of Public Service of New Hampshire.

"This is really a dynamic process," he said. "Things can change, and ought to change, based on the feedback and comments we get from individuals."

Sonny Martin of Lancaster is among those who want guarantees on the height of towers, calling the project's height ranges too vague. He lifted an orange balloon to an estimated 135 feet on Sunday as a visual cue to make a point.

"I don't want any ifs, could-bes, or maybes," Martin said. "I want to know the exact height."

The $1 billion project proposes a direct-current transmission line to send up to 1,200 megawatts of hydroelectric power into New Hampshire and the region. Northern Pass plans to use existing rights of way between Groveton and Deerfield. It must develop a new right of way between Groveton to the Canadian border.

The U.S. Department of Energy has extended the public comment period for the project, and it will remain open for at least 45 days following the filing of any new route between Groveton and the Canadian border.

The height of transmission structures depends on various factors, including terrain and crossing rivers and roads. It is also a factor of the width of a right of way, according to Murray. Referring to the balloon test in Lancaster, he said some expansion in the right of way could allow for a tower height of 85- to- 115-feet.

According to a "visual simulations" computer modeling produced by Northern Pass, a 150-foot right of way would allow for the use of transmission structures in the range of 85- to 90 feet tall.

Martin still questions the height estimates. If he and Murray agree on anything today, it is that this is a dynamic process. And, he said, "I think we're a big part of that."


Source: http://www.unionleader.com/...

JUN 28 2011
http://www.windaction.org/posts/31214-northern-pass-towers-tall-concern
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