Library filed under Transmission from New Hampshire
A rival energy group to Northern Pass said yesterday that its new study shows the hydropower project is no longer economically viable because natural gas is increasingly becoming a cheaper alternative.
The Northern Pass transmission line, if built, will carry 1200 MW of renewable energy from Canada to New England. The proposed transmission has set off a firestorm of opposition in New Hampshire where the line will bisect the state and travel through sensitive land areas. The debate concerning property value impacts is similar to the that involving wind turbines. Residents in New Hampshire commissioned two studies, a Resources Impact Report and an Appraisal Report, which looked at how the power line will impact their property. A summary of the two reports is excerpted below. Both reports can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
Northern Pass, a $1.1 billion collaboration between Hydro-Quebec and Northeast Utilities, would deliver hydropower to the New England energy grid via a 180-mile transmission line through New Hampshire. From Groveton south, the line would run along existing rights of way owned by Public Service of New Hampshire.
The House-passed bill was borne from opponents' fear that eminent domain would be used to take private land for Northern Pass. The project proposes to build 180 miles of power lines through the center of New Hampshire, including 40 miles through the scenic North Country.
A federal order issued last fall is intended to make it easier to construct transmission lines, costly and controversial projects that are notoriously tough to build.
Tapping into a "deep feeling" in northern New Hampshire that the Northern Pass project would mar the region's beauty and undermine its tourism industry, Newt Gingrich said he would withhold his support unless the power lines go underground.
Yesterday Northern Pass made an emergency filing with the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office seeking to overturn the Tillotson trustees’ decision to conserve the bulk of the Tillotson land. The filing is available here. A future blog post will analyze Northern Pass’s filing in more detail. Tonight's guest blog presents an overview of the filing and looks at the larger implications of this extraordinary document.
Northern Pass, a different entity than PSNH, cannot simply assume ownership of those easements, Savage said. He pointed to a legal opinion the forest society recently requested on the state's eminent domain law. The opinion, written by attorneys with the Ransmier and Spellman law firm in Concord, concludes that Northern Pass cannot use the power of eminent domain.
The plans by Hartford-based Northeast Utilities to string a $1.1 billion transmission line through New Hampshire to bring in low-cost power from Canada is on hold until all sides can agree on an acceptable route.
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.
With Northern Pass, PSNH has proposed a project where the negative impacts are instantly and universally obvious. PSNH wants to permanently disfigure the North Country's most valuable economic and natural asset - its unspoiled beauty - to deliver power not produced in the U.S. and not needed in New Hampshire. At seven recent North Country hearings on the project, more than 2,300 people testified eloquently in opposition.
A proposal for 20 turbines on Lowell Mountain has stirred controversy in the Northeast Kingdom. But there's another piece of the project that hasn't received as much attention. Utilities want to build a new, 15-mile power line to get the wind power out to the grid.
But displeased residents and environmental advocacy groups say that most of the opposition for the project wasn't borne of "not in my backyard" sentiment along alternative routes to begin with, so asking the department to stop consideration of those routes won't go very far in reducing the antagonism toward the project.
Martin Murray, spokesperson for Public Service Co. of New Hampshire says public opinion is solidly against the venture. The challenge is to determine "how we can achieve a new and significant source of renewable energy at an economic price and do it with as little impact on our north country as possible."
The proposed towers would carry transmission lines starting from Canada along a 140-mile route from northern to central New Hampshire. They would be part of the Northern Pass Project, which would bring hydroelectric power to customers in New England. ...If the project can't be stopped, why not bury the lines underground? "It eliminates the problem of the horrible ugliness of those massive towers," she said.
Hydro Quebec, NStar and Northeast Utilities are working on the Northern Pass project with the Patrick administration's support. Project organizers say the new line could provide another 1,200 megawatts of hydro electricity, enough to power nearly a million houses. The project is still in early engineering and study phases, with the goal of wrapping up in 2015, the Northern Pass website says.
"What we are trying to do is meet the regional's state's goals to provide a renewable energy source to New Hampshire and New England." But despite its worthy goals, the project has caused a furor in The North Country. ...Russ Johnson is a Columbia resident. "We the people of Northern New Hampshire don't want you. We don't want you defiling our landscape and our economy by forcing your way over our forests and mountains and homes and we will fight you every step of the way."
This power line proposal is, in the best word I can sum up, horrendous. We should not suffer the loss of our last asset, our beauty and scenery and place of self and place, because of the accident of geography as to where we live. We should not suffer because we happen to exist in an apex, where Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Lower Canada meet, because we are "in the way." This isn't a not-in-my-backyard issue. It is far beyond that.
A project aimed at importing low-carbon, hydroelectric energy into New England from Québec reached a significant milestone yesterday with the filing of a Transmission Service Agreement (TSA) with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The TSA details the terms for the commercial use of the proposed transmission line.
North Country residents aren't crazy about the routes Northern Pass transmission lines would take through their towns. Northeast Utilities, the parent company of Public Service of New Hampshire, is planning to build a new converter terminal in Franklin.