North Country
2:26 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Northern Pass: Claims Progress On Route

Despite opposition, the Northern Pass project is doing well, according to company officials.

During a conference call with industry analysts, officials from Northeast Utilities insisted they are happy with the progress they are making.

“I am pleased to say that we have about 99 percent of that 140-mile right-of-way right now either acquired or we have under agreement. The last essentially one percent we are working through the final details.”

That’s Lee Olivier, an official with Northeast Utilities, which is behind the Northern Pass hydro-electric project.

But the Northern Pass project does not have permission to use about 10 miles through the White Mountain National Forest, and that would be roughly 7 percent.

Nor did Olivier directly address progress on the route through Northern Coos.

A Northern Pass spokesman couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Northern Pass has been playing a kind of real-estate chess game with opponents. 

Opponents of the project are trying to block a route in Northern Coos, using tactics such as conservation easements.

Oliver said the project still hopes to file that new route with the U.S. Department of Energy by the end of the year.

That filing will trigger a new series of public hearings before the Department of Energy which must still approve the project.