PSNH has announced a new route for their controversial hydroelectric project.
In the northern part of the state, the new route veers east from Pittsburg, Clarksville and Stewartstown to Dixville. Then, it drops south to Drummer in the middle of the state, before bending back west to Northumberland on existing rights of way.
PSNH president Gary Long says PSNH owns all of the property or easements necessary to connect power lines from Canada down to Deerfield.
We now have a complete path that we can do that under existing law, under existing rules, under existing processes.
However, Northern Pass will have to receive approval from the state’s Site Evaluation Committee for easements along town and state roads. The proposal must also go through the U.S. Department of Energy.
Long says the new route includes about a half mile of buried lines in Pittsburg, and 7.5 miles of buried lines in Clarksville and Stewartstown.
That should meet the concerns that were expressed up there earlier, because there is no visual impact.
Long says those buried lines are largely responsible for the $200 million increase between the cost of the initial route proposed in 2010, and the route presented today.
In press releases issued Thursday, Governor Maggie Hassan and Senator Jeanne Shaheen praised the route for avoiding the Connecticut Lakes Headwaters conservation area.
However, Hassan warned that questions remained about Northern Pass developments farther south in the White Mountains area.
PSNH is hopes for project completion by mid 2017.