Eversource

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The Northern Pass project will go back before the state Site Evaluation Committee next month.

The panel denied the huge power line proposal in February, and developer Eversource had asked it to reconsider.

Now that its written denial of the project is out, the committee has set a hearing on the issue for May 24 in Concord, with an extra day scheduled for June 4 if necessary.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire regulators on Monday put off a final decision on Eversource’s appeal for its Northern Pass permit.

The state Site Evaluation Committee, or SEC, voted to wait on next steps until the end of March, when they expect to put their earlier denial of the utility's proposed transmission line in writing.

That denial came in early February. Soon after, Eversource asked for the decision to be reconsidered.

On Monday, the SEC declined to take up any such request until after their written decision comes out.

Eversource

The Department of Environmental Services has finished a long-awaited report on a Seacoast power line proposal from Eversource.

The DES is recommending the state Site Evaluation Committee approve the 13-mile reliability project – with conditions.

Those center on the potential water quality and sediment effects of Eversource’s plan to bury nearly a mile of cable under Little Bay, between Durham and Newington.

Before the state decides whether to permit the project, DES wants Eversource to test its proposed method, which involves blowing a trench across the bay bottom.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Eversource is asking New Hampshire regulators to reconsider their rejection of the Northern Pass project.

The utility filed a motion Wednesday with the state Site Evaluation Committee, or SEC. It wants the committee’s Feb. 1 denial of the project thrown out and the case re-heard. Eversource argues the SEC didn’t do its required diligence in discussing all the criteria the project had to meet to get a permit. 

Thomas Gehrke / Flickr Creative Commons

Officials in Massachusetts are still debating the future of a big renewable energy contract for their state.

That’s after their initial pick, Northern Pass, hit a major roadblock in New Hampshire – though the transmission proposal still has support from Gov. Chris Sununu.

The Commonwealth picked Eversource's Northern Pass plan last month for a long-term contract that must start in 2020. That choice was thrown into limbo a week later, when New Hampshire’s Site Evaluation Committee denied the project its final permit.

NHPR Photo

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers wants Gov. Chris Sununu to support another big New Hampshire-based power line, now that the future of the Northern Pass project is in doubt.

The controversial transmission line proposal from Eversource is supposed to get a big contract with Massachusetts to help meet the state's renewable energy goals. But New Hampshire regulators denied Northern Pass its final permit last week. Now, Bay State officials are weighing whether to pick a different option.

Some New Hampshire legislators hope that option will be National Grid’s Granite State Power Link, a competitor to Northern Pass that’s still in the early stages of development. 

Stunning Upset for Northern Pass Project

Feb 1, 2018
CREDIT CHRIS JENSEN / NHPR

With the Site Evaluation Committee" unanimous vote denying a permit for Eversource's controversial Northern Pass project, we discuss what prompted the decision, the ramifications for Eversource, as well other energy projects, and the historical context of the proposed 192-mile transmission line through the state.

NHPR File Photo

Eversource’s Northern Pass transmission line is the sole project picked for long-term energy contract negotiations with Massachusetts.

Officials made the announcement Thursday afternoon, less than a week before New Hampshire begins its final permitting deliberations on the controversial project.

Northern Pass would carry 1,090 megawatts of power from Hydro Quebec dams to the New England grid, over a partly-buried 192-mile power line. It would run under New Hampshire’s White Mountains and mainly follow existing transmission lines, ending in Deerfield.

Thomas Gehrke / Flickr Creative Commons

Energy developers are set to learn Thursday which of their projects will get long-term contracts to provide 1,200 megawatts of renewable energy to Massachusetts.

Several projects in New Hampshire are in the running.

Developers sent in more than 40 proposals to bring hydro, solar and wind power to Massachusetts, primarily from Northern New England and Canada.

National Grid Map

Developers behind a transmission line that's competing with Northern Pass to supply renewable energy to Massachusetts will hold a listening session in Concord on Thursday.

National Grid's Granite State Power Link would carry 1,200 megawatts of Canadian wind power through Northern Vermont to Monroe, New Hampshire.

Boston-based nonprofit Citizens Energy is co-developing the project. They'll be at the Concord Holiday Inn from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday to talk about how the power line could benefit low-income families along its route.

PSNH / Flickr Creative Commons

The state Supreme Court has ruled for Eversource in the company's fight with the town of Bow over the value of a local power plant.

The decision comes as the utility finishes selling off Merrimack Station as part of its deregulation process.

The plant and some related assets have made up a big part of Bow's tax rolls for decades.

File photo

New Hampshire's largest utility has completed the sale of its power-generating plants.

Eversource has sold its three large fossil generation facilities and two combustion turbines to Granite Shore Power LLC. The large plants include the Newington and Schiller stations and Bow Station in Merrimack.

The company's nine hydroelectric facilities have been acquired by Hull Street Energy, LLC and affiliates, based in Bethesda, Maryland.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The final witnesses gave testimony on the Northern Pass transmission line Thursday, after eight months of hearings and years of planning.

Day 70 of adjudicative hearings at the New Hampshire site evaluation committee centered on wetlands and property values.

Ray Lobdell, with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, testified in the morning session on whether Northern Pass would affect more sensitive habitat than expected.

Chris Jensen / NHPR

Eight months of hearings on the Northern Pass transmission line are set to wrap up this week.

It's the last step before state regulators start deliberating on the controversial project, which is years in the making.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

  The state won't make a final decision on the Northern Pass project until late February – but Eversource is already recruiting a workforce to build the transmission line if it's approved.

At least 100 residents and business owners from around New England braved snowy roads for a job fair in the White Mountains Wednesday.

Flikr Creative Commons / Claudio Schwarz

Eversource is demanding a national environmental group take down a study that suggests they unfairly withheld natural gas capacity and inflated electric rates – but the Environmental Defense Fund is standing by its research.

Sam Evans-Brown /NHPR

Eversource is recruiting workers and suppliers for the Northern Pass power project, even as it awaits state approval.

The utility will hold job fairs for the major new transmission line in the North Country on Wednesday, and in Concord in January.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: December 8, 2017

Dec 8, 2017

New Hampshire becomes the first state to opt out of FirstNet, a federal program designed to help first responders better communicate across the country.  Hillary Clinton returns to New Hampshire to sign copies of her book, and attracts protests and ponies as well as fans.  Eversource prepares to switch on its first major new power line in New Hampshire in 20 years.  And the Rockingham County attorney’s office releases more than 900 pages of the state’s investigation into Phillips Exeter Academy. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Eversource capped construction of a new high-voltage transmission line from Londonderry to Tewksbury, Mass., Wednesday.

The Merrimack Valley Reliability Project aims to make service more reliable and a little cheaper for customers in both states.

The 345-kilovolt line stretches 25 miles along state right-of-ways. Eversource says it will power up to 400,000 homes at peak demand.

Eversource paid less than a third of the project's cost of $129 million, with National Grid covering the rest in Massachusetts and parts of New Hampshire.

File photo

The state Public Utilities Commission has approved the $258 million sale of Eversource's New Hampshire power plants to two buyers.

It caps the years-long process of deregulating the state's energy industry, with this sale spanning the past two years.

New Hampshire is the last New England state where the same company – Eversource – owns the power plants, and the delivery system for the electricity they generate. Selling off the plants is called deregulation.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Two state representatives from the Seacoast are raising concerns about Eversource’s plan to buy a water utility company.

Eversource, New England’s largest energy company, announced back in June that it had plans to buy Aquarion, the region’s largest private water company.

The deal spans three states and is valued at about $1.7 billion.

Democratic Representatives Mindi Messmer of Rye and Renny Cushing of Hampton say it’s a bad deal for New Hampshire rate payers, and they've been working to stop it.

Michael Kappel via Flickr CC

New England electricity consumers paid billions of dollars more than necessary over a three-year period, according to a national environmental group. But some observers are skeptical, while one utility named in the report is calling it an outright fabrication.

New England electricity consumers paid billions of dollars more than necessary over a three-year period, according to a report by a national environmental group. It's prompted a review by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, but one utility named in the report is calling it an outright fabrication.

File photo

Eversource announced it will sell its electricity generating stations in New Hampshire for nearly $260 million.

 

This comes after a 20-year process and 2015 agreement to deregulate the state's energy industry.

 

As NHPR's Sam Evans-Browns reports, Eversource's dams, hydro-facilities and fossil fuel plants will be owned by private companies - which will then sell the energy on the open market.

 

  The state committee reviewing Northern Pass has pushed back its deadline to make a decision, but a spokesman for the hydro-electric transmission project tells NHPR, “the end is in sight.”

 

“To use an overused sports analogy,” Martin Murray says, “We’re in the fourth quarter.”

 

Others might say it is overtime.

 

What's Happening With The Northern Pass Project?

Sep 13, 2017
NorthernPass.us

The decision on the hydro-electric transmission project, which would bring power from Canada to New England, has been postponed yet again. We review the goals of this $1.6 billion proposal and examine how the debate around it has changed since it was first presented in 2010.


The future of a proposed utility project on the Seacoast is facing new uncertainty.

The Site Evaluation Committee on Monday said all scheduled hearings on an Eversource plan to build a transmission line across the Seacoast will be postponed indefinitely. The SEC says the process can't go on without a final report from the Department of Environmental Services on the potential impacts of the project.

Officials with the town of Durham say they remain concerned about a proposal to bury a long-distance power cable across a one-mile stretch of Great Bay.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Residents of Webster and nearby communities gathered Tuesday night to learn more about National Grid’s recently proposed energy transmission project.

Jason Moon for NHPR

People concerned about a proposed utility project on the Seacoast gathered for a demonstration Wednesday afternoon.

Outside the offices of the Department of Environmental Services in Portsmouth, roughly 20 people held signs showing their support for the environmental health of the Great Bay estuary.

The state's largest utility, Eversource, is hoping to bury a portion of a proposed transmission line beneath Great Bay.

Demonstrators here say that could do permanent damage to the tidal estuary. Eversource maintains it won’t.

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