Paul Grenier, the mayor of Berlin, one of three Coos Country Commissioners and an advocate of the Northern Pass was a lonely guy Wednesday evening at the U.S. Department of Energy’s third public hearing on the project.
Grenier walked through a sea of orange to reach the podium.
There were about 350 people gathered at the Mountain View Grand Resort and most wore orange, a symbol of their opposition to Northern Pass.
A public "scoping" hearing on Northern Pass is being moved from West Stewartstown to Colebrook after the state’s Congressional delegation and Coos County Commissioner Rick Samson raised concerns.
The site is being changed “in response to public requests that raised concerns about insufficient capacity” at a restaurant in West Stewartstown, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The meeting will now be held at the Colebrook Elementary School, 27 Dumont Street from 5 to 8 pm on September 26.
The campaign to promote this Canadian Hydropower project, focused until now on the North Country, has moved into central regions of the state. Many of the concerns about towers and landscapes heard up North are being echoed elsewhere, but so are arguments that the state needs this source of renewable energy.
More than 100 people showed up to an information session about the Northern Pass project in Concord last night. It was the sixth and southernmost of a series of ten scheduled sessions.
Central New Hampshire residents got the most detailed look to date of the route. The main attraction was a series of five computers where residents could look up the footprint of the project in relation to their property.
Northern Pass says it will provide $7.5 million to fund a job-creation effort in Coos County, but the money won’t be available unless the controversial project is approved.
Northern Pass wanted to do something beyond the estimated 1,200 construction jobs the project would create statewide, said Gary Long, the past president of Public Service and now an official with Northern Pass.
New Hampshire’s congressional delegation is asking the U.S. Department of Energy whether the federal agency’s evaluation of the Northern Pass Transmission project can proceed if Northern Pass doesn’t have permission to use some segments of its new route.
For the project to move ahead the D.O.E. must give a Presidential Permit allowing the hydro-electric power to be brought across the border from Canada.
In what appears to be a groundbreaking tactic Northern Pass says it plans to ask the state’s Site Evaluation Committee to give it permission to bury its transmission lines on roadside property that the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forest says it controls.
But there are serious doubts that the Site Evaluation Committee has that authority, leading to the prospect of a court fight and delay in the project.
A house subcommittee has again started work on three bills inspired by the Northern Pass Transmission project held in committee over the summer. The bills would require developers to bury transmission lines, place them along transportation corridors when feasible, or to not build them if regulators determine there is no public need.