Officials with the controversial Northern Pass project – a proposed 180 mile transmission line from the Canadian border to Deerfield – have missed another deadline.
A post on the project’s website states “although we have identified a new route which meets our project requirements, we believe it is in the best of interest of landowners, communities, and all stakeholders for us to continue to build on the details of this proposal and to take the time now to make some additional refinements before we begin the formal public review processes.”
The city of Franklin will hire a lobbyist this legislative session to follow the Northern Pass project.
The town stands to gain about $4.2 million dollars annually in property taxes, if the Northern Pass project goes through. The taxes would be paid by PSNH on a converter station, which will be built in Franklin.
Elizabeth Dragon, the city manager of Franklin, says the city is looking for someone to follow relevant legislation and alert Franklin officials when necessary, “so that if there is a bill that requires us to travel to Concord to testify, we can do that.”
For much of the year officials at Northeast Utilities have been saying they would have the new route for Northern Pass submitted to the US Department of Energy by the end of the year.
But the New Year is here and while nothing has been posted with the DOE Northern Pass says it has a new route.
NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.
In a conference call with analysts early in October Northeast Utilities official Lee Olivier said the company was “still on track” to file a new route with the Department of Energy by the end of the year.
A U.S. Department of Energy official has told Senator Jeanne Shaheen that the federal agency did nothing wrong in approving several contractors to work on the Northern Pass project, dismissing allegations to the contrary from the Conservation Law Foundation.
Shaheen wrote the DOE in mid-October saying she was concerned about allegations made by the foundation.
The CLF said it used the Freedom-of-Information Act to obtain a series of emails between the federal agency and a lawyer for Northern Pass.
The Northern Pass hydro-electric project has a new supporter: The Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber endorsed the project because it believes it will help lower energy bills for businesses, said the chamber’s president and CEO, J. Christopher Williams.
“We have a lot of our large and mid-size companies in southern New Hampshire who are very big consumers of electricity and we are watching our energy costs go up in the future and we are trying to find ways to alleviate that,” he said.
Speakers at The Flying Monkey in Plymouth spoke before the so-called 361 Commission which the state established to consider how to handle new utility projects and whether it is feasible to bury lines rather than use towers. Photo by Chris Jensen for NHPR