Today Public Service of New Hampshire launched its Electric Vehicle Hotline, where consumers can find out about electric cars currently on the market. The move comes as electric car sales have begun to pick up, and utilities see those drivers as a sales opportunity.
Since June New Hampshire lawmakers have been grappling with what to do about the persistently above market cost of electricity at the state’s largest utility, Public Service of New Hampshire. Now the legislative committee wants advice from regulators to see if selling PSNH’s power plants is the solution, but that advice may be slow in coming.
New Hampshire lawmakers say new leadership at Public Service of New Hampshire has brought a change of tone. For policy-makers this as a welcome development as they seek a solution to the steady bleed of customers from the state’s largest utility.
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.
Residents in the border town of Elliot, Maine have voted to ask the EPA to test air quality downwind of a Portsmouth power plant. Eliot is just across the river from Schiller Station, a three-boiler plant run by Public Service of New Hampshire. Two of its boilers burn mostly coal, and a third burns primarily wood chips.
Power New England, the electricity supplier that was kicked out of the regional market for not
paying its bills, has proposed a settlement with regulators. The company has agreed to reimburse customers for the confusion its hasty exit from the market caused. The settlement proposes cutting $9.50 checks to the roughly 7,300 former PNE customers who were switched to Public Service of New Hampshire. In all the payments will cost PNE around $70,000.
Cheap natural gas prices have led to a boom in the construction of gas generating power plants. That combined with market deregulation in New England have set the stage for some tumultuous times in the New England electricity market for years to come.
Many Granite State electric customers are scratching their heads after an electricity supplier, Power New England, was abruptly kicked out of the market two weeks ago. Customers of Power New England and its sister company, Resident Power, have had to try to sort out what's going on from media reports where utilities and power suppliers are slinging accusations back forth indiscriminately.
So here’s a breakdown of what has happened to date.
Most New Hampshire utilities are reporting snow related outages. As of last check, PSNH had the most outages, at around 1,800. Nearly 450 of those were in Canterbury, while Hooksett got hit with more than 400 outages. In Deerfield, 190 customers are reportedly without power.
Today's snowstorm is set to drop two to four inches across most of the state by tonight. The Seacoast could see up to six inches. While it's a slower-moving storm than Nemo two weeks ago, numerous power outages have been reported. By 12:25 pm, these are the communities that have been impacted most.
The state’s Public Utilities Commission is planning to investigate whether PSNH is charging consumers too much for electricity.
In an order issued Friday afternoon the state’s Public Utilities Commission says it wants to know more about how Public Service of New Hampshire is operating and how that affects consumers and the state.
In particular the commission says it will investigate “how PSNH proposes to maintain safe and reliable service” and “just and reasonable rates” in light of market conditions.
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.
By the end of 2013 the new biomass plant in Berlin should be operating and putting about $25 million a year into the forest economy, says Scott Tranchemontagne, a spokesman for the facility’s owners, Cate Street Capital of Portsmouth.
Wednesday morning a key part of the facility arrived, a 132-ton steam turbine carried on a transporter that is 175-feet long and has 74 wheels.
Powered by 750,000 tons of woodchips each year, the Burgess BioPower plant is expected to provide 75 megawatts of power to Public Service of New Hampshire.