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Thread: FYI: Northern Pass High Voltage Transmission Project

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Waumbek's Avatar
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    FYI: Northern Pass High Voltage Transmission Project

    I am just getting wind of this project and do not find mention of it in a forum search. Nor do I know much about it yet other than the fact that the HV lines aim to transmit power from Quebec to NH/New England. There's a first public meeting on Monday in Sugar Hill and Franconia; presumably the company will pitch the project. Maps can be found at

    http://www.northernpass.us/maps/Proj...Map_101410.pdf

    The "preferred route" in this area cuts right through the Rocks Estate (SPNHF) in Bethlehem and uses an existing ROW in the WMNF; it crosses the AT on the Kinsman Ridge between Mt Wolf and Eliza Brook shelter and goes down through the lower section of Franconia Notch (see pg. 2 of the pdf maps). The alternative route, not preferred by the company, takes the line west of the WMNF and Franconia Notch and then heads east again lower down through the Plymouth area, thus bypassing the Notch area. This alternate would be roughly along the old rail route "bypass" into the north country.

    Is it feasible, technologically and economically, to bury these lines in sensitive areas?

  2. #2
    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    That appears to be exactly the route of the existing power line corridor, at least from 302 Bethlehem through Rocks, Sugar Hill, over Kinsman ridge, and down past 112, so I'm not sure what impact there would be.

    A neat idea, to take a high-voltage DC line from Hydro Quebec right down into Southern NH to feed the grid. Environmentally, however, I have no idea.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

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    Member Lou Hale's Avatar
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    Burying lines is very expensive I think the last person I talked to said 10X the cost but that's as un official as estimates get. I think its also way more intrusive to install and repair buried lines.

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    Senior Member Craig's Avatar
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    I'm not sure they can bury a 300KV transmission line. Those high voltage overhead transmission lines are steel uninsulated cable. Additionally, those voltages put off a significant EMF. I wonder if the EMF would be too strong (for living things) at ground level.

    <drift>
    The original engineered plan for supplying 15KV power to MW Obs was to install conduit on the side of the cog trestle. There was to be separate conduit for the power and fiber optic cable. This was the most cost effective way to get power and communication to the summit. Unfortunately, the engineer couldn't demonstrate code compliance so that scenario was scrapped.

    Eventually they engineered direct burial 15KV cable for power and buried conduit to install the fiber optic cable. This method was vastly more expensive (monitarily & enviromentally) but was code compliant and will probably last a lot longer than exposed conduit.
    </drift>

    I know they are developing direct submersion cable for the use in the distribution of offshore wind power. Not sure what voltages those will be rated for.

    Hold on tight, you're going to see more and more above ground transmission projects in the future as we move away from a fossil fuel economy. I believe they've already started a few large ones out west.
    Enjoy your best

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    Senior Member Fitz's Avatar
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    Dams

    Not to mention many proposed dams in Canada to feed our needs.

  6. #6
    Member Lou Hale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig View Post
    I'm not sure they can bury a 300KV transmission line. Those high voltage overhead transmission lines are steel – uninsulated cable. Additionally, those voltages put off a significant EMF. I wonder if the EMF would be too strong (for living things) at ground level.

    <drift>
    The original engineered plan for supplying 15KV power to MW Obs was to install conduit on the side of the cog trestle. There was to be separate conduit for the power and fiber optic cable. This was the most cost effective way to get power and communication to the summit. Unfortunately, the engineer couldn't demonstrate code compliance so that scenario was scrapped.

    Eventually they engineered direct burial 15KV cable for power and buried conduit to install the fiber optic cable. This method was vastly more expensive (monitarily & enviromentally) but was code compliant and will probably last a lot longer than exposed conduit.
    </drift>

    I know they are developing direct submersion cable for the use in the distribution of offshore wind power. Not sure what voltages those will be rated for.

    Hold on tight, you're going to see more and more above ground transmission projects in the future as we move away from a fossil fuel economy. I believe they've already started a few large ones out west.
    more drift on your drift. I didn't think engineers needed to demonstrate code compliance and if so I wonder what the specific issue is 15KVish is a pretty common supply voltage and should have lots of off the shelf solutions

    I think they can bury 300KV cables its just unimaginably expensive. The real worry for me would be current leakage 300K volts can overcome a lot of resistance
    Last edited by Lou Hale; 11-07-2010 at 08:45 PM.

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    Senior Member Craig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Hale View Post
    more drift on your drift. I didn't think engineers needed to demonstrate code compliance and if so I wonder what the specific issue is 15KVish is a pretty common supply voltage and should have lots of off the shelf solutions
    I can see folks eyes glassing over so I PM'd you.
    Enjoy your best

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    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Hale View Post
    more drift on your drift. I didn't think engineers needed to demonstrate code compliance and if so I wonder what the specific issue is 15KVish is a pretty common supply voltage and should have lots of off the shelf solutions
    15KV is too low for long-distance lines. Think more like 345KV. There are also 765KV lines. (The Soviet Union once operated a 1150KV line.) The higher the voltage, the lower the losses, but the more clearance required. However, for a given amount of power, the higher voltage line requires less horizontal space than multiple lower voltage lines. (Example: one 765KV line requires a 200ft cut, but the six 345KV lines required to carry the same amount of power would require a total of 900ft of cut.)

    DC lines also have some advantages over AC lines.

    Ref: Wald, Matthew L., "How to Build the Supergrid", Scientific American, Nov 2010, pp 57-61. http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...-the-supergrid

    My eyes hadn't glazed over and I didn't get the PM, so I figured I post...

    Doug

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    Many outdoor organizations have put policies in place to balance the competing goal of encouraging "clean renewable power" with the goal of minimizing development of undeveloped regions of the area. These groups initially had to be reactive without a policy in place to any new projects and generally after much internal discussion of each groups most groups have established criteria on when and when not to fight a wind project. From a rational basis, the cost to oppose a project is significant, Larry Garland and his associates do not work for free. Opposing every wind project would require a very large drain in resources from any group.

    I do not know if AMC or any other groups felt that the threshold of of the Stinson Mtn project met their criteria for expending resources to oppose. Practically they may have made the decision that the resources spent opposing Stinson Mtn would detract from their effort on northern pass.

    In the case of the GRP project in Millsfield, they and other groups were at the "table" during permitting but in reality they appeared to be primarlly trying to get concessions to minimize the impact. In that case, I expect the decision was that the benefits of a wind farm in a remote area that has been industrially forested for well over a 100 years, outweighed the visual and wildlife impact to the Millsfield area. the Due to the scope of the Northern Pass, there doesnt appear to be any rational way of minimizing the impact barring the underground cable along existing right of ways option which has been rejected by northern pass. That and its close proximity in and adjacent to the WMNF an area with significant AMC operations and presence has led AMC to decide to oppose the project as currently scoped.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 10-08-2012 at 07:34 AM.

  10. #10
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    I saw this recently thought it might be of interest

    http://www.forestsociety.org/news/pr...ase.asp?id=627

  11. #11
    Banned Kevin Rooney's Avatar
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    Yesterday while climbing Adams I saw about a dozen wind towers being built east of Gorham, mostly likely in Maine. As best I could determine, the blades hadn't been attached yet.

    Anyone know where this project is located? As the scope of it? (MW hours?).

    I haven't read this entire thread so my apologies if it's been mentioned/discussed earlier.

    Edit: Changed "west of Gorham" to "east"
    Last edited by Kevin Rooney; 10-24-2012 at 03:48 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member TDawg's Avatar
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    No expert here, but I'm not aware of any projects being built there at the moment. But, there are two Maine windfarms which are operating in that general area.

    Record Hill (Roxbury) and Spruce Mountain (Woodstock)

    Spruce Mountain has 10 turbines and around 28-30 miles due east of Gorham.
    Last edited by TDawg; 10-24-2012 at 04:18 PM.

  13. #13
    Banned Kevin Rooney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDawg View Post
    No expert here, but I'm not aware of any projects being built there at the moment (I assume you mean EAST of Gorham.) But, there are two Maine windfarms which are operational in that general area.

    Record Hill (Roxbury) and Spruce Mountain (Woodstock)

    Spruce Mountain has 10 turbines and around 28-30 miles due east of Gorham.
    Yes, meant east. Thanks for catching that. And thanks for the additional info. Am reasonably certain these towers had no blades. However, they are quite a few miles distant from Mt Adams.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
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    The Forest Society's Trees not Towers Campaign has seen an increase in donations as the campaign is in its last week of fund raising.

    It appears they have raised near 850,000 of the 2.5 million needed (for easements on 4 properties that will block the intended route of northern pass) and expect a lot of donations to come in by the end of the drive on Wednesday.

    http://nonorthernpassnh.blogsot.com/
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  15. #15
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    2 out of four properties. I guess everyone opposed to the project decided that someone else would donate

    http://www.unionleader.com/article/2...WS02/121039830

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