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Thread: FYI: Northern Pass High Voltage Transmission Project

  1. #586
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    Looks like the opponents are opposed to the rehearing

    https://forestsociety.org/blog-post/...tion-rehearing

    Even the public council opposes it

    http://indepthnh.org/2018/03/09/publ...uld-be-denied/
    Last edited by peakbagger; 03-10-2018 at 05:55 AM.

  2. #587
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    Bad day for NP, SEC not to rule until May, which is past the deadline that Mass has set to finalize the deal

    http://www.unionleader.com/article/2...WS05/180319838

    NP has already paved the way to continue on with the project even though they are out of the running for the Mass clean power RFP so it doesn't kill NP it just takes a sense of urgency out of it.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 03-12-2018 at 02:15 PM.

  3. #588
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Bad day for NP, SEC not to rule until May, which is past the deadline that Mass has set to finalize the deal

    http://www.unionleader.com/article/2...WS05/180319838

    NP has already paved the way to continue on with the project even though they are out of the running for the Mass clean power RFP so it doesn't kill NP it just takes a sense of urgency out of it.
    Here's an article in which Jack Savage of SPNHF says NP is "dead."

    Maine's CMP proposal has some issues though, including traverse of the AT and Kennebec Gorge.

    Interesting quote from John Carroll, CMP's parent company CEO:

    CMP has taken a lesson from the Northern Pass experience, Carroll said. It has met with, and so far gained support, from 95 percent of the communities along the route, according to Carroll. They will share $18 million a year in new tax revenue, he estimated.

    The company also has been meeting with rafting companies and other outdoor recreation interests about crossing the Kennebec Gorge. Each year, thousands of people take guided whitewater raft trips through that wild stretch of the Kennebec River, which features 200-foot granite cliffs. Drilling under the river to avoid stringing power lines over the gorge would add tens of millions of dollars to the project cost.

    CMP also has a plan for minimizing the impact of crossing the Appalachian Trail, Carroll said.


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  4. #589
    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
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    This is not a surprise: Massachusetts has, as of this morning, revoked its offer to "buy a large amount of hydropower from Northern Pass."

  5. #590
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    Eversource did the pivot yesterday to not needing the Mass deal. They are correct in that the market for power in New England especially "renewable" would gladly take the capacity of the NP line in addition to the CMP line. It just changes the project back to being a merchant project.

    277 million and counting, they are going to run this as long as they can as the stockholder will not look kindly at management if they have to take a write off. I expect they hope they can wait out the opposition as their pockets are far deeper.

    I had started the other thread on the Maine project. I really don't see significant organized opposition popping up in Maine. The opposition groups in Maine have been battered by dealing with the governor for several years and they have to chose their battles. I don't see ATC or MATC putting up major opposition. American Rivers might make an appearance for the Kennebec river gorge impact but IMO its nothing that a few checks for mitigation wont solve. The difference is in NH NP was arrogant and upset some high profile landowners that went into the "take no prisoners" mode.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 03-29-2018 at 10:18 AM.

  6. #591
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    CT resident here.

    Without anything specific to back it up, I'm still going to say that I think that CT is mostly very happy to take power from wherever it can get it, including NP should it ever get built.

    One other thing - Originally, NP was a joint project between NU and NStar which merged to form Eversource. The merger propaganda stated that it was while working jointly on NP that the management of each company determined that they worked well together and that a merger of the two companies might be profitable. Are the merger synergies worth the sunk costs of NP should it never be built? It helps, but I think that would be a tough sell...


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  7. #592
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Np rip

    Quote Originally Posted by TomK View Post
    CT resident here.

    Without anything specific to back it up, I'm still going to say that I think that CT is mostly very happy to take power from wherever it can get it, including NP should it ever get built.
    Article about final 256-page report of NH SEC is here.

    Typical excerpt...

    “There are places along the route where the project would have a substantially different effect on the neighborhood than does the existing transmission facilities,” the decision said.

    “In many of the smaller rural communities along the route, transmission towers that currently sit below the tree canopy would be augmented by towers that range from 80 to 140 feet tall,” the committee said.

    Project officials have said the project would deliver tens of millions of dollars in yearly property taxes as well as more than $60 million a year in energy savings for New Hampshire.

    “While benefits to the economy and employment would be positive, we cannot find they would be as large as the applicant predicts,” the committee said.

    It also called a Northern Pass expert’s estimates on the number of new jobs created after construction “overinflated.”
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  8. #593
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    It appears to me that NP as currently designed is effectively dead. The only way it would go in as envisioned is a wholesale political/regulatory shift in the state permitting process. The other "black swan" would be that the federal government somehow steps in and declares it a critical infrastructure project. Regulations were put in place a few administrators ago but believe that its not as "clean" a process as originally envisioned. That could be an issue in the next few years given southern New England looming major power deficit. The region just squeaked by rolling brown outs or even black outs during the cold snap in February and every indication is it will be happening with higher frequency over the next few years. Even with that looming, the reality is the Lake Champlain project is already permitted and far less controversial. The proposed Avangrid line in Western Maine looks like it will fly which will chip away at the power supply deficit. The NGRID proposal to run a parallel HVDC line next to the existing one also appears to be a less controversial project as unlike NP the new HVDC towers are not going to be any taller then the existing ones.

    The name NP has acquired a lot of negative baggage over the course of project. I don't see the value in keeping the name for a substantially revised project. Of course they could just keep it a legal name and rebrand it much as Eversource has rebranded PSNH (which is technically still the name for the Eversource owned electric power utility in NH). I expect the PR push would be bring in new project management and tell the general public that "this time things will be different". The I89/I93 alignment installing it in the side of the highway right of ways sounds good but the reality is Franconia Notch is a hard barrier and I cant envision any way a cable is getting installed through the notch technically or politically. Even if it was, there are several stretches of the I93 where the highway is stepped into the side of the mountains with steep drops off to the side so the project would mostly likely need to shift over the existing transmission right of way that runs up an over the steep terrain to the east of this stretch.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 03-31-2018 at 06:40 AM.

  9. #594
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    The players for round 2 are ramping back up

    http://nhpr.org/post/northern-pass-s...rings#stream/0

  10. #595
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    Round 2 - rejected

    http://www.unionleader.com/energy/si...aring-20180524

    Looks like its going to fast track to the supreme court.

  11. #596
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    Another court action slipped in between another part and the WMNF challenging the approval to go through the forest. The claim is that the FS didn't follow the required rules.

    http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net..._complaint.pdf

  12. #597
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    Its back, clawing up through the dirt and out of the grave

    http://indepthnh.org/2018/08/10/nort...-deny-project/

    https://forestsociety.org/news-artic...-supreme-court.

    The VT governor has been pushing the underwater Lake Champlain line as an alternative to the proposed line through Maine (which replaced Northern Pass). The Maine project has building opposition and large financial incentives are being discussed to "buy" support. The Vt governors contention is why go with unpermitted projects when the Vt project is permitted and ready to go?. With the planned closure of Pilgrim Nuclear Power plant and natural gas line constraints during cold weather, the potential for electrical brown outs in the region increases which is going to drive a larger demand for Hydro Quebec power.

    Of course the 1 year plus delay means the capital in progress charges do not hit Eversource books until 2020 at the earliest so the management can make their retirement plans or figure out a way to sell the company.

  13. #598
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    The Saturday Conway Daily Sun has an editorial from Les Otten supporting the Northern Pass appeal.

    https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.town...fd82c1.pdf.pdf

    Interesting coincidence that the a key part of the first phase of the Balsams project was Northern Pass and that Les Otten had to admit under oath at the SEC hearings that the prior funding received from NP came with strings attached to support the NP project. Interesting that the Balsams project which was supposed to break ground in April of this year conditional on a state loan guarantee but has indefinitely delayed the attempt to get this guarantee. Why do I suspect that the project is on permanent hold pending the final resolution of NP?

    Incidentally the federal government receiver for Jay Peak announced they plan to sell the resort this summer. I expect the results of the sale of Jay will impact the Balsams project, a firesale will not bode well.

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