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Thread: FYI: Northern Pass High Voltage Transmission Project

  1. #31
    Senior Member Craig's Avatar
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    For folks interested in the EMF issue, the following are good resources.

    NIEHS – National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

    WHO – World Health Organization – they maintain a database of past/present & future studies
    Enjoy your best

  2. #32
    Member Lou Hale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Rooney View Post
    Assuming more power has to be supplied to southern NE states, are there other alternatives? Bring it down thru NY? Wait for off-shore windmills to be built and buy power from them?
    I recall seeing a proposal to run a line down the Hudson river, but I think southern NH is in need of the power the most so the Hudson is a bit out of the way. I don't think the CT river is deep enough for that approach to work.


    Its going to become a bigger issue in March of 2012 if the 680MW of generation at VT Yankee goes off line forever. A lot of VY power is shipped to the NH side of the river

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    Senior Member smitty77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Hale View Post
    Its going to become a bigger issue in March of 2012 if the 680MW of generation at VT Yankee goes off line forever. A lot of VY power is shipped to the NH side of the river
    And I imagine a lot of that power makes it way south into Central Mass as well. According to my last statement from National Grid almost one third of the power they supply to their customers comes from nuclear generation.

    Nobody wants coal plants.
    The BP disaster has made out-of-sight (I mean offshore) oil and natural gas exploration unpopular.
    The explosion of a natural gas plant in CT that was under construction raised further concerns.
    Wind turbines are unsightly (to some) and destroy ridgelines and potentially ocean views.
    Hydro alters the landscape and turns fish into slurry.
    Solar loses is benefit in Northern climates.
    Nuclear is a four-letter word.

    And as wisher pointed out, a power-free utopia isn't going to happen in our lifetimes. You gotta pick one, folks. Or a couple. Some can be placed near the point of use (granted under great opposition in the case of Seabrook and Pilgrim) and some need to be placed in specific locations and have their power transmitted.

    By the way, along with Vermont Yankee, Pilgrim's license expires in 2012 and the license extension has been held up by the NRC. If they both go dormant, half of the region's Nuclear power will be gone at the start of the 2012 summer, or roughly 15% of the region's power supply assuming: 1) National Grid's supply chart is indicative of the power supply throughout the region and 2) there are no incoming feeds from sources in CT and NY. Get your flashlights ready for all of those rolling blackouts.
    East bound and down, loaded up and truckin', we gonna do what 'They' say can't be done.
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  4. #34
    Senior Member Waumbek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Hale View Post
    I recall seeing a proposal to run a line down the Hudson river, but I think southern NH is in need of the power the most so the Hudson is a bit out of the way. I don't think the CT river is deep enough for that approach to work.


    Its going to become a bigger issue in March of 2012 if the 680MW of generation at VT Yankee goes off line forever. A lot of VY power is shipped to the NH side of the river
    I think you are referring to the Champlain Hudson Power Express, a Hydro-Quebec HVDC project to send power to Yonkers, I believe. The lines will be underground, I also understand.

    The Northern Pass project will ship power predominantly south of the NH border. Only about 20% of it will go to PSNH customer, if I recall correctly. The parent company of PSNH, Northeast Utilities, is based in Hartford CT. There is not a lot of confirmed information about this project, though. But lots of rumors.

    Yes, the Power Express will ship 1,000 MW on HVDC underground lines 355 miles from Canada to a converter station in Yonkers and on to to New York:
    http://www.chpexpress.com/project-details.php
    Last edited by Waumbek; 11-15-2010 at 04:04 PM. Reason: additional info

  5. #35
    Senior Member el-bagr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waumbek View Post
    I think you are referring to the Champlain Hudson Power Express, a Hydro-Quebec HVDC project to send power to Yonkers, I believe. The lines will be underground, I also understand.

    The Northern Pass project will ship power predominantly south of the NH border. Only about 20% of it will go to PSNH customer, if I recall correctly. The parent company of PSNH, Northeast Utilities, is based in Hartford CT. There is not a lot of confirmed information about this project, though. But lots of rumors.

    Yes, the Power Express will ship 1,000 MW on HVDC underground lines 355 miles from Canada to a converter station in Yonkers and on to to New York:
    http://www.chpexpress.com/project-details.php
    Right, the Champlain Hudson Power Express will be entirely underwater and underground. It's a 300-320 kV DC line, consisting of two 5-inch cables to be buried at a depth of 3 feet. Perhaps the VFTT Paddle Park participants will one day kayak or canoe over it.

    They provide a PDF route map here - basically from the Richelieu River in Quebec, south through Lake Champlain, then out of the Champlain Canal along railroad right of ways (this jog to avoid the PCB cleanup site in the Hudson) to the Hudson River south of Albany, and then down to the metropolitan area. The line will be developed by a private developer (called Transmission Developers, Inc.) backed by the Blackstone Group. Users of the line (meaning utilities using the line to transmit power, or large industrial users who buy their own power) will pay for it. The line developer says its analyses show New York ratepayers will save $8.1 billion on their electricity bills between 2015 and 2024, by providing less expensive Canadian renewable power, which will force older and less economic domestic generating units offline.

    For what it's worth, in order to connect with the renewable generation on the north side of the border, TransÉnergie, which is Hydro-Québec's transmission business, is looking at building $400 million or more in transmission lines toward the Montreal area.

    Big projects indeed.

  6. #36
    Senior Member daxs's Avatar
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    In New Jersey, 3 companies are looking at developing ocean wind farms that would be located between atlantic City and Cape May. They would provide 1100 megawatts of power if all of them are built. The DEP has already spent 2 years and alot of money studying migration patterns of brds and fish. Right now, there s very little backlash about these projects. It appears that the Sierra Club in New Jersey is not opposed to t.
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  7. #37
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Must be a low concentration of NIMBY rich folks on the coast there. Wind won't solve the whole problem, but that is a lot of MW. Let's hope the promise is borne out.

  8. #38
    Member Lou Hale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daxs View Post
    In New Jersey, 3 companies are looking at developing ocean wind farms that would be located between atlantic City and Cape May. They would provide 1100 megawatts of power if all of them are built. The DEP has already spent 2 years and alot of money studying migration patterns of brds and fish. Right now, there s very little backlash about these projects. It appears that the Sierra Club in New Jersey is not opposed to t.
    hmmm, I guess its not much of a problem for hikers if its in the ocean of course its a bit of a supply problem for consumers when the wind doesn't blow or it blows to hard. If the generation already exists in Canada I would like to think its going to be cheaper and over all less detrimental to the environment to ship already made power. The power from the wind farms will still need to be shipped to market

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    The generation to supply New England does not exist in Canada when the economy comes back, rather if there are utilities in New England that need power, Hydro Quebec will build capacity to match the demand rather than new plants in the US. Canada does have the resource, but the type of hydro they use is considered "brown hydro" that has significant environmental consequences. If someones approach to environmental issues is regional, than its a win but if they have a global perspective, there are many regulatory bodeis that have determined that it is a net loss to the environment. Generally they want 20 year contracts so that they recoup their investment. Where the utilities make money is they get a surcharge on every kW that is delivered over their lines. Generally transmission and distribution is far more profitable than power generation.

  10. #40
    Senior Member Waumbek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    ...the type of hydro they use is considered "brown hydro" that has significant environmental consequences. If someones approach to environmental issues is regional, than its a win but if they have a global perspective, there are many regulatory bodeis that have determined that it is a net loss to the environment. Generally they want 20 year contracts so that they recoup their investment. Where the utilities make money is they get a surcharge on every kW that is delivered over their lines. Generally transmission and distribution is far more profitable than power generation.
    Interesting. I am unfamiliar with the term "brown hydro." Does it generally mean "not green," or is there a more specific meaning?

  11. #41
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    "Brown Hydro" is generally referring to a hydroelectric power plant with ponded storage which releases water on a cyclical basis varying the water level of the pond as needed. In the US ponded storage is subject to environmental rules that limit variations in the storage level to reduce the impact to wildlife and erosion issues. There was a large ponded storage project in NW maine proposed 30 years ago, Dickey Lincoln, that went even further by pumping water out of lower impoundment into a higher impoundment at night, then emptying the upper one during the day. Maine has quite a few ponded storage lakes including, Azicohos, Flagstaff, Gulf Island Pond and numerous lakes around Mt Katahdin. NH has Lake Umbagog and Moore dam.

    Run of the river plants, ike most of those along the Connecticut and the Androscoggin, have no significant upstream storage and generate power 24 hours per day with minimal manipulation of the water level. Obviously they do have impact as obstacles to fish that swim upstream but this is considered less impact that ponded storage. One of the major obstacles to restoring the Androscoggin River is attributed to the Gulf Island Pond storage pond north of Lewiston as years of high BOD sediments that would have been flushed to the sea long ago are trapped behind the dam leading to the need to inject liquid oxygen it the river to prevent fish kills in warm weather.

    There are all sorts of environmental ills attributed to ponded storage dams. Generally its hard on the types of wildlife that existing prior to the flooding of the area, it introduces a large amount of erosion due to the varying water levels, it introduces a lot of methane (which has a high global warming potential) into air from rotting vegetation that is flooded in fairly shallow areas. Obviously whitewater paddlers are also not a fan of dams as they back up the rivers for miles and flood water falls. A free running river has a far better oxygen uptake than a flat lake, in general the water quality downstream of a dam will be of lower quality than prior to the constrcution of the dam. Large impoundments also remove large blocks of old growth boreal forest which at a minimum is a carbon sink.

    VT and Mass both banned "brown hydro" as a renewable for years and I beleive the EU has significant limits on what can be claimed as renewable, Mass still has the rules in effect but VT changed the rules last year as a means of acquiring a new source of power to offset the expected closure of VT Yankee and to stave off new fossil fueled generation.

    As usual its the regions decision on the relative gains and losses of hydro versus fossil generation. For new England, most of the power generation is natural gas combined cycle plants currently with some nukes and some grandfathered coal plants. As the need for power increases, the current decision for new power is natural gas or hydro. A combined cycle natural gas plant has less footprint and are a lot quicker to build, but they emit CO2, big hydro has a much bigger footprint and local impact but doesnt emit as much CO2.

  12. #42
    Senior Member jniehof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smitty77 View Post
    Nuclear is a four-letter word.

    And as wisher pointed out, a power-free utopia isn't going to happen in our lifetimes.
    FWIW, consensus among the people I talk to is generally in favour of nuclear, and I hang out with probably the furthest left, most environmental types in a pretty Republican town (tending towards the Bull Moose, though.) We aren't energy wonks and we have to live with it every day anyhow, so grain of salt, just don't forget that coal releases a huge amount of radiation in daily operation.

    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    "Brown Hydro" is generally referring to a hydroelectric power plant with ponded storage which releases water on a cyclical basis varying the water level of the pond as needed. In the US ponded storage is subject to environmental rules that limit variations in the storage level to reduce the impact to wildlife and erosion issues.
    Is that limited to hydro off of (formerly) free-flowing rivers? There's an enormous ponded storage project above Twin Lakes, CO (east of Independence Pass) where I believe the hydro is used to smooth out demand, pumping water out of the lakes into the storage pond when demand is low and releasing it when demand is high.

  13. #43
    Senior Member smitty77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jniehof View Post
    FWIW, consensus among the people I talk to is generally in favour of nuclear, and I hang out with probably the furthest left, most environmental types in a pretty Republican town (tending towards the Bull Moose, though.) We aren't energy wonks and we have to live with it every day anyhow, so grain of salt, just don't forget that coal releases a huge amount of radiation in daily operation.
    Funny you brought this up... while waiting to turn into my driveway this afternoon a white Toyota Prius passed by with a very decorative vehicle wrap adorning the body proclaiming "GO GREEN" and "NO NUKES". In light of this discussion, I feel like asking them what their definition of "Green" is...

    Also, there is a much more local example of ponded water storage that uses the Connecticut River as the lower reservoir: Northfield Mountain Project
    East bound and down, loaded up and truckin', we gonna do what 'They' say can't be done.
    We gotta long way to go, and a short time to get there, I'm east bound just watch ole' Bandit run. - Jerry Reed

  14. #44
    Senior Member TDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smitty77 View Post
    Also, there is a much more local example of ponded water storage that uses the Connecticut River as the lower reservoir: Northfield Mountain Project
    For those who like maps. (All of us? )

    I've fished this stretch of the CT river above Turners Falls, and you'd never know it was there.

    Of course, these reservoirs have failed in the recent past and it isn't pretty.
    Last edited by TDawg; 11-19-2010 at 02:20 PM.

  15. #45
    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    Northfield Mountain also has a reputation for being a beautiful (groomed) cross-country ski area in the winter.

    As a kid I toured the place. The turbine hall was like something out of "War Games."
    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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