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Thread: FYI: Northern Pass High Voltage Transmission Project

  1. #451
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    For those who want to get a flavor on how much reading would be required to keep up with this project, Pre filed testimony before the SEC is located here http://www.nhsec.nh.gov/projects/201..._testimony.htm. Will Abbotts (SPNHF) description of the lengths and costs that the project went through to buy right of ways in Northern NH is quite revealing. Some of the smaller interveners testimony are sadly probably just a blip in road for the project

    Interesting to see that AMC and Sierra Club did not prefile any testimony.

    How these proceedings will ever get wrapped up by sometimes in the fall of 2017 is beyond me.

  2. #452
    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    I see they are clearing trees,marking,surveying power lines etc getting ready for the project to start.

  3. #453
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    How these proceedings will ever get wrapped up by sometimes in the fall of 2017 is beyond me.
    And in the meantime, TDI-New England in Vermont seem to be moving foward nicely....

    But they have yet to name their power provider.
    cb
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  4. #454
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  5. #455
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    And in the meantime, TDI-New England in Vermont seem to be moving foward nicely....

    But they have yet to name their power provider.
    cb
    Anybody ask the Marine Life how they feel if it's moving forward nicely?
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  6. #456
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    Strangely for VT, opposition to the project has been quite muted. Lake Champlain is having a serious issue with nutrient overloading from agricultural operations to the point where some parts of the lake are unsafe to enter. The VT powerline project has pledged initial and ongoing substantial support to the state and I believe a big portion is dedicated to lake issues. In general the VT developer seems to have adopted a far more collaborative approach than NP has. To date I haven't seen a lot of discussion on the long term impact to the bottom environment.

  7. #457
    Senior Member Vermonster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    Anybody ask the Marine Life how they feel if it's moving forward nicely?
    Actually the zebra muscles are looking forward to the new structure.

    TDI has stepped up with more than $700 million in payments to the state and ratepayers over the 40 year life of the project. This includes more than $250 for lake cleanup and recreational improvements.

    NP has offered perhaps 1/3 as much, and with strings--despite the fact that the impact to communities and the environment will be orders of magnitude greater.

    Edited to add: 3 towns in Coos County submitted their pre-filed testimony as video. It is well worth watching to understand what is at stake.
    https://youtu.be/mAR2X846lEA
    Last edited by Vermonster; 12-10-2016 at 01:06 PM.

  8. #458
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  9. #459
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    A new tangent on opposition to the project. Town rights being ignored were brought up in the past but this is first organized formal attempt at forcing the issue. http://www.colebrookchronicle.com/Dec232016.pdf

    Unlike SPNHFs prior unsuccessful attempt at arguing that the landowners retained rights under public right of ways, this is a lot stronger argument that the towns retain control over the right of ways. At a minimum I expect this opens up another round of legal maneuvering.

    Given the delays in the project I am curious when NP is going to try to shift the project to a federal critical transmission infrastructure project where FERC takes over and ignores state and local regulations? To date these projects have still run into state roadblocks but given the new governors strong support for NP and the shift in national politics it may be a back door. The other driver is that ISO New England is predicting possible power interruptions in the region as early as this winter but most likely when the Pilgrim nuclear power plant closes down if certain weather conditions line up. I expect that projects like NP are going to get hyped as the solution.

  10. #460
    Senior Member Vermonster's Avatar
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    I am about as far as a person can get from being a lawyer, but I don't understand how this matter (along with the lack of many other permits) would seem to raise the issue of whether the application to the SEC is complete. Since all permits and permissions must be submitted as part of the application and are not, why is the SEC reviewing the project at great cost to the state and the time of SEC members (some of whom are volunteers)?

  11. #461
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    I am also not a lawyer. I have had to sit in front of prior iteration of the SEC to get a waiver from the full process. I and the others in the group got prepped an assisted by an ex SEC chairmen (who just happened to be a consultant available for hire) my understanding of the original intent was to make NH business friendly by speeded up project approvals. Unlike other states where there would be endless hearings in front of every state department that had potentially regulatory authority, the goal of the SEC was to have one set of hearings to fast track the process. The makeup was the head of each state department would sit on the SEC. As the original SEC was regarded as a "rubber stamp" body that was in bed with big business there were moves made to make it more representative including more public participation. Sounded good until one of the largest and what has become to be the most controversial project ended up on their doorstep before they really had established the new makeup.

    As the SEC is state government body with no municipal ties I expect they vote to continue on as any local control of the local right of ways was assumed to be trumped by the state. In theory the SEC process could continue with the municipal control of the right of ways in question but I expect the issue is that the usual approach from state agencies to do a review process is to verify that local municipal concerns have already been addressed so that the state agency doesn't waste their time. Several of the state agencies have expressed to the SEC that the original and the amended application are incomplete and they can not effectively review the project yet the SEC overrules them and continues on with the hearings.

    As for the unfortunate volunteers on the SEC I expect they are overwhelmed as they are the only ones sitting at the table who don't have legions of legal assistance reviewing and summarizing the large volume of filings.

  12. #462
    Senior Member Jazzbo's Avatar
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    Hi PB ... Thanks for the link to SEC testimony. I happened upon George Sansoucy testimony about why doesn't power company just use existing 350' wide corridor currently under-utilized for a new 1000 MW line. I looked at it on Google Earth and it is literally straight shot from Monroe NH to southern terminus. That is interesting option. I remember hiking across that line once hiking from Cardigan to Newfound Lake and wondering why is this corridor so blinking wide. That corridor is WIDE!!! for such pathetic little power lines. I was surprised to see it is HVDC too. He also questions why I-93 isn't used for power corridor. Steady stream of rental payments would look mighty good in NH treasury.

    Edit - I've been doing additional reading of Sansoucy testimony for multiple towns. He is really worth reading. He touches many bases. One of which is pointing out real impact of HVDC line on the small towns and municipalities. The underground line would be much like a RR right of way. Anyone wanting to run a pipe or electric line under or over the HVDC would have to apply for many permits. I remember working on project many years ago running a water line under a RR right away. We had to use tunnel jacking.
    Last edited by Jazzbo; 12-24-2016 at 09:59 AM.
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  13. #463
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    Big week coming up for Northern Pass., If the local towns get the declatory ruling retaining control of local roads it could kill the project unless the lines get buried for lot more length of the project.

    http://www.colebrookchronicle.com/Jan62017.pdf

    With the upcoming Mass RPS standards encouraging very large imports of Canadian hydro to replace instate power generation that is scheduled to go off line, I expect that the Eversource management are spending a lot of time looking at the economics of the project to see what they need to do to salvage the project. Even if they decide to bury, I think an entire new group of folks opposing the project will arise as the impact along rural roads is going to be significant and therefore the project will be delayed no matter what.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 01-17-2017 at 05:58 AM.

  14. #464
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    Looks like a trend of late with the SEC. SPNHF makes a request and the SEC rejects it.

    http://www.colebrookchronicle.com/Jan202017.pdf

    The SEC rejected the petition to do a separate review of NPs right to bury the line under town roads and rejected inquiries to Eversource on how much funding has been provided to the Balsams and details of the agreements. The right to bury can come up again but only as part of the primary hearing.

    Given the drumbeat of the new governor and various firms using energy costs for moving out of the region there is a lot of pressure to get the SEC hearing out of way and approved

  15. #465
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Looks like a trend of late with the SEC. SPNHF makes a request and the SEC rejects it.

    http://www.colebrookchronicle.com/Jan202017.pdf

    The SEC rejected the petition to do a separate review of NPs right to bury the line under town roads and rejected inquiries to Eversource on how much funding has been provided to the Balsams and details of the agreements. The right to bury can come up again but only as part of the primary hearing.

    Given the drumbeat of the new governor and various firms using energy costs for moving out of the region there is a lot of pressure to get the SEC hearing out of way and approved
    I'm curious (in a sincere, non-antagonistic way) which firms left with where energy costs became a stated factor.
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