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Waumbek
11-06-2010, 11:16 PM
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/Project%20Route_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?

MichaelJ
11-06-2010, 11:50 PM
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.

Lou Hale
11-07-2010, 05:06 PM
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.

Craig
11-07-2010, 06:07 PM
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.

Fitz
11-07-2010, 06:23 PM
Not to mention many proposed dams in Canada to feed our needs.:eek:

Lou Hale
11-07-2010, 07:43 PM
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

Craig
11-07-2010, 08:17 PM
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. :)

DougPaul
11-08-2010, 12:18 AM
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/article.cfm?id=how-to-build-the-supergrid

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

Doug

MichaelJ
11-08-2010, 05:38 AM
There are certainly 100kV and higher lines under the streets of Boston and surrounding towns. However, and I don't know what is the controlling factor, some of them are oil-filled.

But as Doug points out ... this is a DC transmission line. It doesn't need three-phase lines spread out across the arms of a tower, there's no phase. It needs only one line, but hopefully they'll use two, as there are detrimental environmental effects to having voltage return through the ground. Voltages can be up to the 600kV range.

One thing I didn't know until researching this was that a steady wind across a DC transmission line can produce a corona effect, losing voltage and producing ozone. There are ways to mitigate this, of course, and the number one is burying. In fact, buring an unshielded return cable is much cheaper than a second shielded cable, but will mitigate the effects of having a ground return.

Davehiker
11-08-2010, 07:35 AM
It's interesting to me that much of the "Central Section First Alternative," and the "Preferred Route" parallels an existing high-voltage right of way from near Bath as far south as Salisbury, crossing it in Bath, and again in Groton. I seem to remember that that existing line comes from Quebec to the Comerford converter station in Monroe, and continues at least as far as Manchester. I wonder if it's more cost effective to build a new right of way than to share one with another company.

I'm a layman and have little knowledge of power transmission, but it seems to me that a significant advantage of small solar and wind power projects is that the power is produced closer to where it's used, reducing the need for long-range transmission lines. As long as we continue to use more electricity, the infrastructure must grow to continue reliable service.

DougPaul
11-08-2010, 09:47 AM
But as Doug points out ... this is a DC transmission line. It doesn't need three-phase lines spread out across the arms of a tower, there's no phase. It needs only one line, but hopefully they'll use two, as there are detrimental environmental effects to having voltage return through the ground. Voltages can be up to the 600kV range.
Actually, one can use two DC phases: plus and minus...

With two wires, one can be run positive (+1/2) and the other negative (-1/2) (or +1 and -1 to double the effective voltage) which has advantages over running a hot wire (+1) and a ground (-0).

That said, I don't know what industry practice is with regard to single vs double wire DC transmission systems.


There is a bunch of general info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_power_transmission.

Doug

DougPaul
11-08-2010, 10:12 AM
I'm a layman and have little knowledge of power transmission, but it seems to me that a significant advantage of small solar and wind power projects is that the power is produced closer to where it's used, reducing the need for long-range transmission lines. As long as we continue to use more electricity, the infrastructure must grow to continue reliable service.
One of the problems with solar and wind is that the best locations for the power generators tend to be far from the consumers. Thus a high-capacity power grid will be required if they are ever to produce large fractions of the power used by consumers.

And integrating wind generators into the power grid can actually increase the overall CO2 output because of changes that must be made elsewhere to handle the unpredictable variable output of wind generators. I read recently that while Denmark has about 20% of its power generated by wind there is no overall reduction of CO2 production.

Doug

el-bagr
11-08-2010, 01:51 PM
I'm interested to see this discussion here -- dealing with transmission lines from Canada, and their policy implications, is part of what I do for work. Canadian generators (like Hydro-Quebec and Nalcor) have large amounts of hydropower and other generation north of the border, far in excess of local demands. In fact, last Friday I met with Canadian developers in Boston, many of whom were very eager and open about wanting to supply power to New England and the US.

Personally, I think Lou Hale is right when he suggests that the costs of burying any significant length of a 1200 MW HVDC line are staggering. Northern Pass proposes to construct a single circuit ~345kV HVDC above-ground transmission line. Generally, towers for that size of line are mounted about 90 feet to 135 feet tall. It proposes to acquire a 150' wide right of way from the border in northern Coös County to the Lost Nation substation in Northumberland 45 miles away. From the Lost Nation substation south to a converter station in Franklin, Northern Pass's proposed new line would be located largely within an existing transmission ROW. They can deviate from that initial route, but generally in so doing incur higher costs or environmental consequences.

Davehiker, you're right that distributed generation can play a role in meeting electric demand requirements while minimizing transmission costs. There are federal and state policies that promote distributed generation for just those reasons. On the other hand, the magnitude of the Canadian renewable generation is so large that developers argue that it is less costly and less environmentally harmful, even though it requires expensive transmission lines.

Keeping this thread germane: I suspect many of us have crossed part of the transmission system in question, hiking along the AT from Mount Wolf north to the Kinsmans. According to Guy Waterman, Nathan Kinsman settled in the Easton Valley in 1782 and cut a cart path over the Kinsman Ridge through a notch where the present power line and the Reel Brook Trail cross. Perhaps it's only natural that this route would be attractive to a transmission developer today.

Fascinating to see this discussion here. I write a daily blog about energy policy issues, like Canadian power imports. If you're interested, you can read it here:
http://www.energypolicyupdate.blogspot.com/

RoySwkr
11-08-2010, 05:54 PM
Keeping this thread germane: I suspect many of us have crossed part of the transmission system in question, hiking along the AT from Mount Wolf north to the Kinsmans. According to Guy Waterman, Nathan Kinsman settled in the Easton Valley in 1782 and cut a cart path over the Kinsman Ridge through a notch where the present power line and the Reel Brook Trail cross.

Apparently this was originally called Kinsman Notch, with the notch to S being Lost River Notch

The present powerline location was also proposed as a route for I-93 with many AMC officials preferring it to Franconia Notch, but as we know it didn't happen

Waumbek
11-10-2010, 10:21 PM
So how does the argument in this link relate to the discussion at hand about the prohibitive expense of burying the Northern Pass HVDC line?

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2009/03/invisible-underground-hvdc-power-costs-no-more-than-ugly-towers

MichaelJ
11-10-2010, 11:07 PM
The phrase in this article about "rapidly becoming cheaper" is actually a link to another article about HVDC Light, which refers to small and medium size transmissions of 5-150 megawatt, with accordingly small/light hardware.

The Northern Pass talks about bringing 1,200 megawatts into NH. That's going to take much more serious hardware, cabling, installation, etc.

peakbagger
11-11-2010, 07:15 AM
May I point out that NH is named the "Granite state". It is very rare in northern NH to have any major excavation project that doesnt run into solid ledge. The PNGTS natural gas line went way over budget several years ago when they had to blast a major portion of the line through the state. I would expect burying a new transmission line would run into a similiar issue.

High voltage transmission lines are out of my league, but I do know that air cooling medium voltage lines can be smaller for an equivalent amperage than wires in conduits. Repair of above ground lines is a lot easier, they can be spliced readilly in place. Splicing an underground line is a far greater challenge, it can and is done but requires specialized equipment plus access the site of the problem whihc can be a challenge if it is under a river or in a wetland.

Remix
11-11-2010, 03:13 PM
Just a comment, but here in Connecticut people and certain entities have been so opposed to building new transmission lines that the Federal Government imposed a "congestion charge" on many Connecticut resident's electricity bill.

Ironically the money goes to pay owners of older, inefficient, and dirtier plants to keep them running because power cannot be brought into the region from elsewhere.

Spiny Mouse
11-11-2010, 09:55 PM
Interesting. My home is directly adjacent to the existing power line corridor easement where they wish to put the new HVDC line.

I walk my dog, ride my mountain bike, and cross country ski on the trails under the existing power lines. The easement is only 300 feet from where I'm sitting right now.

Having the corridor so close is actually a nice aspect of where I live. The trails I use wouldn't exist without the corridor. The shrub type vegetation attracts deer and birds who otherwise wouldn't be around here. This isn't wilderness, but it is the big outdoors.

Recently, Unitil made a major upgrade to the transmission lines along the corridor, replacing one of the original 3-phase systems that was many decades old (1957?) with a new system of taller towers which actually have a much smaller footprint on the ground.

Before they did this work, they sent us a letter explaining their project to us. They had to cut trees along the corridor, but within the existing easement to get the new line in, prior to removing the old line. I'm heating my home right now (as I type!) with one of the oak trees they cut down then. I haven't received any notice from them of this proposed new line. I imagine they will need to notify all abutters at some point.

Also, there is already an HVDC line from Hydro-Quebec running through NH down to Boston. I've spotted it north of Littleton, crossing Interstate 89 near Concord, and at the intersection of Routes 101 and 114 in Bedford. It's easy to identify because it has only two main conductors instead of the usual three.

I've had the opportunity to tour both the Manic 2 and Manic 5 hydro dams in Quebec. These are truly impressive structures of the mega-engineering sort. Do a google map search for Manicouagan Reservoir in Quebec. It'll knock your socks off. Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manicouagan_Reservoir to see where some of the power you're using now comes from.

peakbagger
11-12-2010, 07:00 AM
The hydro quebec DC line actually runs through Northern Vt before swinging over to the NH side of the river. I think it crosses over somewhere around Moore Dam near Littleton. I speculate that the routing of the line through northern NH rather than colocating on the VT section is to avoid the state of VT environmental and development regs that delay any major project in the state. The PNGTS gas line did a similiar rerouting around 10 years ago where they skipped the Portland Pipeline right of way through VT before rejoining it in Gorham NH.

"Clean Canadian Hydro" isnt, it is very similiar to the Dickey Lincoln proposed project in nortnwestern maine of many years ago but on a much larger scale. There were many protests by the local native tribes when the first dams went in. Eventually they were bought off and that model is being used for the new dams.

wisher
11-12-2010, 07:21 AM
I hope they do things in an environmentally conscious way, but I hope the project goes through! I just interviewed for a job as an apprentice lineman the other day, and a big project like this would make it that much easier to get hired. The prospect of getting paid to work hard out in the mountains sounds pretty darn good.

Spiny Mouse
11-12-2010, 09:03 AM
"Clean Canadian Hydro" isnt, it is very similiar to the Dickey Lincoln proposed project in nortnwestern maine of many years ago but on a much larger scale. There were many protests by the local native tribes when the first dams went in. Eventually they were bought off and that model is being used for the new dams.

The tribes weren't so much bought off as simply forced to accept it. Hydro power claims to be clean and environmentally friendly, but it has huge social and environmental effects, even when put in place in an area as remote as northern Quebec. When the man who spearheaded the whole notion of drawing hydro power from the region died with his arteries all clogged up, the saying was that the same thing had happened to him as he had done to the rivers in the region.

How do we reconcile the amazing and wonderful things that humans can engineer with what they cost? The hydro systems in Quebec and Labrador which are feeding me power right now are exciting Works of Man, yet they have a cost that is being paid by strangers whose economy, society, and culture suffered to make it possible.

I'm sure many of us here struggle with this sort of thing as we drive our petroleum drinking vehicles up to the mountains so we can go enjoy some hours in a fragile wilderness.

LRiz
11-12-2010, 09:46 AM
Facebook opposition group (http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Stop-The-Northern-Pass-No-High-Tension-Power-Lines-in-Coos-County/161856213834437).

I am disgusted by this project and the sheer devastation it will cause... for the sake of supplying the majority of its electrical power to southern New England states.

TDawg
11-12-2010, 11:00 AM
Hydro power claims to be clean and environmentally friendly, but it has huge social and environmental effects, even when put in place in an area as remote as northern Quebec.

True. A good example of the social and environmental detriments are the dams, both built and proposed, for the Yangtze River in China. The one with the most press time was the Three Gorges Dam. You don't hear the international uproar when huge projects are built in the middle-of-nowhere Quebec or Labrador. But when millions of people are displaced, and important archaeological sites are inundated, it's another story.

As for Canada, google Churchill Falls (Labrador) and look at before and after pics. Not much of a falls anymore.

Other major power projects to look at are "James Bay Project" and the stations on the Manicouagan River. One of the dams on the Manicouagan forms, "the eye of Quebec (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manicouagan_Reservoir)."

Edit: Just noticed Spiny Mouse's link to Manicouagan. Great minds think alike?

DougPaul
11-12-2010, 02:23 PM
Hydro power claims to be clean and environmentally friendly,
Not if you happen to be a fish...

Doug

Waumbek
11-12-2010, 05:18 PM
Facebook opposition group (http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Stop-The-Northern-Pass-No-High-Tension-Power-Lines-in-Coos-County/161856213834437).

I am disgusted by this project and the sheer devastation it will cause... for the sake of supplying the majority of its electrical power to southern New England states.

There's a greenie coming your way on this one. Thank you. From what I have been reading since I first posted, this proposed powerline, using a 150' cleared ROW now in the Reel Brook area, will continually be subjected to "upgrades"--more lines and consequent widening of the ROW down the road as more and more Hydro Quebec power ziplines south on it. The overhead HVDC lines must be spaced 100' from one another. By 2050 I can envision the crossing of the AT on the Kinsman Ridge looking like the armpit of the Whites. The current 40-50' wooden poles will look like toothpicks.

Kevin Rooney
11-12-2010, 06:38 PM
Facebook opposition group (http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Stop-The-Northern-Pass-No-High-Tension-Power-Lines-in-Coos-County/161856213834437).

I am disgusted by this project and the sheer devastation it will cause... for the sake of supplying the majority of its electrical power to southern New England states.

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?

drewski
11-12-2010, 06:48 PM
maybe a nuke plant in dalton would work???

Craig
11-12-2010, 07:07 PM
Interesting. My home is directly adjacent to the existing power line corridor easement where they wish to put the new HVDC line.

I walk my dog, ride my mountain bike, and cross country ski on the trails under the existing power lines. The easement is only 300 feet from where I'm sitting right now.


Have you done any research into the EMF issue? :eek:

wisher
11-13-2010, 12:46 AM
They've done decades of research on the matter, and thousands of studies. None have ever established a causal link between EMF and any adverse effects in plants, humans, or other animals. For that matter, keep in mind that your compass wouldn't work without EMF.

It'd be nice in ways if society were suddenly replaced with a primitive society with far fewer people and subsequently less impact on the world. However, as an instant Utopian society isn't likely anytime soon, we might as well live in the real world. So until that time, I'll be enjoying my computers, electricity and the comforts they provide (like this forum).

From a conservation aspect, I definitely understand the view that once a pristine wilderness area is ruined, it's probably ruined forever. If it's really contentious hopefully they won't do it. It's terrible what they've done to some of the Appalachians down South. But I think they do a pretty good job here of stewardship. I don't think they'll let any project through without making sure it's the best alternative with the least impact.

Craig
11-13-2010, 04:59 AM
For folks interested in the EMF issue, the following are good resources.

NIEHS (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/emf/) – National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

WHO (http://www.who.int/peh-emf/en/) – World Health Organization – they maintain a database of past/present & future studies

Lou Hale
11-13-2010, 06:16 AM
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

smitty77
11-15-2010, 08:54 AM
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.

Waumbek
11-15-2010, 12:18 PM
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

el-bagr
11-16-2010, 10:33 AM
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 (http://www.chpexpress.com/docs/CH_ROUTE.PDF) - 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.

daxs
11-16-2010, 04:33 PM
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.

TCD
11-16-2010, 05:08 PM
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.

Lou Hale
11-17-2010, 07:14 PM
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

peakbagger
11-18-2010, 06:22 AM
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.

Waumbek
11-18-2010, 06:23 PM
...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?

peakbagger
11-19-2010, 06:54 AM
"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.

jniehof
11-19-2010, 09:08 AM
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.


"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.

smitty77
11-19-2010, 01:36 PM
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 (http://www.firstlightpower.com/generation/north.asp)

TDawg
11-19-2010, 01:53 PM
Also, there is a much more local example of ponded water storage that uses the Connecticut River as the lower reservoir: Northfield Mountain Project (http://www.firstlightpower.com/generation/north.asp)

For those who like maps. (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=42.61280,-72.46230&z=14&t=T) (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 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taum_Sauk_pumped_storage_plant) in the recent past and it isn't pretty.

MichaelJ
11-19-2010, 02:18 PM
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."

peakbagger
11-19-2010, 02:38 PM
Heres some info on Dickey Lincoln, it predated the web so there isnt as much info out there as some projects. Not mentioned in the test was that it was originally deisnged to support the Richmond Maine nuclear power plant that was never built along with the Wiscasset power plant whihc was built but since decomissioned. The project would run backwards during the night storing water and then would run the hydro during the day when there was a demand. Considering that a 950 MW combined cycle natural gas plant fits on about 10 acres and can be built in about 2 years, I dont see Dickey Lincoln coming back especially since the nature conservancy bought a bunch of the land that would have been inundated.

Since the 1930s, the Dickey-Lincoln School Dam Project on the St. John has been considered by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The project was authorized by Congress in 1965 and a full proposal was created in 1974. This project would have put in the Dickey Dam and the Lincoln School Dam to provide electricity during peak times. If constructed, the project would have generated over 800 Megawatts and would have provided about 17% of New England's peak energy during the 1980s. Churchill Dam would likely have modified its flow levels and times to maximize energy production at these sites. The project would have inundated about 88,000 acres of land and part of the St. John River. However, the Dickey-Lincoln project was not built because of controversies over energy at the time. The project had to meet new White House water resource policies at the time. Additionally, there was a lot of debate over the economic and environmental costs of the project for just peak energy production. The project concept was deauthorized by Congress in 1986. In addition, considerations for the Furbish Lousewort (Pedicularis furbishiae), an endangered plant, harmed the project. In 1976, Furbish Lousewort was rediscovered along the St. John during survey work for the Environmental Impact Statement for the Dickey-Lincoln Project. The banks of the St. John are still the only place where Furbish Lousewort is found today. The Army Corps worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to create a conservation program that would allow the project to continue and allow for protection of Furbish lousewort. The two agencies agreed on a conservation plan that would allow Dickey-Lincoln to still be constructed while protecting the species through research, monitoring, protection of habitat, and establishment of new colonies. The Furbish Lousewort rediscovery is not what halted the project in the 1970s. In fact, the Fish and Wildlife Service stated that they "believe that if the conservation program is followed, it will result in an increase in numbers of the species and increased protection for its habitat." The Dickey-Lincoln project was recently brought under discussion again, but construction is not planned.

RoySwkr
11-19-2010, 03:13 PM
NH has Lake Umbagog and Moore dam.

Also 1st and 2nd CT Lakes and Lake Francis



Obviously whitewater paddlers are also not a fan of dams as they back up the rivers for miles and flood water falls.

Actually the typical whitewater paddler loves dams because they provide scheduled water releases, particularly in midsummer. The Deerfield River is about the most choked with dams of anywhere but it supports a thriving rafting industry.

It used to be that you could tell how long someone had been canoeing by mentioning the Ball Mtn Dam in VT which destroyed a gorge of unusual beauty but provides some of the most popular water releases, but the old-timers are gone now.

el-bagr
01-06-2011, 04:37 PM
For those interested in the Northern Pass project, and its impacts on the White Mountain National Forest, you can find the USFS's page on the project's anticipated application for a special use permit here:
http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/project_content.php?project=34752

There don't seem to be any documents on the site yet, but the Service's schedule of proposed actions (http://www.fs.fed.us/sopa/components/reports/sopa-110922-2011-01.html)suggests that we'll see a notice published in the Federal Register in January 2011. This is consistent with what Northern Pass Transmission, LLC says on its website about the special use permit process (http://www.northernpass.us/permitting_input.html)("Northern Pass Transmission, LLC expects to file an application for a Special Use Permit in early 2011.")

LRiz
01-10-2011, 01:01 PM
A fascinating look at how this abhorrent powerline project will affect some of our favorite NH mountains, trails, places and views...

Loon
Cannon
South Kinsman
Moosilauke
The Appalachian Trail
The Rocks Estate

...to name a few.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8Mrlz_AHAI

SAR-EMT40
01-10-2011, 02:15 PM
A fascinating look at how this abhorrent powerline project will affect some of our favorite NH mountains, trails, places and views...

Loon
Cannon
South Kinsman
Moosilauke
The Appalachian Trail
The Rocks Estate

...to name a few.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8Mrlz_AHAI

Sorry, without putting trees there to mitigate what those towers would look like the whole production is very self serving, not visually correct and actually amounts to a lie. I am almost certain that there are some trees in the forest that are 135 feet tall that might help hide this and even if I am standing near one that is thirty feet tall the chances that I will see these towers are virtually zero.

I may not be for this project but seeing cheesy self serving productions doesn't help the cause. And how does a power transmission line increase light pollution? As far as reducing tourism, I'll still be going.

Keith

el-bagr
01-11-2011, 09:47 AM
This is an interesting issue. As Google Earth and similar programs become more broadly used, we will see more and more video simulations of what projects might look like. Project developers often generate their own simulations to help convince regulators and the public that their projects' visual impacts are reasonable. Here, they'll be competing for attention with the video linked-to above. I tend to agree that this video had an overt agenda, and might not fully capture what the lines would look like. Still, it makes a strong statement, and visually illustrates the routes these lines might take through the White Mountains.

SAR-EMT40
01-11-2011, 10:21 AM
Still, it makes a strong statement, and visually illustrates the routes these lines might take through the White Mountains.

Not disagreeing with you but that could just as easily and with the same transfer of useful information could have been done on a flat map. Giving it a 3D appearance without rendering everything in 3D including the trees is nothing short of a lie. I will also mention that it appears, I don't intend to watch it again, but it appears as though the vertical axis is exaggerated, also for an effect the creators wanted.

Again, I am not sure if I am for or against this project yet. I am against people lying to get their way. And just to be perfectly clear I am not accusing el-bagr or LRiz of any type of deception.

Just my $.02,
Keith

el-bagr
01-11-2011, 03:32 PM
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network ran an interesting 6-minute story on this project last week, entitled "Northern Pass Project Promises Renewable Power, but at What Cost?"

http://www.mpbn.net/Home/tabid/36/ctl/ViewItem/mid/3478/ItemId/14725/Default.aspx

The story notes that the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests have registered their opposition to the project in its current form.

bandana4me
01-12-2011, 04:07 AM
A story about 1 protester broke today:

http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Northern+Pass+sign+bares+loc al+anger&articleId=0591ebfe-3881-4e55-b8a6-bc404c468e13

I still remember attending meetings back in the 70's to stop the expansions of ski areas and put a stop to Seabrooke. Then it was cell towers. Now it is power lines?? You can fight city hall, but can you win???

I live less than 2 miles from "The Rocks" and have been attending grass roots meetings to try and figure out how to divert this. Remember though, no one wants it in their"back yard".

dentonfabrics
01-12-2011, 09:01 AM
NH doesn't need any more power. The lights always go on, so does the TV. And if you had more juice to sell, you wouldn't charge any less for it and don't insult me by asking me to believe that you would. If MA and CT needs more power, then I'm sorry to hear that but you can't expect us to help out at the expense of sacrificing our forests.

Get out, go home.

smitty77
01-12-2011, 12:04 PM
If MA and CT needs more power, then I'm sorry to hear that but you can't expect us to help out at the expense of sacrificing our forests.

Get out, go home.

A rather crass attitude of a resident in a state that relies so heavily it's tourism industry to balance the budget. I am also willing to bet that a large number of us "southerners" support the cause to protect "your" forests at all costs. IMO, you will need support from many people throughout New England to derail this project. You can't expect anyone else to feel sorry for you with that kind of statement.

But your last sentence sir, is very abrasive. May they run the project right through your front yard. Good day!

RoySwkr
01-12-2011, 02:14 PM
You can fight city hall, but can you win???

Note that the project proposes new corridors in NH over existing ones in VT because VT regulations are more stringent. All it may take to divert the worst of this is to make NH law the same as VT.

peakbagger
01-12-2011, 03:23 PM
The routing of the line through NH entirely in PSNH territory is very important to PSNH. The project is not being funded by ISO New England (I.E. ultimately all the new england ratepayers) rather it is funded by Hydro Quebec and the parent company of PSNH. Therefore they make their money by charging what the market will pay for the electrons that "flow" down the wires (a possible comparison is an interstate highway built by the government with tax dollars versus a toll road built by a private developer). If the lines run through other utility areas, the PSNH/Hydro Quebec group most likely wll need to add other partners which would be a couple of the rural utilities in VT which are probably not set up for a major project such as this and share the profits. According to this map

http://www.cvps.com/CustomerService/2007ElectricFranchiseMap.pdf

at least two VT utilities (possibly three) would have to be involved. Vermont also has the "dreaded" act 250 and other regulations that would probably kick in which tend to slow down projects and increase a developers costs. Therefore despite there being an existing Hydro Quebec right of way with existing tall towers running through the northern VT, its to PSNH's advantage to find an alternative through NH.

Folks may forget that the PNGTS gas line right of way was cut through a similiar area of northern NH about 10 years ago eventually connecting up with the Portland Pipeline right of way in Gorham NH partially as a means of bypassing the existing Portland pipeline right of way through VT and its associated regulatory issues. Granted there werent transmission towers but if you look at Google Earth its quite an obvious run.

A similiar project partially funded by ISO New England (and all the New England Ratepayers) is currently permitted and commencing construction in Maine

http://maineinsights.com/perma/maine-power-reliability-program-%E2%80%94the-largest-transmission-investment-in-new-england-history

It is running along mostly existing right of ways and is intended predominantly to allow additional power to be exported to southern New England and to allow addtional wind power to be put on line.

Stash
01-12-2011, 08:02 PM
A fascinating look at how this abhorrent powerline project will affect some of our favorite NH mountains, trails, places and views...

Loon
Cannon
South Kinsman
Moosilauke
The Appalachian Trail
The Rocks Estate

...to name a few.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8Mrlz_AHAI

My reaction tends to be slightly grey with anything with a title of "What xxxxx doesn't want you know/see". Replace xxxxx with "credit card company", "insurance company", "doctor" or anything else. The view is often incomplete at best.

Andrew
01-12-2011, 09:22 PM
NH doesn't need any more power. The lights always go on, so does the TV. And if you had more juice to sell, you wouldn't charge any less for it and don't insult me by asking me to believe that you would. If MA and CT needs more power, then I'm sorry to hear that but you can't expect us to help out at the expense of sacrificing our forests.

Get out, go home.

I didn't take this as an anti Southern NE rant. More of towards the fat cats that are planning this so they can profit. But I may be wrong?

Another dumping on the North Country of what no one else wants.

Bob
01-13-2011, 10:47 AM
NH doesn't need any more power.
Get out, go home.
and Western MA doesn't need any more water. So let's drain Quabbin Reservoir!

Lou Hale
01-15-2011, 08:35 AM
and Western MA doesn't need any more water. So let's drain Quabbin Reservoir!

Well said lol

We are all in this mess together

dentonfabrics
01-15-2011, 10:15 AM
Well, I'm not ranking on CT or MA or anyplace, apology accepted. It's just my opinion that NH doesn't need any more power. Our population is shrinking (just like most of New England and the northeast), and I don't see any new business' being built either. I'm just wary when a salesperson comes knocking on my door with an idea to sell me something that I dont need/want, especially given the associated environmental cost.

As you know, that's how business works. If sales are flat, they (the electric companies) need to create opportunities to sell. They're trying to sell us their idea. But do we really need it? I'm not at all convinced that we do. I think the electric companies may be selling us a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

If CT/MA decides they need power, must you get it from the north? Couldn't the Connecticut River be used for hydroelectricity? How about wind farms off the coast?

I refuse to support the idea that hacking thru thousands of acres of woodlands and running unsightly cables and towers is the only way to address this perceived "problem", which may or may not exist.

Lou Hale
01-15-2011, 12:27 PM
Well, I'm not ranking on CT or MA or anyplace, apology accepted. It's just my opinion that NH doesn't need any more power. Our population is shrinking (just like most of New England and the northeast), and I don't see any new business' being built either. I'm just wary when a salesperson comes knocking on my door with an idea to sell me something that I dont need/want, especially given the associated environmental cost.

Just because the population is shrinking does not mean that power demand isn't growing. There are all sorts of new gadgets and devices becoming available everyday that require electricity thus leading to an ever increasing demand. How many people have installed some form of AC in the north country in the past 10 years ???



As you know, that's how business works. If sales are flat, they (the electric companies) need to create opportunities to sell. They're trying to sell us their idea. But do we really need it? I'm not at all convinced that we do. I think the electric companies may be selling us a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

Im not so sure I follow you here. The electric company is going to have to spend millions to make this happen so im not to sure what they are trying to sell us on here. Im unsure about the utility behind this project but many are investor owned so they would have an awful lot of explaining to do to their stock holders about why they built a transmission line to carry power nobody wants.



If CT/MA decides they need power, must you get it from the north? Couldn't the Connecticut River be used for hydroelectricity? How about wind farms off the coast?

The CT river is already tapped out for hydro and cape wind has to much money opposing it the residents of NH are just not affluent enough to stop a project that against their will. I have also been told that the cost of generating cape wind will be astronomical. The simplest solution isn't a very popular one that I's sure many on this board oppose.



I refuse to support the idea that hacking thru thousands of acres of woodlands and running unsightly cables and towers is the only way to address this perceived "problem", which may or may not exist.

While the problem may not exist today but it will in the near future. Power consumption is only going up up up, faster then population loss and basic efficiency measures can bring it back down. Several nuke plants are scheduled to close in the next 2-3 years totaling something like 15-20% of the regions base line generation. So while it may not be a problem today it almost certainly will be in another 5 to 10 years

brianW
01-15-2011, 07:55 PM
Seabrook had/has a permit for two reactors and only has one. Besides the energy production it could bring 2-3000 construction jobs and another 500 full time positions after completion. And it is so much closer to where the energy is needed.

Maybe make it run on mixed oxide (MOX) fuel. Get energy and use up weapon grade material at the same time.

Andrew
01-17-2011, 05:33 PM
Just heard a news story on Saturday that the electric usage from PSNH has gone down so low, mainly due to manufacture/business slowdown, that they are considering raising rates for some. It was more complicated than first perception, but...

The only reason this project is in the works is for a profit, otherwise it would not happen.

Ji..y Ca...r (avoiding politics)had it right, and we would be in less of a predicament if grassroot effort was continued a long time ago to conserve and distribute small scale solutions and generation. If every structure, including existing powerlines and powerline cuts had solar panels and smaller scale wind turbines, it would distribute power generation more broadly. I'm not an engineer but my limited mechanical knowledge (and enjoyment of SimCity) leads to the hunch that this might help solve numerous existing problems. Put less strain on the grid, lessen power loss from long transmission, distribute (lessen) risk of power failure from generation failure at a single large scale facility. This could help keep us from having to destroy more habitat and precious forest resource, which is part of the problem that has gotten us into this mess in the first place.

TCD
01-17-2011, 06:46 PM
That's absolutely right. Trouble is, the invisible hand of Adam Smith is much stronger than the wishful hand of Jimmy Carter. None of this will happen until petroleum becomes much more expensive. I don't know if we have the will to make that happen.

Bob
01-18-2011, 10:28 AM
Ji..y Ca...r (avoiding politics)had it right, and we would be in less of a predicament if grassroot effort was continued a long time ago to conserve and distribute small scale solutions and generation.

he had it right fer sure...I wonder how much energy was wasted sitting in the long lines at the gas pumps with all the cars idling during the rationing period.

For every action there are consequences, both intented and unintended.

Andrew
01-19-2011, 08:29 PM
Sorry. I did not mean to suggest that all of Jimmy Carters energy policy was correct, or that he is the other JC. Just that if we started moving towards conservation measures a long time ago, maybe we would not be in the place we are now.

Bob
01-21-2011, 01:09 PM
yes I understand. Unfortunately many measures that look good on paper have unintended consequences and do more harm than good.
Many of us have been 'green' before it was cool to do so or became the latest marketing buzzword.

Andrew
01-21-2011, 05:56 PM
I know what you mean. I started to theorize that we were severely affecting the global climate as a mere teen in 1986, before hearing any mention of it from anywhere.

bikehikeskifish
01-25-2011, 09:20 PM
For those who might be interested, today's edition of The Exchange (NHPR) was about this project. Note that I did not listen to it (yet) myself. You can stream it or download it from here:

http://nhpr.org/debating-northern-pass

Tim

RoySwkr
01-26-2011, 03:44 PM
They may also require 28 miles of new corridor in the Concord area if you look closely at their map. The existing corridor is too close to Concord airport for the height of towers they want to build, and the FAA has not yet granted a waiver. Of course land in this area is far more expensive and a lot more people could be affected.

Waumbek
01-26-2011, 09:20 PM
Of course land in this area is far more expensive and a lot more people could be affected.

So....? What is your implication?

RoySwkr
01-27-2011, 10:21 AM
So....? What is your implication?

The more the whole project costs, the less economically viable it may be - the 2nd reactor at Seabrook was killed for cost not environmental reasons

The more total people that oppose the project, the more likely the state is to find a way to stop it

Waumbek
01-27-2011, 08:18 PM
The more the whole project costs, the less economically viable it may be - the 2nd reactor at Seabrook was killed for cost not environmental reasons

The more total people that oppose the project, the more likely the state is to find a way to stop it

I hope you are right. Hydro-Quebec, which is financing this project, made a profit of $2-3B (US) last year. A couple of "expensive" properties in Concord NH aren't going to stop them. Public opposition is important but only if it galvanizes politicians into action. That takes writing lots of letters.

dentonfabrics
01-28-2011, 11:46 AM
For those who might be interested, today's edition of The Exchange (NHPR) was about this project. Note that I did not listen to it (yet) myself. You can stream it or download it from here:

http://nhpr.org/debating-northern-pass

Tim

Thanks for posting this Tim.

This is an interesting listen for people with a serious interest in this. It's a panel debate with both sides well represented.

Listening to it, I was wondering why the suit from the electric company kept referring to it as "renewable energy" when the state of NH does not officially qualify this project as such. He got called out on it. A real "huminah huminah" moment.

My takeaway was that this project is a money grab for the utilities. We dont need the power, esp given the environmental costs. (It's pointed out that NH has an 18% surplus of power in it's grid.) It's just that PSNH & HydroQuebec need the revenue and they're trying to stuff this project down our throats. It wouldn't be the first time.

Here's the facebook page for Stop The Northern Pass (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-The-Northern-Pass-No-High-Tension-Power-Lines-in-Coos-County/161856213834437)initiative;

peakbagger
01-28-2011, 12:27 PM
Vermont did not recognize hydro quebec power as renewable until last year when they had a choice between buying more Hydro Quebec power or keeping VT yankee running. They now regard it as renewable.

There has been speculation that the state of Mass is going to somehow recognize HQ power as renewable now that they appear to be effectively marginalizing their major source of renewables which was biomass power produced mostly out of state. Currently hydro like HQ is specfically excluded from the Mass renewable portfolio statute. So its a shift from "not in my backyard
" to "Not in my state" to "Not in my country". Do note that the reported hydro quebec first year contract price to VT is above that of natural gas combined cycle plants. Barring a carbon tax, its going to be long time before baseload renewables are going to be able to compete against fossil fuels without extensive subsidies.

I recently was given a good book on global and national power long term trends called "Power Hungry" by Robert Bryce, its a real eye opener as it blows away a lot of "myths" that are represented as facts by politicians and the popular press. There is a mention of proliferation of transmission lines required to support renewables which is happening all over the country.

Waumbek
01-29-2011, 03:20 PM
PB--NIMC has spread into NH. See proposed HB 302. Hearing in Concord on Feb 8. How's that for fast?

Lou Hale
02-01-2011, 07:19 AM
My takeaway was that this project is a money grab for the utilities. We dont need the power, esp given the environmental costs. (It's pointed out that NH has an 18% surplus of power in it's grid.) It's just that PSNH & HydroQuebec need the revenue and they're trying to stuff this project down our throats. It wouldn't be the first time.

Here's the facebook page for Stop The Northern Pass (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-The-Northern-Pass-No-High-Tension-Power-Lines-in-Coos-County/161856213834437)initiative;

If no one needs the power how do they plan on getting the revenue ? I doubt there will be much revenue from a power line with no customer

Remix
02-01-2011, 10:44 AM
FWIW, Hydro Quebec is a name for a Canadian governmental agency, not a corporation that takes private investment and turns it into a profit.

LRiz
02-24-2011, 08:23 AM
http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/241984/hydro-claims-draw-in-senators

RoySwkr
05-08-2011, 02:26 PM
http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/255871/in-the-path-of-northern-pass

The paper version also attributed someone else's comments to him, we'll see how long it takes to fix online

cooperhill
07-08-2011, 09:51 AM
Articles from today's Union Leader paper edition (not available online).

"Proposed Northern Pass route crosses Appalachian Trail."

https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0BwXdjre47hwWYjYxY2Y1MWMtOGNiMy00MjM0LWJiN 2ItM2NlYjNjOGEzMDgw&hl=en_US

"Northern Pass may use [National] Forest."
Page 1:
https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0BwXdjre47hwWNTI3YTU3M2MtOGI3My00MGQzLWJhY zktNWY1ODBjMzZjOGIx&hl=en_US

Page 2:
https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0BwXdjre47hwWYzczZDUyNWYtZDk1Yy00ZjQ1LTk0N WUtNTlhMjhmZjNmZDhi&hl=en_US

Tobit
07-08-2011, 10:19 AM
Articles from today's Union Leader paper edition (not available online).

Proposed Northern Pass route crosses AT.

https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0BwXdjre47hwWYjYxY2Y1MWMtOGNiMy00MjM0LWJiN 2ItM2NlYjNjOGEzMDgw&hl=en_US
I can't get the above link to work but the others are fine.

cooperhill
07-08-2011, 10:25 AM
I can't get the above link to work but the others are fine.

Thanks. Fixed.

MichaelJ
07-08-2011, 12:02 PM
Something isn't right in that article. If the proposed line follows the existing right-of-way, it does not cross the AT between North and South Kinsman, but crosses the AT near Eliza Brook Shelter (as they also mention).

I found it rather jarring to come across that power line cut when doing that hike; however, it was also a remarkable viewpoint, as it allowed looking down towards the Gordon Pond area, which is a vast tract with no trails and no roads, nothing at all except for that powerline cut. It would also be horrifying if it were widened and/or had towers twice as high as the current ones.

adamiata
07-08-2011, 12:03 PM
The line goes up towards Kinsman Ridge, where it crosses the nation's famed Appalachian Trail between North and South Kinsman.

Say WHAT, now? :eek:

RoySwkr
07-08-2011, 04:30 PM
Proposed Northern Pass route crosses AT.

Of course it does, unless it loops around Katahdin :-)

The existing powerline corridor was considered as a possible route for I-93 instead of Franconia Notch, but rejected. I snowshoed it at that time (to avoid issues with the bog) but lacking graduate training in ecology I can't say what rare species were present - it looked a lot like the rest of the Forest.



Northern Pass may use National Forest.

Wonder what Molly will say to that

el-bagr
08-04-2011, 02:39 PM
For those following the Northern Pass project, the developers announced yesterday that they are moving the transmission lines' start-up date back a year to 2016 (http://energypolicyupdate.blogspot.com/2011/08/august-4-2011-northern-pass.html), to allow them time to find a new route from Groveton north to the Canadian border.

peakbagger
08-04-2011, 06:08 PM
I suspect they will coalign it with the PNGTS gas line right of way (which I believe is privately owned) and then upgrade the existing right of way for the COOS loop from Groveton to Whitefield. There will still be ruckus in Easton and Franconia but it will reduce the backlash in the north country.

Waumbek
09-25-2011, 08:19 AM
I suspect they will coalign it with the PNGTS gas line right of way (which I believe is privately owned) and then upgrade the existing right of way for the COOS loop from Groveton to Whitefield. There will still be ruckus in Easton and Franconia but it will reduce the backlash in the north country.

The PNGTS ROW in NH is 50' wide, with the current pipeline buried on a 15' centerline, leaving room for a second pipeline on the rest of the easement. So, two questions/observations on this scenario follow. First, there isn't enough room for DC transmission towers on the PNGTS ROW; second, PNGTS would not want to compromise its own ability to add a second line on the unused 35' later on.

Putting the transmission line adjacent to but outside the PNGTS corridor involves getting all the easement deeds anew from Pittsburg to Groveton plus it might involve getting new easements adjacent to the current PSNH ones from Groveton to Whitefield on that segment of the Coos loop.

Also, gas and electricity don't mix well. PNGTS puts something into the otherwise odorless gas so that it is detectable if it leaks .....

Co-alignment doesn't seem possible or desirable. Am I missing something here?

peakbagger
09-26-2011, 04:39 AM
The coalignment of the Northern Pass ROW with the existing PSNH right of way from Groveton down to Whitefield is a potential strategic decision which brings in another big player, another large wind farm. This farm (160 MW?) north of the Granite Reliable Power farm currently being built was tabled due to lack of capacity on the "Coos loop" power transmission line and the biomass project in Berlin may have some issues with exporting their output during unusual conditions. The state has already spent time and money coming up with scenarios to upgrade this loop and there is significant support in the region. Upgrading the western portion of the loop would allow the new wind farm (and possibly others to be built) and may provide cover for the Northern Pass.

I dont believe that there are unsurmoutable issues with having a gas pipeline in the ground and DC voltage in above ground on towers in the same right of way. The odorant used for gas lines is mercaptain, which is very similiar to skunk odor. They are detectable at very low concentration but wouldnt be an issue. Perhaps someone with high voltage electrical background could comment if DC transmission lines would induce a voltage in the gas line? I believe that can be a issue with AC lines but not sure on DC.

I agree the ROW would most likely have to be expanded but generally is easier to expand one than it is to create a new one.

Vermonster
09-26-2011, 05:30 AM
...This farm (160 MW?) north of the Granite Reliable Power farm currently being built was tabled due to lack of capacity on the "Coos loop" ...

The landowner and "farm" developer clearly think this is still a possibility as they have been continuing to place meteorological test towers north of Dixville. There is a very large test tower currently in place near Crystal Mountain (about 4 miles northeast of Coleman State Park). A previous tower was placed off the 4-Mile Brook Rd near the border of Dix's Grant and Second College Grant.

VT

RoySwkr
09-26-2011, 03:15 PM
I dont believe that there are unsurmoutable issues with having a gas pipeline in the ground and DC voltage in above ground on towers in the same right of way. The odorant used for gas lines is mercaptain, which is very similiar to skunk odor.
Would you want a gas leak next to a crackling power line? No way would I grant an easement, and under eminent domain I would seek a multi-million bond for each property to cover such risk.

Dave Bear
09-26-2011, 08:06 PM
Not in favor of Northern Pass as propsed but also worthy of mentioning is that part of the existing supply comes from wood burning plants. They can burn up to about a truckload of wood chips in an hour and have promoted some rather reckless clear-cutting.

Earlier discussion in this thread referenced ponding on hydro facilities as "brown power" and not allowed in MA. I worked at a paper mill in MA where we had a 28 foot head on two 600 kw generators that were actually built in the early 1920's. We had to stay within a minimum flow rate, which I believe was 60cfs. We would pond every night cutting our generation back and generate heavier during the day. Our watershed to the dam was over 430 square miles and it was hard to do anything that would create rapid change in the level of the pond. Nature itself had a much bigger hand in that with both rain and drought. We did do our part to try to keep the level consistent when the fish were spawning in the shallows. When you work closely with a resource like a river you learn to appreciate and understand it better and the cause and affect of actions.

Many of these small hydro facilities exist but have fallen into disrepair and are behind the times on efficiency. When you sell to the grid what you sell is at a very poor price and trends were always in their favor. When steps were taken to try to break some of the monopolies that control the power market we immediately saw emphasis move from cost of generation to cost of transmission. In other words they knew that other generators would need to pay for the use of their existing transmission system to sell to their customers so they forced higher costs onto smaller generators. I worked next to a low pressure gas powered generating plant and they had to fight a constant bid war to sell to the grid sometimes at a loss in order to keep staff employed. The time of operation blocks also became smaller so that the grid made out by trimming their costs and the small generators became more inefficient by having to power up and power down costantly if they did not bid their sale prices low enough. No matter how comforting the public service ads appear all big business is driven by the dirty dollar, period! If they build heavy lines for high demand, they will extend them to where ever they can and as far south as necessary to reach or encourage a demand. In order to create demand they will sell quantity at a lower price until industry in the areas supported grow to meet what they consider efficient use of their lines.

Watched the youtube video, will the Northern Pass lines be white or are they going to be camo so we don't see them?;)

peakbagger
09-26-2011, 08:09 PM
There already is a high voltage electrical transmission line immediately adjacent to a high pressure gas line in Northern NH, it runs from roughly Milan to Gorham with a big jog on the east side of the river. I dont know what the liability coverage is.

If someone want to check out the status of a power project in New England (like a wind farm) , here is the link

http://www.iso-ne.com/genrtion_resrcs/nwgen_inter/status/index.html

Barkingcat
12-09-2011, 12:11 PM
An update on Northern Pass, for those interested:

CONCORD – Opponents of the Northern Pass project sustained a heavy blow Thursday when a state Senate committee refused to block the use of eminent domain to bring it about.

See the rest of the article, here (http://www.nh.com/news/942621-151/decision-bolsters-northern-pass.html).

RoySwkr
12-09-2011, 01:50 PM
but the SPNHF has an agreement to keep NP off The Balsams, if they raise the money
http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/297010/balsams-sold-to-colebrook-businessmen

Cath
01-11-2012, 07:15 AM
Nice article in the Littleton Courier ~
http://newhampshirelakesandmountains.com/pdf/LIT.2012.01.11.pdf

una_dogger
01-11-2012, 09:12 AM
Nice article in the Littleton Courier ~
http://newhampshirelakesandmountains.com/pdf/LIT.2012.01.11.pdf

Go, LRiz, go! :)

Niltiac
01-11-2012, 09:49 AM
For all those against the Northern Pass- you may want to consider making a contribution here.

Save the Balsams (http://savethebalsamslandscape.blogspot.com/)

I believe this has been posted in other places but I wanted to post it again since the deadline is looming- January 15th.

We are getting really close to actually obtaining the goal!!!! Everyone can help make a difference and every little bit counts!

Barkingcat
01-11-2012, 10:11 AM
Go, LRiz, go! :)

Ditto on that.


For all those against the Northern Pass- you may want to consider making a contribution here.

Or, another way to look at it: for anyone who wants to help conserve the land around the Balsams. (Either way.)

MichaelJ
01-20-2012, 03:44 PM
http://www.unionleader.com/article/20120119/NEWS02/701199977


PITTSBURG — The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests has completed its transaction with the Tillotson Corp. to conserve some 5,800 acres of land surrounding the historic Balsams Grand Resort Hotel in Dixville Notch.


As part of the transaction, the forest society acquired a deeded transmission line right-of-way that was seen as potentially part of the controversial Northern Pass proposal. By acquiring both the conservation restrictions and the power line right-of-way, the forest society — according to Difley — effectively removed the threat that Northern Pass would be able to cross the conserved acreage without eminent domain.

LRiz
01-25-2012, 12:21 PM
The NH State Senate has voted and HB 648 (with the important Bragdon/Forrester amendment) passed by an overwhelming majority - 23 to 1!

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20120125/NEWS06/701259940

This is a tremendous victory and brings us one huge step closer to preserving our property rights and defending Article 12-a:

"A person's property cannot be taken by eminent domain if the purpose is for private development or other private use of property."

peakbagger
02-09-2012, 07:47 AM
For those following the eminent domain bill

http://www.boston.com/news/local/new_hampshire/articles/2012/02/08/nh_house_passes_eminent_domain_bill_without_debate/

peakbagger
03-06-2012, 08:04 AM
The governor did sign the eminent domain bill. It has put significant restrictions on the use of eminent domain to build the project. It does not "kill" Northern Pass but the law basically forces it onto existing right of ways or onto land sold by willing sellers. Given the potential profits I expect that the project will not go away but it may delay things a bit.

arm
03-13-2012, 06:35 AM
catch a free screening of the documentary film about Northern Pass in local venues this week ... "Each screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring the director Nicolas Boisclair and experts on energy and environmental issues."

http://www.clf.org/northern-pass/seeking-the-current

Tuesday, March 13, 7:00 pm – New Hampshire Audubon Massabesic Center, 26 Audubon Way, Auburn, NH. Admission is Free, with $5 suggested donation.

Wednesday, March 14, 7:00 pm – Howe Library, 13 South Street, Hanover, NH. Admission is Free.

Friday, March 16, 7:00 pm – Flying Monkey Movie House and Performance Center, 39 South Main Street, Plymouth, NH. Regular admission fee.

Thursday, April 5, 7:00 pm – Putnam Theater, Keene State College, Keene, NH. Admission is Free.

New Hampshire’s leading environmental organizations will host a series of free screenings of the award-winning documentary film, Seeking the Current, at locations throughout the state, beginning in March. Each screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring the director Nicolas Boisclair and experts on energy and environmental issues. The feature-length documentary provides a serious, unsparing look at Canadian power giant Hydro-Québec and its development of large-scale hydroelectric power facilities. Seeking the Current recounts the voyage of the filmmakers Boisclair and Alexis de Gheldere, who canoed the entire 500 km course of the pristine Romaine River one year before Hydro-Québec started construction on a new $8 billion complex of hydropower projects there. Along the way, the filmmakers examine the history and economics of hydropower in Québec and explore the renewable alternatives to new hydropower projects.

Red Oak
06-12-2012, 08:42 PM
wmur article.... http://www.wmur.com/news/money/Study-questions-Northern-Pass-revenues/-/9857662/14791084/-/p3vnjfz/-/index.html
Looks like a pork barrel project maybe? Let the readers decide....Makes one wonder,who is really paying in the end for this "project".:eek:

Raven
08-20-2012, 06:10 PM
Some recent news regarding the Northern Pass:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/new_hampshire/articles/2012/08/20/forest_society_seeks_25m_to_stymie_northern_pass/

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20120820/NEWS/708209877/-1/services

http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/346402/wall-street-skeptical-about-northern-pass?SESS54f75e599fb672edda8ef48550868512=bing

WMUR Video from 8/20 http://www.wmur.com/news/nh-news/Conservation-group-seeks-2-5M-to-stymie-Northern-Pass/-/9857858/16198446/-/13aak1f/-/index.html

I find the third article particularly encouraging as Wall Street now has apparently lost some confidence in the project. It would seem the constant fighting back and delays are hurting them. I won't hide my feelings. Good news.

I also think it is great that the unintended consequence of the Northern Pass project may be that a lot more land in NH is conserved. :D

Raven
08-24-2012, 09:36 AM
The Forest Society seeks 2.5 million by October 31, 2012 to complete the purchase of these properties key to the intended Northern Pass route. Purchase and Sales for all properties have been completed in an agreement between the land owners and the Forest Society which would put permanent conservation easements on the lands regardless of who owns the parcels.

Some highlights: these 4 parcels variously connect the Nash Stream Forest and the Balsams, hold part of the Cohos Trail, and contain a major snowmobile trail connecting Colebrook and Pittsburg among other features (see below)

The following is from the Forest Society website press release of 8/20/12: https://www.forestsociety.org/news/press-release.asp?id=611

"The Coos County parcels involved in the Trees Not Towers campaign to date include three in Stewartstown and one in Columbia. The largest parcel includes 967 acres owned by the McAllaster family, who have been on the land for generations. They operate a dairy farm and rely on the land for hay and pasture. The McAllaster Farm is also a certified Tree Farm, and includes a maple sugaring operation. A major snowmobile trail managed by the Colebrook Ski-Bees crosses the McAllaster land, providing access to between Colebrook, Coleman State Park and Pittsburg. The Cohos hiking trail also makes use of the McAllaster property. The height of land on Mudgett Mountain provides spectacular views west into Vermont, south to the White Mountains and east to Dixville Notch, Table Rock and the Balsams. In January 2012, the Forest Society successfully worked to conserve the Balsams landscape.

Immediately west of the McAllaster Farm is more than 500 acres owned by Green Acre Woodlands. The parcel sits high upon North Hill, offering 360-degree views. Two smaller parcels owned by Lynne Placey of Stewartstown are key to disrupting the path Northern Pass is attempting to use and protect the flank of Holden Hill. The fourth parcel, 300 acres owned by the Lewis family, links the southern boundary of the Balsams property to the northern boundary of Nash Stream State Forest.

“Simply prohibiting towers, power lines and a permanently cleared right-of-way on these particular lands make any one of these conservation projects worthwhile,” said Difley. “The fact that their protection disrupts what is clearly Northern Pass’s intended route makes them doubly important.”

The purchase-and-sale agreements give the Forest Society a window of opportunity to raise the $2.5 million necessary to close the transactions. The deadline to raise the needed funds is October 31, 2012."

Raven
08-24-2012, 09:40 AM
Regardless of your feelings on the issue, the makeup of the NH Senate over the next few years is going to have an impact on future decisions with this project. The following links may be of interest:

Current NH State Senators (24 total) can be found here: http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/New_Hampshire_State_Senate#List_of_current_members

All 24 seats are up for election on 11/6/2012 with primaries for both parties on 9/11/12. Those running can be found here: http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/New_Hampshire_State_Senate_elections,_2012

NH Senatorial Districts to find your district since redistricting: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/images/sb201.jpeg

Contact information for current NH State Legislature members is found here: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/Senate/members/wml.aspx

Let them know how you feel. Your voice, your vote, and your support can make a difference. I will be providing all three (minimally) and this project is at the top of my concerns as I know it is to many who read and post on this forum.

Raven
09-02-2012, 11:00 AM
Video showing the four properties under agreement with Forest Society and interview with owner of the McAllister Farm, the largest parcel of the four and his opinion on Northern Pass (who would also like to buy the property)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvwvRUsgpbI&feature=player_detailpage

Raven
09-14-2012, 08:45 AM
From the site:

"Northern Pass is seeking a Special Use Permit from the Forest Service to cross the National Scenic Appalachian Trail and a ten-mile route through the WMNF that includes Easton. The developers do not have an existing right of way through the national forest."

There's a picture from South Kinsman showing where these 135' ish towers would go if this is approved.

Meeting on 9/23 in Easton Town Hall from 3-5

http://burynorthernpass.blogspot.com/2012/09/northern-pass-and-white-mountain.html

MichaelJ
09-14-2012, 12:16 PM
I'm a little confused - isn't that (Bog Pond) where the existing power line corridor goes? I thought this was one of the few places where there was no option to stop them because they already had the right of way?

peakbagger
09-14-2012, 01:24 PM
There is an existing right of way in that location occupied by an lower voltage AC transmission line that connects northern NH with southern NH. The current ROW is apparently not wide enough to contain the proposed high voltage DC line. Unlike the existing line that apparently was permitted as it was for the "public good" and essential for the adjoining NH towns, the new line is strictly intended to export power to southern new england. Therefore they apparently have to permit the new line as separate entity.

Generally when a project is proposed strictly for commercial purposes on public land, the standards they are required to meet for approval are much higher than for a public good project. At a minimum I think they have to prove that there is no other reasonable alternative and the definition of "reasonable" is quite high. Barring congressional action, I expect litigation will force it to the highest possible standard even if the FS supervisor tries to go to a lower standard. Given that it is in the AT corridor it probably needs an even higher standard although down south there have been a few major power lines built over the AT (but I am not aware of any in a national forest).

A possible compromise might be burying both the old and the new line under the existing right of way which in theory would improve the view shed from what it is today, but as the developer has stated that HVDC underground is not commerically proven, I dont expect this will come up. Even with buried lines the very obvious strip cut visible from 93 would still be present.

Raven
09-15-2012, 05:24 AM
There is an existing right of way in that location occupied by an lower voltage AC transmission line that connects northern NH with southern NH. The current ROW is apparently not wide enough to contain the proposed high voltage DC line.

Northern Pass literature quotes 150 foot ROW. Many believe it will be larger but this is a minimum. That would probably necessitate widening the existing ROW but I am not sure of the current width.

Waumbek
09-15-2012, 01:56 PM
For the 10-mile route through the WMNF that Northern Pass is proposing, it wants to co-locate in the corridor that PSNH uses for its 115kV line (X-178).

PSNH has no right-of-way, that is, no land rights or underlying easement, for seven of the ten miles in that corridor. It exists on those seven miles on a renewable, revocable Special Use Permit. The SUP is for a 150' width.

PSNH does have an underlying easement, purchased in 1948 prior to USFS acquisition of the tract in 1979, in the Bog Pond tract.

But the A.T. jurisdiction extends beyond the Bog Pond tract in which PSNH has the underlying easement. The A.T. is protected for .5 miles on either side of the treadway.

Nothern Pass would have to meet USFS Management Area 8.3 criteria of "overriding public need" to cross the A.T.

griffin
09-26-2012, 04:30 PM
fwiw - the AMC has released a study it commissioned on the visual impact of the proposed project.

You can read their summary here:
http://www.outdoors.org/about/newsroom/press/2012/northern-pass-project-impact.cfm

The full report is here:
http://www.outdoors.org/pdf/upload/NorthernPassVisualImpactAssessmentFinalReport.pdf

Mike P.
10-02-2012, 12:57 PM
In a related topic:

http://www.northjersey.com/news/Federal_parks_officials_OK_NJ-Penn_power_line.html

Federal parks officials OK NJ-Penn. power line
Tuesday October 2, 2012, 1:38 PM
Associated Press
Print | E-mail TRENTON — Federal parks officials have given final approval for a new high-voltage power line that will run through the recreation area spanning Pennsylvania and New Jersey on either side of the Delaware River....

Stan
10-03-2012, 09:35 AM
fwiw - the AMC has released a study it commissioned on the visual impact of the proposed project.

You can read their summary here:
http://www.outdoors.org/about/newsroom/press/2012/northern-pass-project-impact.cfm

The full report is here:
http://www.outdoors.org/pdf/upload/NorthernPassVisualImpactAssessmentFinalReport.pdf

Thanks for those links. As with windpower, I think viewsheds are an important element of siting decisions. We cannot let our insatiable appetite for energy overwhelm aesthetic considerations ... aesthetic considerations have significant impact on tourism as well and that is an important part of the economy in some areas.

There has got to be a better way to get that clean renewable hydropower from Quebec down where it is needed.

I'm wondering about the feasibility of routing part of this transmission under water. High voltage technology is far different from communications lines but it would seem there has to be another way to do this.

rocket21
10-03-2012, 12:03 PM
Where was the AMC's visual impact study when this went through?

http://www.franklinsites.com/temp/rattlesnaketowers.jpg
The view from the summit ledges of Rattlesnake Mountain in the WMNF

- 24 mountaintop towers are being built, reaching about 400 feet at their highest point. Dramatically taller than the Northern Pass towers, and due to being mountain top in nature, visible from miles away.
- Each wind tower has a footing that's equivalent to filling a large house with concrete.
- Each wind tower has an expected lifespan of 25 years.
- 62,000 feet of new roads, I believe about 18 feet wide.

Stan
10-03-2012, 12:26 PM
Where was the AMC's visual impact study when this went through?

I don't know about this project but I was impressed with a study that AMC did in connection with the wind towers proposed on Redington in Maine. I think it showed that there were some 200 miles of "suitable" (my choice of word) ridgeline in Maine where such facilities could be built with minimal environmental and other important impacts. Redington was not one of the suitable sites.

You could take such a model of evaluating sites and create and weigh whatever parameters you choose, that is the crux of the challenge, to evaluate such facilities anywhere, on land or water, but Nooooooo, instead much seems to get done on an ad hoc political basis, leaving the public feeling empty and politicians' warchests well fed.

Sorry about the rant but I was really impressed with that AMC approach and its intelligent conclusions and positive recommendations and wish there were more such objectivity in siting and zoning decisions.

TDawg
10-03-2012, 01:13 PM
Where was the AMC's visual impact study when this went through?

- 24 mountaintop towers are being built, reaching about 400 feet at their highest point. Dramatically taller than the Northern Pass towers, and due to being mountain top in nature, visible from miles away.

Ahh, I was wondering when the Groton project would make it's way to the VFTT board.

Even locally around the Plymouth area, it seemed to have slipped beneath the radar with all the Northern Pass uproar. I had been watching it's developments for months online, nobody was talking about it until the first tower was erected. Groton, I'm sure is happy with added tax revenue and they can't really see them from their corner of the hills. Rumney and Plymouth on the other hand, got the eyesore.

I have yet to climb Stinson, Rattlesnake, or Crosby Mtn since the wind towers, but it goes without saying the view has changed. Especially from Crosby Mountain/Bald Knob I assume, where you'll only be about a half mile from the windfarm as the crow flies and the towers will dominate Crosby's main view to the north.

Power for MA, money sent abroad (Spanish Company.) Hmmm, sound familiar? As far as I can tell, only real winners in NH are the folks in Groton who will get their roads paved.

Things that helped the Groton Wind Farm, IMHO:
1) Sub 3000 foot ridgeline
2) Not in close proximity to the AT
3) Not in close proximity to a NH4k
4) Northern Pass taking heat off the project

Trail Bandit
10-04-2012, 07:45 AM
I went to a fly in at Plymouth Airport on Tuesday. When I called for a briefing (You pretty much need to call THE MAN before you go these days because there can be a temporary no fly zone anywhere due to politicians, etc.) I was surprised to have the briefer ask if I needed to know the height of the new windmills. Since it was a nice clear day I didn't need the info. As I approached the airport, the new windmills were very visible. They are a large obstruction that pilots will want to be aware of especially when it is less than perfect visibility. The windmills will clearly be very visible from the whole area for a long time.

Tom_Murphy
10-04-2012, 01:12 PM
Where was the AMC's visual impact study when this went through?

Are you suggesting that the AMC should be doing visual impact studies for any proposed wind power project in New England?

I think the Northern Pass meeets a higher criteria since that project seeks to expand an existing right of way that traverses part of the WMNF and the AT.

rocket21
10-04-2012, 02:05 PM
Are you suggesting that the AMC should be doing visual impact studies for any proposed wind power project in New England?

I think the Northern Pass meeets a higher criteria since that project seeks to expand an existing right of way that traverses part of the WMNF and the AT.

If I recall correctly, the AMC produced video I saw seemed to be mostly concerned with the visual impact of it from the WMNF (interesting enough, the slide show seemed to show photos of places that weren't near Northern Pass, but now have views of various wind farms).

Rattlesnake Mountain and Stinson Mountain are both located in the WMNF with vistas dominated by the new Groton Wind Farm. That said, there aren't any AMC huts near those peaks, so...

Tom_Murphy
10-06-2012, 03:27 PM
If I recall correctly, the AMC produced video I saw seemed to be mostly concerned with the visual impact of it from the WMNF (interesting enough, the slide show seemed to show photos of places that weren't near Northern Pass, but now have views of various wind farms).

Rattlesnake Mountain and Stinson Mountain are both located in the WMNF with vistas dominated by the new Groton Wind Farm. That said, there aren't any AMC huts near those peaks, so...

So the criteria should be any ridge that can be viewed from any place in the WMNF?

You seem to be implying that the AMC conducted this study only because a hut is in the general vicinity. What is the basis for that?

I am very happy the AMC identified a gap in the evaluation of the impact of the Northern Pass and used its resources to address it. That is a good thing.

peakbagger
10-07-2012, 05:47 AM
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.

rocket21
10-07-2012, 08:20 PM
So the criteria should be any ridge that can be viewed from any place in the WMNF?

You seem to be implying that the AMC conducted this study only because a hut is in the general vicinity. What is the basis for that?

I am very happy the AMC identified a gap in the evaluation of the impact of the Northern Pass and used its resources to address it. That is a good thing.

Just calling it out for what it is. They're dumping tons of money into opposing Northern Pass, presumably due to visual impact, while giving wind farms within the same criteria a complete pass. The massive concrete footings alone will assure that these mountaintops will be impacted for centuries to come.

Tom_Murphy
10-08-2012, 01:38 PM
Just calling it out for what it is. They're dumping tons of money into opposing Northern Pass, presumably due to visual impact, while giving wind farms within the same criteria a complete pass. The massive concrete footings alone will assure that these mountaintops will be impacted for centuries to come.

I appreciate your replies.

The fact that the AMC has used its resources to document the visual impact of the Northern Pass does not mean that visual impact is the only criteria they use to decide whether to actively oppose a project.

As peakbagger states, the AMC has a limited budget. They have to choose which projects to focus that budget on. The Northern Pass met their criteria and the wind farm didn't.

As I posted previously, the fact that the Northern Pass would expand on an existing right of way in the WMNF is a compelling reason to focus on it and certainly differentiates it from the wind farm.

Raven
10-08-2012, 03:24 PM
Another factor to keep in mind here is that the Northen Pass would represent a 180 mile gash though the entire state of NH, from border to border. Even with the wind towers in Groton being substantially taller than the proposed electrical towers, the scope of the Northern Pass is in a different league altogether. This project would affect far more than the WMNF and will impact (both visually and otherwise) multiple NH state parks and scenic areas that many people are not talking about.

My suspicion is the Northen Pass has had us all focused on 140 foot towers and the "untouchable" WMNF as red herrings. And like they miraculously and conveniently only now just discovered 10 year old technology that will allow them to lower the tower heights in an attempt to appear as "good neighbors," I suspect they have a similar "new discovery" that will allow them to avoid the WMNF and will provide an "alternate solution" for that as well that will be revealed at a convenient time. So much talk of this project has been focused by design (IMO) on the tower height and the 5% of the route that would go through the WMNF, people's focus has been taken off the other 95%.

peakbagger
10-24-2012, 12:50 PM
I saw this recently thought it might be of interest

http://www.forestsociety.org/news/press-release.asp?id=627

Kevin Rooney
10-24-2012, 01:24 PM
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"

TDawg
10-24-2012, 01:53 PM
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.

Kevin Rooney
10-24-2012, 02:49 PM
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.

Raven
10-27-2012, 07:21 AM
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/

peakbagger
10-31-2012, 12:10 PM
2 out of four properties. I guess everyone opposed to the project decided that someone else would donate

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20121031/NEWS02/121039830

Raven
10-31-2012, 02:07 PM
2 out of four properties. I guess everyone opposed to the project decided that someone else would donate

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20121031/NEWS02/121039830

I was happy to see they were able to solidify two of the properties even if not all four as of yet

They are extending the Trees Not Towers drive into 2013 as some companies (for tax purposes) would like to donate later. There is also allegedly a large donor waiting in the wings for more support before committing.

So, with some luck and support, these 4 properties will be conserved - it appears as though they still have some time to raise money and purchase the other two.

RoySwkr
10-31-2012, 07:37 PM
2 out of four properties. I guess everyone opposed to the project decided that someone else would donate

To be fair, SPNHF already had a huge fund-raising campaign to buy the Balsams easement and with the economy some people may be tapped out

Last week SPNHF had a glossy insert in the Concord paper that the greatest visual impact will be in Concord with 140' towers - the line is right next to protected properties and certainly there will be more people around to see it :-)

It seems to me that the bidding war in the North Country has easements selling for multiples of what the whole property would have gone for a few years ago - IIRC the assessed value of all of Coos county was once below that of the Seabrook nuclear plant

Raven
11-16-2012, 07:14 PM
http://nonorthernpassnh.blogspot.com/

The Trees not Towers campaign has raised $1 million of the $2.5 million goal needed to conserve 4 key properties. The properties, beautiful in their own right, also block the intended route of Northern Pass.

As stated earlier, 2 of the 4 properties have been conserved using funds from this campaign. There was apparently a strong financial push in support of this after the 2 properties were gained. Over 1,000 donors in total now.

peakbagger
11-21-2012, 09:15 PM
The latest gambit by PSNH
http://www.newhampshirelakesandmountains.com/Articles-Coos-County-Democrat-c-2012-11-19-157390.113119-Northern-Pass-leases-20mile-route-in-Dummer-3-Unincorporated-Places.html

Hmm I wonder now if they will run down to Berlin and follow RT 2 at the base of the Northern Presidentials? That would go over quite well ;)

There was a wind farm application larger than the Millsfield project on tap for the area north of RT 26 but it was put on hold as there was no way to get the power exported. Perhaps NP is going to install a substation so the windfarm can be built? This might crack the door open for eminent domain as the project would now be a benefit to NH instead of just a way of wheeling Canadian power to Mass. It also would solve the rumored problem that the large new power plant in Berlin may not be able to run all the time due to lack of grid capacity. No matter what happens, the right of way is getting less and less direct with every change.

Raven
11-23-2012, 06:22 AM
Northeast utilities CEO Tony May, earlier this month, in a presentation to investors, is quoted as saying NP has the support of EVERY environmental group in New England as well as Maggie Hassan, and the support of the Regional grid operator, ISO New England.

None of the three claims bear any factual backing and representatives from all three have come out publicly saying so.

The arrogance, bullying, and lies associated with NP continue. It's clear they plan to move this project forward by whatever means are necessary, whether ethical or otherwise.

Www.clf.org

rocket21
11-23-2012, 06:29 AM
Northeast utilities CEO Tony May, earlier this month, in a presentation to investors, is quoted as saying NP has the support of EVERY environmental group in New England as well as Maggie Hassan, and the support of the Regional grid operator, ISO New England.

None of the three claims bear any factual backing and representatives from all three have come out publicly saying so.


All three probably asked, who is Tony May? :)

MichaelJ
11-23-2012, 03:08 PM
Charles Muntz signed the lease on behalf of RPI (Renewable Properties, Inc.).

Hmm … we all know what happened to the last Charles Muntz:

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_maw9dgpm6q1qhc9fjo1_400.jpg

Raven
12-23-2012, 12:21 PM
All three probably asked, who is Tony May? :)

And now many more people will get an introduction to Tony May from the front page of the Globe where he has been called out on the carpet for his ignorant, misleading comments.

http://bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2012/12/23/utility-ceo-under-fire-for-northern-pass-comments/GwoDwGH0LI72DYaFMiTVDO/story.html

Their strategic position is weakening day by day and more investors are losing faith. IMO, now is the perfect time to hit them hard.

There is an AMC petition that can be signed, there is the Forest Society's Trees not Towers Campaign, there are politicians to call, and there are any other number of options.

Raven
12-24-2012, 06:04 AM
Here is the link to oppose Northern Pass:

http://www.outdoors.org/conservation/hotissues/index.cfm

Raven
12-27-2012, 10:11 AM
http://www.unionleader.com/article/20121227/NEWS02/121229373

Only a few days left for NP to announce it's new route as they promised by year's end. Whatever they come forward with will necessarily be an incomplete route and will ideally expose the uncertainty of this project moving forward. I am hopeful that many investors are waiting until this announcement to determine if this project is worth continuing to finance.

If I were an investor, I would be unimpressed. :)

Raven
01-01-2013, 09:48 AM
The facade continues to crumble...

http://www.concordmonitor.com/search/3590377-95/northern-pass-route-project

Favorite quote from article:" “The bravado and confidence of (Northern Pass’s) spokespersons are matched only by their lack of credibility,” Baker said yesterday by email."

Time to bow out NP. It's getting embarassing.

Barkingcat
01-01-2013, 10:48 AM
(Thanks for posting these updates.)

peakbagger
01-23-2013, 12:27 PM
Some recent transactions

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20130123/NEWS05/130129707/-1/news

No matter what happens with Northern Pass, there is some serious money being handed out in far northern NH for the "right" pieces of property. It will be interesting to see what becomes of it when the issue is resolved one way or another.

There have been recent articles in the Maine press discussing exporting power through western maine from Quebec, the concensus is that no party even wants to try due to potential public backlash. Unlike NH, CMP is in the distribution business and doesnt stand to make a buck off a NP like project so there really isnt a publically subsized driver to build one.

Barkingcat
03-02-2013, 07:02 AM
From Thursday's Union-Leader, speculation that the folks at Northern Pass may try to have the project enter the US via Vermont, and then cross over into New Hampshire through Littleton.

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20130301/NEWS02/130309958

RoySwkr
03-02-2013, 09:24 AM
From Thursday's Union-Leader, speculation that the folks at Northern Pass may try to have the project enter the US via Vermont, and then cross over into New Hampshire through Littleton.

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20130301/NEWS02/130309958

There was speculation (denied by NP of course) that the NH route was originally chosen because environmental laws were tougher in VT, now that NH is a hornets' nest it may be time for Plan B

SPNHF seems to think VT may actually favor this, I'll leave it to the VT residents here to comment :-)

peakbagger
03-02-2013, 11:08 AM
A route through Northeastern VT running along the current HQ HVDC corridor to Littleton does skip the current most contentious section of NP, but only for now. In my opinion, given that a right of way didnt exist in northern NH, the people against the project from southern NH and the areas immediately west of the the WMNF who would get impacted decided that the best defense was to block the route in the north country. SPNHF probably didnt mind the visibility and lightning rod that allowed them to collect record amounts of money to forward their long term agenda of protecting forest lands from development.

I expect that opposition dollars will flow to the northeast kingdom of VT quite quickly if it looks like the NP is heading that way. The govenor of VT may be a supporter of renewable, but to date the approach VT has followed is high cost distributed (AKA local) generation. Velco the regional grid operator has flat out told the state that billions of dollars of investment are required to get the VT grid to the point where it meets federal reliability standards and to date the state has elected to ignore the recomendations predominantly due to resistance to building a lot of new high voltage transmission lines. VT does use HQ power already but it mostly is via current transmission lines. Given the former Champion lands which are now off limits to development and the Silvio Conte national wildlife refuge along with other conservation lands, I expect running a right of way is still quite a challenge. Not sure how ACT 250 and other rules impact the timing but given the years of effort to run a new transmission line to the Burlington area a few years back, I expect its significant.

Unfortunately unless NP is run all the way south to Mass along the current HQ corridor, the Littleton connection via the current right of way still requires going through areas with high levels of opposition to NP, like Sugar hill and Franconia and still requires getting a new special use permit to cross the WMNF south of the South Kinsman. It also still means that the current right of way south of the WMNF is going to be widened substantially and the impacts to those along their right of ways will still be significant. The net result is the "front" of the battle will move south but the majority of the opposition will remain.

I personally still believe that there is a plan C where the current and upcoming future significant grid limitations in Coos county will be "solved" by PSNH by adding a substation north of the whites to allow locally generated renewable power to be exported via the NP line. This step then gives PSNH the right back to use eminent domain and all the SPNHF money spent is moot unless the land is quickly wrapped into a federal entity like Silvio Conte which is not subject to eminent domain. Given that the majority of the SPNHF purchaes were development rights I dont know if donating it to the feds has the same protections as fee ownership. I expect that if PSNH elects to bury the line thru the WMNF and run it through Kinsman notch on the current state of NH highway right of way, that getting a special use permit will not be a significant issue especially since the line would become essential to the north country rather than a strictly commerical entity.

Given the resources PSNH has brought to bear to date, I expect there is alternatives d,e,f,g,h etc all the way to z.

RoySwkr
03-10-2013, 04:33 PM
Does this have anything to do with Northern Pass?
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2013/SCR0001.html

Raven
03-10-2013, 06:24 PM
Does this have anything to do with Northern Pass?
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2013/SCR0001.html

I certainly hope so. That's outstanding.

Trail Bandit
03-10-2013, 07:43 PM
Although the state senate in NH may have their hearts in the right place, the White Mountain National Forest is owned and controlled by the federal government. The resolution says that they will send notes to the President, our delegates in Washington, etc. This may make NH residents believe that our state government is doing something but in reality, they have no say in the matter. It is federal property and the feds do what they damn well please in most cases. National forests are designed to be lands of many uses. This includes recreation but also includes timber operations, mining, grazing of cattle (perhaps not in NH), etc. It certainly does not exclude transmission lines to bring power to cities that may lie outside NH.

sardog1
03-10-2013, 08:54 PM
The NH Senate needs some new help in its back office. There's one helluva difference between the "should" in the wording of the resolution and the "shall" in the analysis that precedes it. Someone needs an education in federalism ...

peakbagger
04-02-2013, 02:17 PM
So much for a new route by the end of March

http://www.vnews.com/news/state/region/5386665-95/northern-pass-misses-another-route-deadline

Montana
05-03-2013, 06:05 AM
My wife and I are looking to buy a vacation home north of Franconia notch so I have been following this project. Looks like the project is throwing the state of NH a bone with a proposed fiber optic line. http://www.northernpass.us/news/press-releases/49/. We found a nice potential near the rocks estate but about 1000 ft from the existing psnh row. So if amyone was a betting man is this going to happen and is the last proposed route the likely path? Thanks.

peakbagger
05-03-2013, 06:49 AM
Gee isn't it generous of them, laying fiber is cheap and most likely would be used for the NP project nyhow, its the infrastructure required to get from the fiber to the user that is the expensive part. Considering that extensive fiber backbone is already being installed in the north country I am not sure how much this offer bring to the table. Due to the low population density very few companies are extending line outside of built up areas.

peakbagger
05-03-2013, 02:26 PM
http://nhpr.org/post/northern-pass-insists-it-has-new-route-again-declines-say-where-it

peakbagger
05-08-2013, 08:25 AM
http://www.colebrookchronicle.com/May32013.pdf

Some recent news on the project. The article is spread throuhout the paper. The editoral on recent land sales is less polite than previoulsy on those who sold blcks of land.

Raven
05-08-2013, 06:27 PM
http://www.colebrookchronicle.com/May32013.pdf

Some recent news on the project. The article is spread throuhout the paper. The editoral on recent land sales is less polite than previoulsy on those who sold blcks of land.

Thanks for posting - good article to read.

Yes, the editorial is quite clear in its message isn't it?

Barkingcat
05-09-2013, 07:57 AM
Thanks for posting - good article to read.

Yes, the editorial is quite clear in its message isn't it?

Yes -- thank you for posting this!

peakbagger
05-10-2013, 06:58 AM
Unfotunately the amount of continuing press on the project is being reduced substantially. I expect that is one of the reasons that PSNH has gone quiet. The general public loses interest after awhile whne a project like this is in the news.

I did see recently that the NH governor wrote a letter to the Connecticut govenor opposing CTs proposed changes to the renewable portfolio standard allowable technologies. They propose to allow large scale hydro (previoulsy excluded ) to count as renewable in CT. This will save CT a bundle. Mass is also considering this change for the same reasons. If this passes in both states, NP suddenly becomes extremely lucrative.

Raven
06-12-2013, 09:15 AM
Copied from an email notification:

Greetings!!!

The long awaited Northern Pass documentary is complete!

The film is called:
NORTHERN TRESPASS

After two years of filming & editing, we have completed our 1 hour documentary.

We are thrilled to announce the
WORLD PREMIER
at the Flying Monkey Theater
Plymouth, N.H.
JULY 10
time & details (TBA)

Please save the date and make plans to come.
Bring everyone and make sure to include people who may think the NP
is a good idea or don't understand the issues.

Please send this announcement to everyone!

We will send along more details as we get them.
SAVE THE DATE!!!!!

Atta Girls
Indian Stream Productions

peakbagger
06-19-2013, 05:23 PM
http://www.vnews.com/news/state/region/7060322-95/northern-pass-wants-to-use-protected-land

Vermonster
06-19-2013, 08:02 PM
Full article appears to be behind a paywall. Here's the lede:

Northern Pass Wants to Use Protected Land
Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Faced with a block in their route, Northern Pass officials have asked the state about crossing the protected Connecticut Lakes Headwaters — but doing it underground, the state Attorney General’s Office said yesterday, confirming what elected officials and environmental advocates have predicted for weeks.


Edited to add--if you have trouble reading the entire article you can try incognito window (Chrome) or similar. That seems to work.

Raven
06-27-2013, 04:29 AM
Northern Pass has announced it will describe its proposed new route today at 11 AM in Hooskett.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/new-hampshire/2013/06/26/northern-pass-route-being-announced/YoHhCrnSN2DSg7XHr5TYnJ/story.html

Is this going to be a real, viable route or more blowing smoke? I'm interested to see what they propose to cross the Connecticut headwaters and the WMNF as well as how they are going around the properties protected by the SFPNH, unless Vermont is now in the plan.

Also, Senate Bill 99 is now officially a law.

http://www.nhpr.org/post/hassan-signs-bill-study-site-evaluation-committee

peakbagger
06-27-2013, 05:26 AM
Unless the news reports are wrong the proposed route with a short section buried is not going to be much of compromise that the conservation community will accept. Basically bury where they couldn't get easements.

Raven
06-27-2013, 01:07 PM
Unless the news reports are wrong the proposed route with a short section buried is not going to be much of compromise that the conservation community will accept. Basically bury where they couldn't get easements.

Yes - my guess from what I read is that they will propose going underground to cross the WMNF and the Connecticut headwaters, although as I understand it, crossing the headwaters is not an option whether over or under ground due to the language in the conservation easement.

Hopefully we will hear soon.

Quietman
06-27-2013, 01:54 PM
HERE (http://www.northernpass.us/assets/np_route_2_map_8.5x11-final.pdf) is the new map that was updated this morning.

peakbagger
06-27-2013, 02:43 PM
I don't expect that this will fly well with the majority of those opposed to NP. The North Country was always set up as the most logical way of stopping the project by folks from down south. The majority of the support and the money has come from southern NH and it sure appears as though there was no effort to make concessions.

I was quite surprised that they didn't at least propose to bury the line under the WMNF on the existing ROW or more logically run it along side the highway in Kinsman Notch.

JCarter
06-27-2013, 03:17 PM
I was quite surprised that they didn't at least propose to bury the line under the WMNF on the existing ROW or more logically run it along side the highway in Kinsman Notch.

I'm no expert, but it was my understanding that the route through the WMNF isn't actually an "existing ROW" (i.e., they don't actually have the right to run the line through there), but instead requires a new special use permit from the Feds, the granting of which is by no means certain.

peakbagger
06-27-2013, 03:31 PM
You are correct, the current line is covered by a special use permit over WMNF land which is specific to the current transmission line and cant be expanded to the new line. A new special use permit would have to be issued by the forest supervisor. If I remember correctly, the supervisor can take lots of input but ultimately it is his call. That's one of the reasons why I am surprised that they didn't try to find a another way to cross, like a state highway.

RoySwkr
06-27-2013, 05:10 PM
You are correct, the current line is covered by a special use permit over WMNF land which is specific to the current transmission line and cant be expanded to the new line. A new special use permit would have to be issued by the forest supervisor. If I remember correctly, the supervisor can take lots of input but ultimately it is his call. That's one of the reasons why I am surprised that they didn't try to find a another way to cross, like a state highway.
That may yet happen. In other states the A.T. community including the National Park Service has successfully opposed new transmission corridors (which PSNH may try to argue this isn't).

The Alaska pipeline could have been tied up in court forever but ultimately Congress voted to allow it regardless, similarly the Keystone pipeline decision may be made in spite of existing laws. Doubtful that PSNH has that much clout alone but it would be harder to object if the government of Canada officially backs Northern Pass.


Yes - my guess from what I read is that they will propose going underground to cross the WMNF and the Connecticut headwaters, although as I understand it, crossing the headwaters is not an option whether over or under ground due to the language in the conservation easement.

Courts can rule in mysterious ways and easements can be broken.

The good news here is that for the first time PSNH has declared it technically feasible to bury the line, so now owners of viewshed properties can try to insist that other sections be buried perhaps becoming 100%. It will be harder for Canada to insist the line be allowed if the issue is cost rather than permissions.

Raven
06-27-2013, 06:03 PM
The Alaska pipeline could have been tied up in court forever but ultimately Congress voted to allow it regardless, similarly the Keystone pipeline decision may be made in spite of existing laws.

I believe the current administration will do everything in their power to not make that decision and pass it along to the next administration.

Agreed courts can rule in mysterious ways. Let's hope they stick to reason.

TJsName
06-27-2013, 07:02 PM
Is the goal of the 'stop northern pass' movement for wildlife conservation, view preservation, economic preservation (i.e. protect small power producers)? Just curious what's actually at stake if new right of ways are granted. This seems like a hot-button issue, so please note I am not being snarky here (which is my M O) - the question is sincere.

RoySwkr
06-28-2013, 04:50 PM
Is the goal of the 'stop northern pass' movement for wildlife conservation, view preservation, economic preservation (i.e. protect small power producers)? Just curious what's actually at stake if new right of ways are granted. This seems like a hot-button issue, so please note I am not being snarky here (which is my M O) - the question is sincere.
Any or all of the above - the antis are from a variety of groups often feeling the eyesore will hurt tourism

TJsName
06-29-2013, 12:46 PM
Any or all of the above - the antis are from a variety of groups often feeling the eyesore will hurt tourism

Interesting. I'm not sure that I ever considered transmission lines a bad enough eyesore that I wouldn't go somewhere. Are ATVs allowed to ride along the paths? I know the transmission lines where I grew up in southern NH were frequently used for recreation (though I am not sure if it was by design, allowed to happen, or frowned upon).

RoySwkr
06-29-2013, 04:13 PM
I'm not sure that I ever considered transmission lines a bad enough eyesore that I wouldn't go somewhere.
The city of Concord is spending over $3 million to bury less than a mile of lines so some people think they are really ugly :-)

The parking lot for the new Market Basket off 114 in Bedford is actually under high-tension lines, I'm surprised that was allowed. Of course you aren't parked there very long.

In addition to ugliness, some people are very afraid of EMF, if that reduces potential buyers for your property or guests for your inn that is negative impact.


Are ATVs allowed to ride along the paths? I know the transmission lines where I grew up in southern NH were frequently used for recreation (though I am not sure if it was by design, allowed to happen, or frowned upon).
If the line is on a ROW the underlying landowner can control usage and I'm sure all 3 of the above apply at various spots :-) NP received an endorsement from some ATV group by promising to allow ATVs on corridor lands they owned - of course some people rank ATVs even below powerlines in desirability :-)

TCD
06-29-2013, 07:23 PM
Another reason lines are buried is that they no longer get taken down by trees, ice storms, etc. If that's the only issue, most locations find that it's cheaper to leave them above ground and fix them as needed, but this is one more item in the overall equation.

peakbagger
06-30-2013, 04:15 AM
The older HQ line that runs down through VT was shut down within the past year by someone who shot one of the insulators. The resulting impact of this was several million dollars worth of costs and a loss of this powerline for several hours. The actual cables very rarely fail or wear out, its the supporting infrastructure, like insulators or support cables. It all comes down to an initial capital cost versus benefit equation to the line owner. Build a low cost elevated network and its goes in quickly plus the permitting is somewhat easier as the wetland impacts are minimal. Once the line starts producing power the revenue rolls in and the shareholders are happy. They also have tobeat competing projects to the punch. Build a much higher cost underground line, it takes longer and the wetlands issues can really extend the schedule plus construction is much longer. Shareholders are unhappy.

What isnt factored in by the utility are the soft costs to the people living and recreating in the region by the impact of the towers vs the buried option. If someone is looking to buy land they have the option of not buying if they object to the towers in the viewshed, but anyone that already owns land doesnt have that option, the visual impact will be imposed on them with no mitigation.

A buried line does not need such an extensive ROW and has far less visual impact. There is still impact but a lot can be mitigated by aligning it with existing roads and former or existing rail beds. Arguably, the ROW for the buried line is just as effective for ATVs as the tower option and I expect most ATVers would appreciate a 50 foot ROW in place of 300 foot ROW. The buried ROW is going to tend to be better graded than a high tension line ROW.

Andrew
06-30-2013, 07:09 AM
Arguably, the ROW for the buried line is just as effective for ATVs as the tower option and I expect most ATVers would appreciate a 50 foot ROW in place of 300 foot ROW. The buried ROW is going to tend to be better graded than a high tension line ROW.

The wide above ground ROW cuts prove to be less desirable for winter OHRV use as it is difficult to keep snow on them due to blowing and drifting, as well as steep straight and sidehill grades.

Raven
08-07-2013, 09:53 PM
http://www.unionleader.com/article/20130801/NEWS05/130809950/0/news0401

The newly proposed route for Northern Pass appears to need the use of land protected by the Forest Society. Near Pittsburgh along route 3, NP has proposed burying the line, but the land they want to use is already protected. I expect this to cause some interesting legal arguments.

Barkingcat
08-08-2013, 08:33 AM
http://www.unionleader.com/article/20130801/NEWS05/130809950/0/news0401

The newly proposed route for Northern Pass appears to need the use of land protected by the Forest Society. Near Pittsburgh along route 3, NP has proposed burying the line, but the land they want to use is already protected. I expect this to cause some interesting legal arguments.

It appears that Northern Pass wanted to take advantage of the "viatic use" easement granted to the state for Route 3. In New Hampshire, such easements are granted by the owner(s) of the property over which a public road passes. With the exception of some special cases -- and this might be why the Forest Society had to research this (going through old deeds, land-use agreements, etc.) -- the easement is only for "any use reasonably incidental to the purpose of traveling."

So, I would think that unless Northern Pass can find a way of showing the burying of transmission lines as covered by viatic use, they're going to have to get the permission of the landowner(s) to use the land underneath the highway.

Raven
08-08-2013, 09:27 AM
Thanks for adding that. I cannot see how electrical lines would be incidental to travel unless we start travelling the highways in bumper cars. :rolleyes:

TCD
08-08-2013, 09:35 AM
They could just drop in a couple electric car recharging stations along the way...

Raven
08-08-2013, 05:16 PM
They could just drop in a couple electric car recharging stations along the way...

A good point. However, we have had electric car technology for a long time and they are still a very small percentage of cars on the road with no guarantees that percentage will change. I hope that changes of course, however in this situation, I think this would be a weak argument.

Weak arguments have been abundant though.

Raven
08-09-2013, 06:10 AM
After more than a week of prodding by the Forest Society, Northern Pass has revealed its strategy to acquire its "new route": an eminent domain-style taking. In Chris Jensen's NHPR report today, Northern Pass states that it will ask the SEC to approve its request to use private land to site the new route. But SEC lawyer Michael Iacopino says the SEC does not have the authority to take private land. Former PUC chair and attorney Doug Patch says such jurisdictional authority for the SEC would be unprecedented. And Northern Pass says it won't go back and try to grab the Headwaters despite listing it as the alternate route in its amended presidential permit application filed on June 27th.

http://www.nhpr.org/post/northern-pass-says-state-could-overrule-forest-society-land-claims

gaiagirl
08-09-2013, 06:16 AM
I saw the NHPR report, as well, and while Northern Pass' new bid is a stretch, it still makes me seriously nervous. SPNHF will certainly make a hue and cry over this "new route" and all that it would entail. Hopefully that will just mean more opponents to this proposed debacle.

Barkingcat
08-09-2013, 09:19 AM
After more than a week of prodding by the Forest Society, Northern Pass has revealed its strategy to acquire its "new route": an eminent domain-style taking. In Chris Jensen's NHPR report today, Northern Pass states that it will ask the SEC to approve its request to use private land to site the new route. But SEC lawyer Michael Iacopino says the SEC does not have the authority to take private land.

Very interesting -- I wondered about this. Northern Pass appears to be admitting that it agrees with SPNHF that no utility easement currently exists along that section of Route 3, and, just as important, that SPNHF does indeed own the land under that same section of Route 3.

Asking the SEC to intervene is pretty severe, as well. Why even ask them to grant a utility easement along a state road (which, for the record, is a public easement over private land unless the state has been granted title) -- why not simply go for broke and just ask the state to force any/every private landowner to grant a utility easement over their property for Northern Pass? I cannot see where this strong-arm approach, under a veil of "utility easement for the public good," is going to help Northern Pass -- given the controversy over eminent domain and Northern Pass over the past couple of years.

Perhaps I give Northern Pass too much credit with this, but I wondering if this is all smoke and mirrors, given how desperate it sounds, especially aired in public?

Raven
08-09-2013, 10:31 AM
Very interesting -- I wondered about this. Northern Pass appears to be admitting that it agrees with SPNHF that no utility easement currently exists along that section of Route 3, and, just as important, that SPNHF does indeed own the land under that same section of Route 3.

Asking the SEC to intervene is pretty severe, as well. Why even ask them to grant a utility easement along a state road (which, for the record, is a public easement over private land unless the state has been granted title) -- why not simply go for broke and just ask the state to force any/every private landowner to grant a utility easement over their property for Northern Pass? I cannot see where this strong-arm approach, under a veil of "utility easement for the public good," is going to help Northern Pass -- given the controversy over eminent domain and Northern Pass over the past couple of years.

Perhaps I give Northern Pass too much credit with this, but I wondering if this is all smoke and mirrors, given how desperate it sounds, especially aired in public?

I am starting to think they are getting desperate. I am sure they never expected the resistance they have encountered in northern NH. They can't use the term eminent domain due to the huge negative press wave that brings.

My suspicion is that they are taking a similar approach to the Keystone Pipeline which is being built in Texas before it has been approved. It's an arrogant approach in which they are working under the assumption that policians will simply rubber stamp the permits. And of course, they may do just that, but if they were held to getting approval before starting, it would stop this strategy.

By spending a lot of money buying property and moving forward with the process (NP) without a legal route available and identified, I expect they will try to back door this near the end with the defense, "we have already invested millions of dollars and hours, are you going to make us waste all of that for some simple private property issues?" And no matter what the law says, it is real men and women who make these decisions, and people are fallible and sometimes easily influenced.

Barkingcat
08-10-2013, 02:52 PM
Here's a lil' trinket o' information for folks:

PSNH, inextricably linked to Northern Pass, has apparently been losing customers at a rapid pace; according to Wednesday's NHPR story, "More than 50 percent of PSNH’s customers have left them for cheaper suppliers. 20,000 residential customers have left in the last few months."

(The story neglects, though, to provide context or a frame of reference: 50 percent of how many and over what time frame? I'm sure some digging would supply this information.)

Yes, most of these have probably jumped ship to save money, but I cannot help but think that PSNH's role in Northern Pass has had a significant role in all of this, as well, perhaps offering people an outlet for voicing an opinion with their checkbooks.

The NHPR story on this is here. (http://www.nhpr.org/post/psnh-hot-seat-lawmakers-weighing-options-customers-flee)

Kevin Rooney
08-10-2013, 03:19 PM
I'm one of those who switched from PSH to another power supplier in search of lower rates. However, regardless of the electrical supplier, PSH will still collect approximately $.10/kwh regardless of whether they supply the power or not. Here's how that "infrastructure" charge breaks down:

PSNH Customer Charge.............0.013591
KWH Distribution Charge...........0.030905
Transmission Charge.................0.014800
Stranded Cst Recovery Chg.......0.007840
System Benefits Chrg................0.033000
"Base" KWH Charge..............0.100136

And here are the energy charges from available suppliers:

Current Energy Charge Per kWh:
ENH:...................0.072840
PSNH:.................0.161410
NA Power:...........0.079900

So, even though ENH may charge 50% less than PSH for the actual electricity, you're not going to save 50% of your bill with PSH supplying everything. With ENH, my total cost is about $.17/kWh. In way of comparison, where I lived in the Eastern Sierra for 7 years my cost was a bit over $.14/kWh, which was considered high.

Personally, I think NH's rates are high.

Vermonster
08-11-2013, 08:07 AM
Linked on the front page of Unionleader.com this morning:

http://dartreview.com/dartlog/2013/8/9/northern-pass-to-impact-the-grant.html

Andrew
08-11-2013, 08:20 AM
I left psnh and opted for enh specifically because of NP.

Raven
08-11-2013, 10:01 AM
I left psnh and opted for enh specifically because of NP.

@Andrew, do you know the exact sources of power for ENH? I am interested in where some of the newer companies are getting their energy, especially if they are calling it green, local, or renewable. As we know, renewable does not always mean environmentally sound. I think having this type of information posted here would be a great resource for people wanting to switch over. As a start here is an official NH site that lists some options.

http://www.puc.state.nh.us/consumer/energysuppliers.htm

Some of these companies like Fairpoint have options for green wind power, but I want to be careful to not support ridgeline windfarms in NH. At the same time, I do not want coal fired power from any of them, like PSNH uses. I use very little electricity, so the rate is not all that important to me but the source is.

Barkingcat
08-11-2013, 11:40 AM
I left psnh and opted for enh specifically because of NP.

We left PSNH for the exact same reason. Had the Northern Pass project never come about, we probably would have skipped merrily along with PSNH, paying them no mind whatsoever.

I trust that there are a few more folks who have done the same.

Andrew
08-12-2013, 05:25 AM
I don't have a handle on all of enh sources, but I did opt for "coal-free" sources. I was mainly looking for anything other than psnh due to being so disappointed with NP. I would not be surprised if eventually enh carried NP power if it's built, then I would seek another provider.

peakbagger
08-12-2013, 07:31 AM
If you want to oppose PSNH and are concerned that the alternatives may not be a lot better, you may want to talk to ReVision Energy or any number of suppliers of Solar Electric Generating systems.(One of the member on this site works for one of these firms) There are incentives in NH plus a 30% federal tax credit . Depending on your access to sunlight, the payback is typically in to 5 to 7 year range for a system installed by a pro. With the current net metered rate plan, I pay a basic line fee every month (I think its around $11)and that's it plus I have built up a several month surplus of power generated. I recently self installed an addition to my current system so my payback would be somewhat shorter but the level of skill required to install a NEC compliant system may be above those of most on this site. There are various leasing options that sound great and may be for some, but keep in mind that the vast majority of those selling these systems are paid on commission and some may be for more interested in their commission than a good deal for the client. Folks in Mass have better incentives so the payback is usually shorter. Like any other popular commodity, caveat emptor applies.

The recent introduction of micro- inverters allows someone to start out small and add on as they can afford it, but the downside is a bit more cost per installed watt every time you expand. Please note, the vast majority of these systems stop working when the utility power goes off, if you want off gird, it will cost more and extend the payback, most estimates are that long term off grid power is 35 to 50 cents per KW with significant lifestyle impacts. One firm does offer an emergency power option for grid tie systems that will generate 15 Amps at 120 volts whenever the sun is out but in general "off grid" solar is quite expensive compared to a good Honda generator and 10 gallons of gas. There are also hybrid systems that qualify for federal incentives and can ride through power outages of limited durations, albeit at extra cost.

There are plenty of potential future buyers for NP Power as Mass, CT and RI all have requirements that force anyone selling power in those markets to have a certain percentage renewable power. Mass and CT currently do not allow NP type ponded hydro but there is intense lobbying in the background and in public to change this as the cost savings per KW hour is 10 to 15 cents per KW. Overall it will reduce the demand for wind renewable power as NP is substantially less expensive than most wind power projects. Wind power projects are partially financed by energy suppliers paying a premium for power generated renewably on long term contract basis . If the supplier can find a less expensive source of renewable power from NP, they will seek less from wind farms.

Rather than swinging the thread further away from its original intent, I would suggest breaking alternatives to PSNH power to a separate thread. If you really want to talk solar, feel free to PM me and I can point you to other forums that are solar related. If you want more details on my recent project, this link has some and even some pictures http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/2-kw-or-bust.111002/

peakbagger
08-19-2013, 12:15 PM
Well its officially in the federal register

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-19/pdf/2013-20129.pdf

Barkingcat
08-20-2013, 06:54 AM
Thanks for noting this.

Yes -- the amended application is listed. A good portion of this new federal register listing is dedicated to noting all of the previous amendments and changes by Northern Pass since its original 2010 application.

Barkingcat
08-20-2013, 08:16 AM
Well its officially in the federal register

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-19/pdf/2013-20129.pdf

And, the saga continues: New Hampshire's congressional delegation is saying to DOE -- "eh?" -- asking in an August 16 letter whether Northern Pass must demonstrate “that it has the legal capacity to construct the project” before the Department of Energy continues its evaluation.

(And, Northern Pass begs to differ, taking the tack that if you repeat something often enough as a truth, it will become true.)

See: http://www.nhpr.org/post/nh-congressional-delegation-questions-doe-about-northern-pass-route

Barkingcat
08-20-2013, 08:25 AM
We Promise a Chicken in Every Pot, I Tell You, If You Let Us Build Our Power Line

Filed under "Chutzpah? We'll Show You Chutzpah!" -- "Northern Pass says it will provide $7.5 million to fund a job-creation effort in Coos County, but the money won’t be available unless the controversial project is approved."

Northern Pass doesn't say whether or not the fund would only be available with the project approved as currently planned (versus, say, completely buried).

See: http://www.nhpr.org/post/northern-pass-promises-75-million-job-program-if-project-gets-ok

It's certainly not been a slow news day.

peakbagger
08-27-2013, 09:11 AM
Vermont Yankee to close

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-27/entergy-to-close-its-vermont-yankee-nuclear-power-plant.html

This wasn't unexpected, but the majority of the power went to Mass and CT. This most likely will crank up to demand for Hydro Quebec power as nuclear was regarded as carbon neutral. I expect Northeast Utilitiess is going to bring in the even bigger guns now to get the project approved. I also expect the proposed Lake Champlain powerline will also benefit.

Kevin Rooney
08-27-2013, 09:24 AM
Vermont Yankee to close

A majority of Vermonters are breathing a sigh of relief. Vermont Yankee was wildly unpopular.

TCD
08-27-2013, 10:32 AM
No one knows what will actually happen when VY closes. Here's one scenario:

http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/52228/impact-closing-vermont-yankee-nuclear-plant

If that turns out to be accurate, this may be a "be careful what you wish for" situation. Then the same folks can just repaint their "Close VY" protest signs to say "Lower our electricity bills" and go marching again.

Of course other people have argued that there will be much less impact - certainly I hope that's true. We'll see.

SteveHiker
09-02-2013, 11:49 AM
A majority of Vermonters are breathing a sigh of relief. Vermont Yankee was wildly unpopular.

Really? Not with the majority that I know. Nor the 600+ that are going to be out of work. Nor will hardly anybody once they see the alternatives.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2013/09/01/who-told-vermont-to-be-stupid/

Oh frack!

Kevin Rooney
09-02-2013, 11:56 AM
Really? Not with the majority that I know. Nor the 600+ that are going to be out of work. Nor will hardly anybody once they see the alternatives.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2013/09/01/who-told-vermont-to-be-stupid/

Oh frack!

I read the article, and some of the comments. He's a shill.

gaiagirl
09-02-2013, 12:31 PM
You took the words right out of my mouth, Kevin! I would give you a greenie, but alas, they are no more. :p:D

rocket21
09-02-2013, 04:57 PM
I grew up in the fall out zone of both Vermont Yankee and Yankee Rowe. Ironically, the bigger danger to us elementary school kids in the valley was the hydro plant up stream (which was reportedly very close to failing during Irene).

Many people lived in the hilltowns without real jobs. They somehow made a living protesting Yankee Rowe. When they were successful in getting it shut down, they turned their efforts on trying to prevent the waste from being removed from the site.

Prior to decommissioning, our side of the county went through a project of rebuilding the elementary schools. The wheels were in motion by the time the plant was closed. The impact? The new elementary schools are largely sitting half empty. The strings attached to the construction funds resulted in the towns deciding to keep operating the half empty schools, as they'd be on the hook for the bonds if they attempted to close and consolidate. As a result of that, property taxes in some of the smaller towns escalated. One good friend of mine had to continue to run her farm into her 80s, as it was the only way she could pay her property taxes. And for what it's worth, the area is lined with high tension lines which, though unsightly, haven't ruined the beauty nor scared away tourists. Ironically, the thing that deflated local tourism at the time was the construction of interstate highways and how they avoided the region.

We also have reports of New Hampshire's grid being overtaxed in the past year, to the point in which rolling blackouts almost occurred. We also have reports that part of the ridiculous new solution, a taxpayer funded wind farm near Plymouth with proceedings being sent to a Spanish companies, isn't even feeding the grid (but is getting tax credit for spinning the turbines anyway).

A few new modern nuclear plants in remote areas would be an interesting solution. Instead, we're shutting down what plants we have left and are permanently scarring our mountaintops for 20 to 25 years of minimal energy production that wouldn't be remotely economical if not for funneling our tax dollars to foreign entities.

By the way, according to reputable source Wikipedia, Vermont Yankee's annual energy generation is 4,703 GW hours. The Groton wind farm high-end estimate? 158 GW hours. So, if we were to try to replace Vermont Yankee with wind, we'd need to build 704 more mountaintop Spanish turbines to Groton specs and hope they're generating power round the clock. Or maybe use some more coal.

gaiagirl
09-02-2013, 06:10 PM
While I abhor nuclear, I'm not a fan of wind farms either, except in specific locations. I think the real solutions will not readily come, sadly, because they would require that all of us live differently and sacrifice some things, and we Americans are told we should never ever have to do this because it's, um, well, un-American. :( Depressing, but not hopeless.

peakbagger
09-02-2013, 06:49 PM
As I on occasion have to deal with the "grid", it is generally regarded as the most complex machine ever created by mankind. One of the many things I have learned is that there are multiple ways to "skin the proverbial cat" and given the complexity of the system, an expert can come to pretty anywhere whatever solution they want to. I really hope folks aren't trying to frame a debate, that its either Northern Pass or Wind Mills in NH or Northern pass versus Vermont Yankee versus Wind, the current problems and issues of the regional grid are far more complex

From a carbon neutrality perspective arguably, nuclear power is carbon neutral and the baseload replacement power is most likely carbon contributing. Europe is managing to survive a high proportion of renewable baseload somewhat by using Norway's (and to lesser extent Finland's)pumped storage capacity to buffer the impact of renewables but the recent decisions by Germany and others to shutter nuclear power has led to a resurgence of coal and to a lesser extent wood . Contrary to popular belief, coal fired powered generation is not banned in Kyoto accord countries, rather the cost for carbon emitted must be offset by buying credits, this should lead to overall reduction in carbon, but the reality is that numerous third world countries are manufacturing highly suspect carbon credits for sale to the highest bidders to the point where carbon credits are dirt cheap. The carbon trading market in Europe is widely regarded as suspect and the price of carbon credits have dropped to the point where coal plants can buy offsetting credits and still be the least expensive power as compared to high cost renewables. Germany Spain and Britain have all overly subsidized renewables and other suppliers in adjacent countries have taken advantage of those subsidies that are now a major drain on the economies of Germany Spain and Britain.

Britain recently has had to pass significant subsidies to keep several coal plants in operation as they lack enough baseload power due to renewables. Four power units in particular are supposed to be shifted to wood pellets, unfortunately, those 4 units will consume about 60% more so called waste wood then available in Great Britain . The result is those power plants plan to source their fuel from facilities like Millinocket's proposed Thermogen operation. Thermogen's ultimate goal is to produce torrefied wood pellets (torrefaction is a special pretreatment resulting in something similar to a charcoal briquette). Their plans are to purchase and process more wood than when Great Northern Paper was in full production, unlike the paper industry, the employment base is far lower. Ultimately they plan to build additional plants in Eastport Maine and elsewhere. So a subsidy for renewable power in Britain is going to lead to the most extensive logging of the Maine woods in probably 50 years. RWE in Germany had been purchasing cutting rights and building pellets plants in the south east for similar reasons. The type of cutting used to justify this type of forestry is going to resemble the methods used in New Brunswick, basically kill off the hardwoods after a cut and plant genetically optimized monocultures of spruce in large plantations.

With regards to Northern Pass, the Norway example in Europe where they have dammed numerous rivers and basins for use for pumped storage, Hydro Quebec is offering the same deal for the US, fortunately PSNH happens to be between Northern Quebec and southern NE so if they can build it, they make a lucrative return for every electron that goes back and forth. Arguably given this geographic monopoly, they should be able to afford to bury the line but NU has already entered the current revenue/capital ratio in their balance sheet so they don't want to admit to Wall Street that its going to take longer and cost more for the same return. CEO's become ex CEOs for this type of issue especially when he keeps insisting that its going to happen.

The current grid issues in New England are currently related to the natural gas resurgence. Most of the older coal plants were located along the coast close to the load so they could be serviced by barges. The new natural gas plants in general are far more distributed and out on the fringes of the gird. There are two large plants in ME (one in Veazie and one in Westbrook) that eat up a lot of the transmission lines capacity to the point where CMP is spending 1.4 billion dollars to upgrade the lines. Even with that upgrade there are numerous wind and biomass plants in eastern Maine that are unable to send power to southern NE when there is high demand due to lack of grid capacity. It is widely expected that when the new Berlin NH plant goes on line when the need is most critical that the net amount of power leaving northern NH will not change as the grid is already overloaded at times. Reportedly the Millsfield project is only rated at 50% capacity and has had to idle some days as there is no way to get the power out of the region. The recent push for wind farms in south and central NH is mostly due to some capacity being available on the grid although that rapidly will be eaten up.

There are a new generation of small nukes that are rolling out with less baggage than the older designs (but still are nuclear based). The reality is that given the current rate structure, as Entergy pointed out, there is no incentive for baseload generation and this no incentive for new nukes. Florida needed baseload generation and encouraged the utilities to build a new nuclear power plant, given the past when utilities were on the hook, to build power plants and eat the losses if the project is canceled (like Seabrook unit 2 which effectively bankrupted PSNH), the utilities extracted Construction in Progress (CIP)payments from the ratepayers. The project has now been canceled and the ratepayers are not particularly happy that they have paid hundreds of millions of dollars to build a plant that will not be built and the utility is not out a dime and actually was rewarded with a profit. Currently the only niche that makes sense to investors is to build local "peakers" which are rather inefficient gas turbines that run on jet fuel that can start up rapidly (5 minutes or less) and take advantage of periods when the region needs power. Given the way the current market works, when there is demand for power in the region they can sell this power at rates that or 10 to 100 times the usual rate. Most of the time they just sit idle and get paid a "capacity payment" to be able to supply power quickly just in case. Anytime you see a wind turbine being built, expect that somewhere there is a peaker being installed to back it up. There have been numerous MW of these units installed in CT in the past two years.

RoySwkr
09-03-2013, 07:40 PM
Northern Pass open house Holiday Inn Concord Wed 9/4 5:30-7:30 pm

RoySwkr
09-03-2013, 07:44 PM
>>A majority of Vermonters are breathing a sigh of relief. Vermont
>>Yankee was wildly unpopular.

Since VTY is located in the far SE corner of VT near the Connecticut River, it is not primarily Vermonters who will benefit from the closure but residents of MA and CT and boaters and hikers near the river who may have had their activities banned due to pollution.

Perhaps the plant could be run safely but not by the present management who a few years ago said there could be no [tritium?] leaks from the plant because it didn't have any [tritium?]. Well, guess what - it did and there were. It doesn't matter that much whether management were incompetent or just liars - neither group should be running a nuclear plant!

>Really? Not with the majority that I know. Nor the 600+ that are
>going to be out of work.

Certainly there will be a loss of jobs both at the plant and spin-offs. The town will lose a bundle in tax revenues - what if VTY quits paying taxes at all and dares them to foreclose on the property :-)

But this is a few-vs-many situation, like Northern Pass tricked the Concord paper into an endorsement by promising that NH residents would get first pick of jobs. What they didn't say is that these are union jobs and if not enough union members from NH apply they will presumably take members from other states ahead of letting NH residents join.

SteveHiker
09-04-2013, 08:49 PM
I read the article, and some of the comments. He's a shill.

Seems a little early for the name calling. Whatever. Enjoy your expensive, dirty power.

Snowflea
09-05-2013, 04:08 AM
"Shill" or not, when the Forbes article's author makes statements such as this:


" ...an increasingly onerous regulatory environment brought on by unfounded fears from the Fukushima disaster..."

his credibility goes south fast. Really? Unfounded fears?!

Consider me one more Vermonter breathing a sigh of relief.

Red Oak
09-05-2013, 05:13 AM
"Shill" or not, when the Forbes article's author makes statements such as this:



his credibility goes south fast. Really? Unfounded fears?!

Consider me one more Vermonter breathing a sigh of relief.Having grown up with the seabrook plant here in nh,I was exposed to both sides of the debate.Correct me if wrong but was there not some issue of contaminated runoff water being flushed into the coastal waters when the plant first opened?Nuclear power seems to be dirty also imho along with the rest of them[energy sources].Interesting to see in twenty years what is considered clean energy.I guess burning wood makes me belong in the dirty camp:)
Stinkyfeet,welcome back to the right coast!

Raven
09-05-2013, 06:06 AM
"Shill" or not, when the Forbes article's author makes statements such as this:



his credibility goes south fast. Really? Unfounded fears?!

Consider me one more Vermonter breathing a sigh of relief.

Yes, that's a pretty ridiculous statement (the Shill's statement that is) considering they are pumping thousands of gallons of water daily into the damaged reactors still to cool them (2 years later) that ALL gets contaminated. If they stop, possible continued meltdown. More than a thousand makeshift holding tanks are littering the area around the plant to simply hold the contaminated waste water. These of course, are now actively leaking radioactively contaminated water because they didn't bother making ones that had seals that would hold. Multiple fisheries have been shut down because their levels of radioactivity are too high. They are considering the ridiculous idea of FREEZING THE GROUND around the plant to try to contain the water!!! I'll go out on a limb and guess that Haliburton or some other greed-fueled monstrosity has an answer and a bid ready to go. This is absurdity.

Shill? Far worse. He and his attitude are dangerous. I'm sure PR at NU would love to hire him. He appears to "fit the suit."

http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/04/world/asia/japan-fukushima-nuclear-crisis-explainer/

Kevin Rooney
09-05-2013, 08:34 AM
Here's a link to an AP article by Dave Gram (http://www.vnews.com/news/state/region/8240544-95/vermont-nuke-plant-to-close-owner-says-vt-yankee-not-financially-viable).

Two quotes from that article -

"Rich Sedano, director of U.S. programs for the Regulatory Assistance Project, said the nuclear plant’s small slice of New England’s power supply — about 2 percent — means the closure will have little effect on consumers. It will require more reliance on natural gas and may push the region toward more solar and wind production, especially as states try to meet mandated standards of energy from renewables."

"Vermont Yankee opened in 1972 in Vernon. In the past it has provided as much as a third of the state’s electrical supply but today nearly all of its power is shipped to electric companies in neighboring states." (emphasis mine).

From James Conca's piece in Forbes - "The power station was producing over 70% of the State’s power, carbon-free."

James Conca has been a part of the nuclear industry for his entire career, and his pieces are filled with self-serving references to his academic credentials and career highlights, his repeated emphasis on his ability to present information that's factual, blah, blah, blah. Yet, his pieces are riddled with errors and distortions.

Anyone remember the radio ads in which the CEO of VT Yankee made a few years ago after they were caught in any number of misrepresentations regarding the plant's safety issues, including denying tritium leaks? "Yeah, I know we lied and deliberately mislead Vermonters, but please, please, please - give us another chance".

Eventually jobs will be lost, but read the article - it will take years for that to happen, and workers have already had years to look for other employment.

RoySwkr
09-05-2013, 04:39 PM
Northern Pass open house Holiday Inn Concord Wed 9/4 5:30-7:30 pm
I went to the Northern Pass info mtg in Concord, it was a lot more mellow than I expected. There were demonstrators for both sides but they didn't interact, pro in green T-shirts who left early, anti in orange T-shirts including a woman from Easton who was pleased at the number of honks at her sign. Yes, there were "armed guards" at the entrance but they were Concord police in uniform and I didn't see them evict or refuse anyone. I must look like a radical because inside someone quickly slipped me an anti brochure, she was talking to a NP rep who didn't say a word.

Several well known people in the PR world had NP badges and there were fancy displays and some computers so they are putting real money into this. There were coffee and cookies to get everybody relaxed. But NP still exudes an aura of secrecy which I think hurts their cause, as in the following:

Me: How come you bury the lines up North where there's nobody to see them but not in Concord where there are 80,000 people every day to see them?

NP rep#1: Burying the lines costs too much.

Me: How much is too much?

NP rep#1: You need to talk to a construction person.

NP rep#2: Burying the lines costs 5 times as much.

Me: How much in dollars per mile?

NP rep#2: I can't tell you that.
.
Me: How can you say how much more it is then?

NP rep#2: I know but can't tell you, you need to talk to a manager.

NP mgr: $2-3 million per mile above ground, $15-20 million buried.

I asked somebody else about union vs. non-union jobs, they said there would be both and hoped to post the project labor agreement with the unions which will be interesting if it happens. They also had a flyer saying they were negotiating with an ATV club for trail rights along the powerline, it's easy to be cynical about this too.

SteveHiker
09-05-2013, 06:42 PM
My main complaint was with the statement "a majority of Vermonters". I seriously doubt it. More likely it's a vocal minority that opposes nuclear power. The vast majority have no opinion one way or the other. No different than any other issue.

Of course nuclear power comes with risks, some serious. But so do all commercially viable power production methods. Acid rain, fracking, oil spills, flooding, global warming (ask noted "shill" Al Gore), you name it. In the end if you want to live in an electrical civilization you have to decide. Or else we have to all go Amish. Wind and solar are not commercially viable at this time (IMO). In the long run, we should be dumping as much research money as possible into fusion power.

Vermont Yankee should have been replaced years ago with a more modern plant. But ever since 1979 because of Three Mile Island (which in hindsight was not as big as it's made out to be) and the China Syndrome coming out around the same time we were too scared to build any new plants for over 30 years. Think of how much better almost everything made is now compared to 1979. The same could have happened for nuclear power too.

But we're way off topic. So to get back on topic. Northern Pass is a bad idea.

Barkingcat
09-06-2013, 07:05 AM
John Harrigan's latest North Country Notebook column addresses Northern Pass again:

While other regions hold the power-brokers' feet to the fire and then work with them to lay underground, under-lake, under-river, and under-sea cable to bring Hydro-Quebec's glut of power to lower New England and New York, we're reduced to nitpicking about possible routes, width of right of way, height of towers, and a few bones tossed concerning burying what, eight to ten miles of cable?

The rest can be read here: http://www.colbsent.com/columnists.php

rocket21
09-06-2013, 12:44 PM
"...an increasingly onerous regulatory environment brought on by unfounded fears from the Fukushima disaster...

I, for one, am terrified of the risk of a tsunami hitting Vermont Yankee.



Vermont Yankee should have been replaced years ago with a more modern plant. But ever since 1979 because of Three Mile Island (which in hindsight was not as big as it's made out to be) and the China Syndrome coming out around the same time we were too scared to build any new plants for over 30 years. Think of how much better almost everything made is now compared to 1979. The same could have happened for nuclear power too.
Modern nuclear in the United States? Never! Also, "When the [Ford] Pinto was hit, the doors would crumble, trapping owners inside the burning car" therefore all cars are unsafe therefore we should never make cars again.

TJsName
09-06-2013, 03:57 PM
Modern nuclear in the United States? Never! Also, "When the [Ford] Pinto was hit, the doors would crumble, trapping owners inside the burning car" therefore all cars are unsafe therefore we should never make cars again.

Fear is not based on statistics; it's irrational. Even if people get over their existential crisis, they may still fear having no control over how they die, regardless of the actual risk. I don't recall driving past a death-o-meter (http://www.unionleader.com/storyimage/UL/20120901/NEWS07/709019951/AR/0/AR-709019951.jpg?q=100) in NH that told me how many people died from radiation poisoning related to power production. This is not to imply that there is no risk, but only to put that risk in perspective. Radiation is dangerous - around 10,000 people die each year from skin cancer.

The problem remains - if people depend upon electricity, then where do we get it. Certainly a lot of options to consider.

Vermonster
09-13-2013, 05:29 AM
The federal DOE has announced the final three scoping meetings for Northern Pass. It is very important if you feel strongly on this issue that you attend. These meetings are part of the process for granting the special permit required for the power transmission line to cross the White Mountain National Forest--and other issues related to the environmental impact of this project.
Note that the Colebrook meeting has been moved to a larger venue. Also note that if you want to speak you need to sign up IN ADVANCE.

Monday, September 23, 2013, 6–9 p.m., Grappone Conference Center, Concord, NH (map)
Tuesday, September 24, 2013, 5–8 p.m, Plymouth State University, Silver Center for the Arts, Hanaway Theater, Plymouth, NH (map)
Wednesday, September 25, 2013, 5–8 p.m., Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa, Presidential Room, Whitefield, NH (map)
Thursday, September 26, 2013, 5–8 p.m., Colebrook Elementary School, Colebrook, NH (map) (this meeting was moved from a smaller location in W. Stewartstown)

Good summary: http://www.clf.org/blog/clean-energy-climate-change/show-speak-final-round-public-scoping-meetings-northern-pass/
Actual Federal Register listing: http://northernpasseis.us/media/documents/anoi_9-06-13.pdf

VT

sierra
09-13-2013, 03:05 PM
I love the commercial on the radio, where the woman says " the project will bring in money to "Spruce up the place". That's the best they can come up with, what money? and what place? jees.

Trail Bandit
09-13-2013, 06:28 PM
TJsName said:
"This is not to imply that there is no risk, but only to put that risk in perspective. RADIATION is dangerous - around 10,000 people die each year from skin cancer."
Although people surely die from skin cancer, it is usually due to the ultraviolet RADIATION from the sun. Yes, all electromagnetic RADIATION, be it from power lines, TV stations, radar, or you name it, may be dangerous to us critters, this has nothing to do with the ionizing RADIATION from nuclear accidents. Waving the RADIATION flag is like yelling FIRE in the movie theater. How many people in this country or anywhere else, died from exposure to radio active waste in the last year? Catching a dread disease from a child is more likely to kill most of us old people. At least I have a Geiger counter to warn me about RADIATION.

TJsName
09-13-2013, 06:47 PM
That was my point. :)

Vermonster
09-19-2013, 12:02 PM
From the Union Leader:

Northern Pass application 'incomplete'

By DAVE SOLOMON
New Hampshire Union Leader
Northern Pass foes urge more research into burying lines

Three environmental groups and the trade association representing competitive electric generating companies on Wednesday urged the Department of Energy to reject the amended application for the Northern Pass hydroelectric project.

The revised application for a presidential permit, based on a new route for the project unveiled in June, will be the subject of upcoming hearings in the state by the DOE.

In their joint comments, the Conservation Law Foundation, Appalachian Mountain Club and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests say the amended application fails to offer a single alternative to the project; fails to provide required information on its environmental impacts; and is full of unsubstantiated assertions and improper legal arguments.

More: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20130919/NEWS06/130919210

Raven
09-21-2013, 03:04 PM
Don't miss it: "Northern Trespass" screens in Franklin, where it all started almost three years ago.

Franklin Opera House, Saturday (9/21), 7:00pm. Q&A follows. $5 admission.

Late notice, but I just got an email reminder on this today.

peakbagger
10-04-2013, 01:16 PM
A recent editorial in the Concord Monitor

http://www.concordmonitor.com/home/8782786-95/my-turn-suddenly-northern-pass-doesnt-look-unstoppable

I would expect PSNH may object to the characterization.

peakbagger
10-24-2013, 12:10 PM
AMC has released a series of flyover of the impact of the route

http://www.outdoors.org/conservation/wherewework/wmnf/northern-pass-video-project.cfm

Barkingcat
10-24-2013, 02:10 PM
AMC has released a series of flyover of the impact of the route

http://www.outdoors.org/conservation/wherewework/wmnf/northern-pass-video-project.cfm

Yiikes!!!!

peakbagger
10-24-2013, 02:46 PM
I didn't look at all of them but didn't realize that they crossed over WMNF territory south of Lincoln (Russell Pond area?) as well as the big crossing south of South Kinsman

RoySwkr
10-24-2013, 07:45 PM
A recent editorial in the Concord Monitor

http://www.concordmonitor.com/home/8782786-95/my-turn-suddenly-northern-pass-doesnt-look-unstoppable

Note that this is _not_ an editorial written by the Monitor, it is an opinion piece written by a reader which exceeds the 300-word length for a letter

The Monitor editorially supports Northern Pass (if buried in Concord), and prints a full-page NP ad in many issues

peakbagger
10-31-2013, 03:43 PM
Competing proposal. Of interest is its is a merchant line. Hydro Quebec is not a partner.

http://nhpr.org/post/new-hydropower-transmission-line-proposed-vermont

Barkingcat
11-01-2013, 08:46 AM
Competing proposal. Of interest is its is a merchant line. Hydro Quebec is not a partner.

"As proposed the project would be 150 miles through Vermont, and be entirely underground and underwater... .TDI estimates that the line will cost $1.2 billion, slightly less than the estimate for the Northern Pass, another transmission project proposed for New Hampshire.The announcement of the line comes as the developers of Northern Pass are increasingly under scrutiny for claiming that burying more of that line would make it too expensive to turn a profit."

Things could get interesting with this.

Raven
11-03-2013, 05:54 AM
The newly proposed high voltage line is called the New England Clean Power Link (NECPL). This is their website:

http://necplink.com/clippings.php

The project is being privately funded by Blackstone and TDI who are also backing the Champlain-Hudson line for NY (the same scale project, 1000MW). The NY project has received state permitting and has published a draft EIS. This project was proposed at the same time as NP but has had far less opposition and has a reputation of working with environmental groups and local citizens.

An interesting blog from CLF:

http://www.clf.org/blog/clean-energy-climate-change/promising-option-new-england-clean-power-link-means-region-northern-pass/

From the above:

"Champlain Hudson has earned the support of environmental groups and New York state government agencies, in part through the developer’s agreement to fund a $117 million environmental trust that will help enhance aquatic habitats and fisheries resources in Lake Champlain and the Hudson, Harlem, and East River systems. Notably, for both Champlain Hudson and the Clean Power Link, the project developers have engaged CLF and other stakeholders with openness and a commitment to addressing important concerns with accurately conveyed data and analysis. This is in stark contrast to Northeast Utilities’ disingenuous, adversarial, and dishonest approach to promoting Northern Pass."

If you are interested, you can file a new scoping comment that requests the DOE to undertake a complete analysis of underground transmission alternatives in New Hampshire AND IN OTHER STATES. That can be done through the link below but the deadline is Tuesday, November 5 (this Tuesday!)

http://northernpasseis.us/comments/

NP has continually claimed burying the line would be prohibitively expensive. There are now two similar proposals in NY/NE that contradict this and are planning on being 100% buried with no above ground lines. This fact, combined with the strong opposition to NP, NP's refusal to work with the citizens of NH, and the strong push back by groups like the Forest Society, IMO NP may be about to go away for good.

Red Oak
12-05-2013, 01:31 PM
http://www.necn.com/12/05/13/Report-shows-Maine-wind-farms-impact-on-/landing.html?&apID=1beadc53705b4fa5a1d51673d2383448 Kind of related maine news on alternative energy.

Vermonster
12-06-2013, 06:05 AM
http://www.necn.com/12/05/13/Report-shows-Maine-wind-farms-impact-on-/landing.html?&apID=1beadc53705b4fa5a1d51673d2383448 Related maine news on this threads topic.

For those interested in reading the summary or full report, they are found on this page:
https://maineaudubon.org/wildlife-habitat/wind-power-and-wildlife/

Direct link to the full report --Warning 7MB PDF -- is here: http://maineaudubon.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Wind-Power-and-Wildlife-Full-Report.pdf

This is only peripherally related to northern pass--in fact the analysis completely fails t take into account the need for new transmission line construction.

Regardless, very VFTT relevant as you will see from the statewide map broadly, and the specific illustrated example, which is centered on Saddleback/Horn.

peakbagger
12-06-2013, 07:00 AM
This link http://bangordailynews.com/2013/11/22/news/state/maine-wind-canadian-hydro-natural-gas-are-the-stars-aligning-for-a-bright-energy-future-in-new-england/?ref=relatedBox contains a nice summary of where new England is getting its energy and also has a section on regional transmission lines.

I did note this interesting quote
“I think all of us are very flexible as to where new transmission would go, and whether Northern Pass is a future part of the energy structure is up to the people of New Hampshire,” said Esty, Connecticut’s energy and environmental protection commissioner.

Creag Nan Drochaid
12-10-2013, 01:06 PM
Listening Sessions on Site Evaluation Committee criteria 12/10 Lebanon, 12/17 Plymouth

Pursuant to Senate bill 99 from the 2013 session, the Office of Energy and Planning is hosting two more public listening sessions to gather citizen input on the criteria used to site energy facilities in NH. This of course includes wind turbines on our ridges. Both sessions start at 6 PM. Lebanon is at the city council chambers in city hall on Colburn Park. Plymouth is at the PSU ice arena on Rte 175A (Holderness Road). Background info at the OEP website.

Red Oak
12-12-2013, 06:46 PM
http://www.necn.com/12/12/13/Maine-Audubon-attacked-over-report-on-wi/landing.html?&apID=bbb27a2fa6884f7f9bcd95ed10540a84 more info on the Maine front of "alternative energy".interesting if this development changes maine audubon's stance on wind energy.Also how does this affect the future of northern pass here in nh?

peakbagger
01-02-2014, 06:12 AM
Recent news

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20131231/NEWS05/131239845

The quick summary is that technically the new england grid can take the power supplied by Northern Pass. Generally a project does not submit an application unless they reasonably can expect that they can connect but the process is they have to pay ISO New England to do a third party study confirming it

Important to note is this section

Rourke noted that the New England Power Pool Reliability Committee, set up to advise ISO on such matters, did not vote in support of the determination.

Therefore this committee has deemed that NP is not needed for reliability at this time. I expect this will change as the impact of the current Natural Gas shortages in southern New England and the retirement of coal plants continues. In some ways delaying NP tends to make it somewhat more viable if it gets to the point where it is needed for reliability.

Barkingcat
01-02-2014, 09:09 AM
Therefore this committee has deemed that NP is not needed for reliability at this time. I expect this will change as the impact of the current Natural Gas shortages in southern New England and the retirement of coal plants continues. In some ways delaying NP tends to make it somewhat more viable if it gets to the point where it is needed for reliability.

Thanks for the update, Peakbagger -- it's always appreciated!

Red Oak
01-23-2014, 08:12 AM
http://www.wmur.com/news/nh-news/nh-house-passes-bill-targeting-northern-pass/-/9857858/24069990/-/3nw7juz/-/index.html some recent news....

Tom_Murphy
01-23-2014, 11:21 AM
This short slide presenation examines the issues ISO New England will face as the power generation mix changes from coal, oil, nuclear to nat gas and renewables.

http://www.scottmadden.com/insight/674/Light-or-Heat.html