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Massachusetts Drops Northern Pass

Published Friday Mar 30, 2018

Despite a decision Massachusetts utilities to terminate the conditional selection of the Northern Pass Transmission hydro proposal, Eversource and remain committed to the success of the project.

According to a statement from Eversource, “no other project has obtained the necessary approvals from federal permitting authorities in the U.S. and Canada, and secured agreements with major contractors and the IBEW. Despite recent delays, we continue to believe that Northern Pass is the best project for the region and NH, and we intend to pursue all options for making it a reality.”

The Northern Pass is a 192-mile electric transmission line project that will bring to New England 1,090 megawatts of clean hydropower. The plan was chosen from among 46 companies to fulfill a contract with the Massachusetts Dept. of Energy Resources to provide clean energy. But in a statement issued Thursday, the Electric Distributions Companies announced they have terminated the conditional selection of the Northern Pass and are in the process of concluding contract negotiations with the New England Clean Energy Connect 100% Hydro project and intend to execute agreements.

Northern Pass has received nine state approvals, seven federal/international approvals but three approvals remain: the NH Site Evaluation Committee - Certificate of Site and Facility, U.S. Forest Service Special Use Permit (draft issued; final permit expected soon) and U.S. Army Corps Section 404 Permit (expected following issuance of SEC permit).

According to the Eversource statement, "while the decision by the NH Site Evaluation Committee has caused delay, we will continue to urge its members to fully evaluate the required statutory criteria, as well as thoroughly consider all of the conditions that could provide the basis for granting approval,” the statement reads. “At a time when the region needs new and diverse sources of clean energy, it is vitally important that projects like Northern Pass are considered fully and efficiently and without unnecessary delay.”

Protect the Granite State, a non-profit that is opposed to the project, issued a statement by Senior Advisor Judy Reardon, “Today’s decision by Massachusetts to terminate its prior selection of Northern Pass for that state’s Clean Energy RFP is yet another gut punch to a dying project. After eight years, enough is enough. It is long past time for New Hampshire to move on from Northern Pass.”

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