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New Hampshire’s SEC denies permit to Northern Pass project [free access]

February 5, 2018

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) has unanimously voted against granting a permit for the Northern Pass project over concerns about the likely impacts to local business, tourism and development in the region, especially in the northern part of the state.


The project, being developed by Northern Pass Transmission LLC, a part of Eversource Energy Transmission Ventures LLC – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eversource Energy, was proposed to deliver 1,000 MW of clean energy to the state. It involves the transmission of power over a 158-mile (254.38-km), ±300 kV high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line. 96.6 km of the line will be underground from the Canadian border to a converter terminal in Franklin, New Hampshire, where it will be converted to alternating current (AC) and travel along an AC transmission line for 34 miles (54.74 km) to a substation in Deerfield, New Hampshire. From there, it will interconnect to the New England power grid and serve customers in New Hampshire and all other New England states.


Earlier in January, Northern Pass won the competitive bidding process conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), beating other competitive bids such as New England Clean Energy Connect and Maine Clean Power Connection projects proposed by Central Maine Power and Avangrid; the Granite State Power Link and the Northeast Renewable Link, submitted by National Grid and the nonprofit Citizens Energy; the New England Clean Power Link proposed by TDI New England (NE); and Maine Power Express project proposed by Maine Power Express, LLC.


As a consequence of its rejection, Massachusetts’ attorney general and a group of New Hampshire lawmakers questioned the transparency of the evaluation process conducted by Massachusetts DOER. New Hampshire legislators have proposed to alternatively approve National Grid’s Granite State Power Link, due to its ability to transmit more clean energy (1,200 MW) at a relatively lower cost.