Site Evaluation Committee Won’t Decide Whether to Reconsider Northern Pass Until May

SOURCE: New Hampshire Union Leader
AUTHOR: Michael Cousineau

A state committee isn’t likely to decide whether to resuscitate the proposed Northern Pass hydroelectric transmission project until sometime in May, the committee’s attorney said Monday.

The Site Evaluation Committee deferred making a decision on requests to reopen deliberations on the proposed project after rejecting it in February.

The committee also voted Monday to suspend its Feb. 1 oral decision to reject the proposed $1.6 billion project until the committee issues its written decision sometime this month.

Committee attorney Michael Iacopino said after the half-hour hearing that filing deadlines likely would push the timeline into May for the committee to reconvene to decide on any motions, including any requests to throw out the committee’s verdict and resume deliberations.

Monday’s committee vote means Northern Pass can’t move forward with its proposed 192-mile project.

“This essentially means they’re kicking the can down the road,” project foe Jack Savage said afterward.

The SEC denial — and now the committee putting off any decision on reopening deliberations — puts into question whether Northern Pass can finalize a 20-year deal with Massachusetts officials by late March to supply hydropower and give the project a guaranteed buyer for its electricity.

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