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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Sununu Blasts SEC On WTSN: Northern Pass Was ‘Railroaded’

SOURCE: InDepthNH
AUTHOR: Nancy West

As Massachusetts scrambles to proceed with its major clean energy project after Northern Pass’s application was recently denied, GOP Gov. Chris Sununu took to the radio on Friday to blast the Site Evaluation Committee’s unanimous 7 to 0 vote against building the controversial 192-mile powerline from Pittsburg to Deerfield.

Sununu said he was frustrated with the process in that the committee had four criteria to decide by law and chose to only look at one or two before voting it down in a surprise move on Feb. 1.

John Harrigan of Colebrook, a 50-year veteran newsman, called Sununu “the great disappearing governor.”

“It has been obvious for some time for going on eight years now that Sununu knew little or nothing about the project,” Harrigan said. “He demonstrated this time and again by displaying ignorance and arrogance about the North Country’s beautiful landscape and its fiercely independent people. The governor has been a no-show on this the whole time.”

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Site Evaluation Committee Unanimously Rejects Northern Pass Application

SOURCE: Concord Monitor
AUTHOR: Michael Casey

State regulators unanimously rejected an application for a hydropower project that would have provided clean energy to Massachusetts but was seen as an eyesore by critics who feared it would tarnish scenic views and damage New Hampshire’s tourism industry.

The Site Evaluation Committee voted 7-0 against the project over concerns about its impact on local business, tourism and development in the region, especially in the northern part of the state. The decision, which can be appealed, is a stunning setback for a project that first was proposed in 2010 and, after countless hearings and protests, appeared to be a done deal.

The $1.6 billion plan was set to bring hydropower from Canada by creating a transmission line through New Hampshire for customers in southern New England. The surprising decision comes a week after the project was selected from among dozens of bids to supply renewable energy in Massachusetts. It would have transmitted enough hydropower for about a million homes.

“We’re pleased, to say the least,” said Jane Difley, president of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. “This stands as a great victory for New Hampshire, our forests, and our landscape. It’s been a long, arduous battle, but New Hampshire has always been worth it.”

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Anti-Northern Pass Video to Be Shown at SEC Hearing; Featured Foes Must Testify

SOURCE: InDepthNH
AUTHOR: Nancy West

Rod Mcallaster milks 80 cows twice a day on his Stewartstown farm, but he’ll be heading south to Concord next Friday to a Northern Pass hearing to testify that he was indeed featured in a video opposed to the project.

State regulators ruled against Northern Pass and ordered the video be shown at the adjudicative hearings, but said all 10 people featured in it must be available for cross-examination as lawyers for the project had insisted.

It will be quite an outing for the 65-year-old Mcallaster. This will be his first trip to Concord; he’s been too busy with the farm and chores to have ever driven farther south than Littleton.

“The whole project in general stinks,” Mcallaster said in a phone interview Friday night. “Having to go down there is small price to pay if we can stop it.”

So he and nine other people who are featured in the 21-minute video called “Negative Impacts of the Northern Pass Transmission Line” will journey south for Friday’s adjudicative hearing on Northern Pass’ application before the Site Evaluation Committee subcommittee hearing the case.

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State Committee Delays Northern Pass Decision Until 2018

SOURCE: New Hampshire Union Leader
AUTHOR: Michael Cousineau

A state committee won’t make any decision on the proposed Northern Pass project until 2018, drawing rebukes from a state business group and a labor union.

The Site Evaluation Committee voted 6-0 Thursday to push back its Sept. 30 deadline for making a decision on the project. It now is targeting making a decision orally by Feb. 28, with a written decision by March 31.

The proposed $1.6 billion project, which runs through more than 30 communities, needs several state and federal approvals before it can start operating by late 2020. The route runs from Pittsburg to Deerfield and includes 60 miles of buried lines.

“Nobody wants this to go on forever, but due process and the size of the project and the relative incompleteness of the Northern Pass information so far is extending it,” said project critic Jack Savage, vice president of communications/outreach for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

Northern Pass officials had hoped to garner all necessary approvals by the end of this year. Northern Pass recently pushed its in-service date to late 2020, partly due to a longer than expected hearings process.

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