The Opposition Against the Northern Pass Project Is Being Organized

SOURCE: Radio-Canada
AUTHOR: Christine Bureau

AUTO-TRANSLATED VERSION: “It’s a movement that is beginning, expanding and growing,” says Nature Québec CEO Christian Simard, who promises an official launch of the movement later in Montreal.

For the time being, the movement includes Nature Québec, the Conseil régional de l’environnement de l’Estrie (CREE), the Appalachian Corridor and the Protected Natural Areas Network. “It’s the nucleus, but there are other bodies that will be added,” he promised.

According to him, the information session held in Coaticook brought together some sixty citizens. The majority of them signed a declaration of support for their movement.

Some citizens expressed concern that agreements had been signed with landowners while Hydro-Québec had to study a deep layout of line.

Others wanted to know if the movement was well prepared to face Hydro-Québec, a major opponent.

“We are determined,” insisted Mr. Simard.

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Northern Pass Foes Plan to Circle the NH Statehouse on April 23

AUTHOR: Nancy West

Northern Pass opponents plan to circle the Statehouse holding hands on Sunday, April 23 to rally against the proposed 192-mile hydro-electric transmission line from Pittsburg to Deerfield.

Opponents say they hope to capitalize on recent reports in which Hydro-Quebec said it won’t pay for the portion of the line in New Hampshire. Northern Pass has since tried to make it clear on its website that New Hampshire ratepayers won’t foot the bill for the $1.6 billion project.

The Northern Pass website said the cost will be “recovered through use of the transmission line for delivery of energy to New England.”

Gov. Chris Sununu’s spokesman David Abrams didn’t respond to an emailed question on Saturday asking if the governor will attend or meet with those who turn out on April 23. Sununu has spoken out in favor of Northern Pass on numerous occasions.

John Harrigan of Colebrook, an outspoken opponent of Northern Pass, said he got the idea for the rally last week after reading published reports indicating Eversource and Hydro-Quebec were at odds over paying for the transmission line.

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Questions Arise Over Who Would Ultimately Pay for Northern Pass

SOURCE: NH Journal: An InsideSources Publication
AUTHOR: Kyle Plantz

In the past week, there have been several questions raised about the cost of the Northern Pass project and who is poised to pick up the cost once it’s completed. It also led to some public scuffles in the media between Hydro-Québec (HQ) and its New Hampshire partner, Eversource.

On Thursday, both companies said they remain committed to the $1.6 billion project to transport 1,090 megawatts of electricity to New England from Canada to Deerfield through 192 miles of hydroelectric power lines.

“Eversource and Hydro-Québec have had a long-standing partnership to develop a transmission project that would deliver much-needed clean hydropower from Québec to New England energy consumers,” according to a statement from Eversource.

But just one day prior, in three Le Journal de Québec articles, it appeared that HQ was reassessing its financial arrangement with Eversource. One article claimed HQ would pay to bury about 60 miles of the line, mostly through the White Mountain National Forest, but refused to bury about 11 miles of the line in Canada, despite pleas from local residents.

A second article stated that HQ has assumed the risks of the project and would have to pay the entire cost. Yet, a HQ official claimed New England consumers would ultimately pay for the $500 million additional cost for burying the lines and the entire Northern Pass project — a private transmission line for the exclusive use of HQ.

The third article suggested that HQ was considering abandoning the project if it wouldn’t be profitable for Québec residents. HQ is a crown corporation, meaning it’s a business essentially owned by the Province of Québec.

On March 8, HQ spokesman Serge Abergel told 98.5 FM that his company “will not pay a penny to build the line in the United States.” He argued that Hydro-Québec wanted “the transportation costs to be borne by the American customer and that’s what the partner Eversource says too.”

But in the Northern Pass statement, the company reiterated that the cost of the project will not fall on New Hampshire customers.

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A Mess for Eversource, HydroQuebec

SOURCE: Concord Monitor
AUTHOR: Dolly McPhaul

HydroQuebec, Eversource’s partner in the Northern Pass project, is encountering problems in Canada. The Bureau of Public Hearings on the Environment is expressing concerns regarding the environmental impact of the 48 miles of lines connecting the dams to the Northern Pass project. The Nature Conservancy of Canada called the project “environmentally backward.” Another concern is the unknown profitability of the project due to the high cost of construction balanced against the decreasing energy costs in the U.S. and due to the lack of a firm supply agreement.

The recent power auction held in Massachusetts stated there was easily enough power available to meet the needs for 2020-21 and will cost ratepayers less than last year (without Northern Pass power). Eversource, despite the reduction in energy costs, helped keep the rates paid by consumers high, by raising its transmission rates to such a point the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission began an investigation.

The Champlain Hudson Power Express and the New England Clean Power Link, both competitors of Northern Pass, have received their permits and HydroQuebec is in discussions with both projects – not good news for Northern Pass.

In breaking news, HydroQuebec and Eversource were disagreeing over who will pay for the transmission construction costs in the U.S. Canadian papers published stories stating Eversource’s website claimed HydroQuebec would pay for the cost of burial construction in the U.S. (confirmed by a spokesperson at Eversource). HydroQuebec immediately issued a press release on March 8 stating: “We won’t pay a cent for the NP transmission line on the American side. American consumers will pay the transmission costs in the U.S. through their electricity rates.”

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Is Eversource’s Northern Pass Project in Trouble Despite Its Influence in New Hampshire?

SOURCE: Caledonian Record
AUTHOR: Dolly McPhaul

Eversource’s Northern Pass (NP) project seems to be incurring problems their lobbyists and influence in the NH state government may not be able to “fix.”

Eversource’s influence has been repeatedly evident with bills in the state Legislature, at the Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) during its rule making process and now during the decision making phase of the NP project.

The application for the NP was accepted by the SEC as complete, even though the NP does not have total control of its route, has 13 “blank” pages in its application and does not have sufficient information for many of its studies. This acceptance is against the committee’s own rules.

The company knows it is in trouble when, after stating repeatedly it will not cost the ratepayers of NH, it is attempting, through SB 128, to eliminate competition and to make us pay after all.

It is time the NP realizes that its project, with its antiquated towers and lines, its partner’s increasing environmental problems in Canada, a tenacious public in NH who will not tolerate above ground lines and towers, a reduction of energy needs, a reduction of energy costs, failure to be included in the sources of energy for the 2020-2021 auction, disagreement with HydroQuebec over funding, HydroQuebec’s talking with its competitors and even discussing termination of the NP project creates a very negative outlook for Eversource, the Northern Pass and its stockholders.

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