AUTHOR: Garry Rayno
The changing economic environment for electric utilities may have helped fuel what Northern Pass developers say are erroneous reports in Le Journal de Quebec that Hydro-Québec may be rethinking its commitment to the transmission project.
On Thursday, Hydro-Québec and its New Hampshire partner, Eversource, said both companies remain committed to the $1.6 billion project to transport 1,090 megawatts of Hydro-Québec electricity to New England over 192 miles of power lines stretching from the Canadian border at Pittsburg to Deerfield.
“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,” read a statement released by Northern Pass. “Northern Pass Transmission, an Eversource subsidiary, will finance and build Northern Pass, the US portion of the transmission project. Hydro-Québec will do the same for the Canadian portion of the project.”
In two Le Journal de Quebec articles, Hydro-Québec appears to be saying it is reassessing its involvement in the project and its financial arrangement with Eversource.
Also local Canadian officials question why the company would pay to bury lines in sections of the New Hampshire route but not in Canada.
Eversource has agreed to bury about 60 miles of the line, mostly through the White Mountain National Forest, but Hydro-Québec has refused to bury sections of the line in Canada.
In the Le Journal article, a Hydro-Québec official claims New England consumers will ultimately pay for the added cost.