Meanwhile, a competitor has emerged in Maine known as the Northeast Energy Link or NEL. That project looks at using underground cables mostly along highway medians through Maine to convey the electricity to the same market and indicates that the power — mostly wind-generated — would be cheaper than that of Northern Pass.
Northern Pass opponents agree with New England Power Generators Association that the $1.1 billion hydropower transmission project is not about bringing clean green power to New England, but a battle for market share.
“Northern Pass is looking for special treatment and special eminent domain rights that are abusive to New Hampshire property owners and will give Northern Pass unfair advantages over the rest of the market,” said Jim and Sandy Dannis of Dalton, outspoken critics of Northern Pass who hired a study on the impacts of the project on property values.
Last week, Sandi Hennequin, vice president of the NEPGA, said Northern Pass needs to follow by the same rules its members play by.
Northern Pass spokesman Michael Skelton responded by saying NEPGA is made up of competitors “who will have to compete with the lower-cost, reliable and clean energy that Northern Pass will provide to the region.”
He said Northern Pass has not asked to use eminent domain as the NEPGA asserts, and has not asked for large-scale hydro power to be included in the Renewable Portfolio Standards.
The project would transfer 1,200 megawatts of electricity to New England over 180 miles of lines from Pittsburg to Deerfield, using mostly existing rights of way owned by Public Service Company of New Hampshire.
PSNH’s parent company, Northeast Utilities and NSTAR, are working on the project; it is being financed by Hydro-Quebec, which would provide the hydro power.
Jack Savage, vice president for communications/outreach at the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, said: “NEPGA’s concerns are a reflection of the fact that the Northern Pass proposal is really only about corporate competition. It’s about what’s good for Northeast Utilities, PSNH, and Hydro-Quebec, period. Northern Pass may seem like raw deal to other power generators; it’s an absolute travesty for New Hampshire landowners and citizens.
“Not only is there time to “fix” Northern Pass, we think Northeast Utilities should withdraw their very incomplete presidential permit application, go back to the drawing board, and do what they should have done all along – build consensus around options that are consistent with New Hampshire’s values rather than the corporate bottom line,” Savage said.
Northern Pass has already received Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval for its finance plan.
Project officials have withdrawn plans for a route through the top 40 miles of the state – which currently have no rights of way – and are working on developing a plan with willing sellers.
Meanwhile, a competitor has emerged in Maine known as the Northeast Energy Link or NEL.
That project looks at using underground cables mostly along highway medians through Maine to convey the electricity to the same market and indicates that the power – mostly wind-generated – would be cheaper than that of Northern Pass.
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