August 12, 2011

Dept. of Energy Selects Team for EIS

The Department of Energy (DOE) has selected an integrated team of professionals from three environmental consulting firms to prepare the DOE Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) addressing the Northern Pass Presidential Permit application. This integrated team is composed of SE Group, Ecology & Environment, and Lucinda Low Swartz

A description of the Northern Pass NEPA contractor team is now posted on the EIS website, along with the Memorandum of Understanding and disclosure statements concerning preparation of the EIS.

August 11, 2011

Northern Pass Postpones "New Route" Announcement

After previously suggesting that it would propose a "new route" from Groveton to Canada for the proposed high-voltage tower and transmission line project, Northern Pass recently indicated that such announcement would not be forthcoming before fall of 2011. Read Chris Jensen's story on NHPR here.

Equally unresolved is what PSNH and Northern Pass might propose to overcome the growing opposition to the proposed project from 33 communities along 140 miles of existing PSNH right-of-way, where the project would require additional towers of greater height and expansion of the existing ROW. Northern Pass has said that they need to expand nearly 19 miles of that existing ROW, and that on average the towers will be highest between Franklin and Deerfield.

August 4, 2011

Northern Pass Acknowledges Delays

One could argue that the one-year delay in the projected start of construction announced by Northern Pass on their website Aug. 3 is simply a matter of the project managers acknowleging reality given the significant problems with the Presidential Permit process administered by the Dept. of Energy. No doubt Northeast Utlities stockholders, who were told by NU CEO Chuck Shivery in May that they expected to begin construction on Northern Pass in 2013 and complete it in 2015, needed to get a more accurate assessment. As Paula Tracy's article in the Union Leader points out, Northern Pass said long ago that they would be proposing an alternative route by mid-June, but have not yet done so. A reasonable question to ask, however, given the considerable concern over questions of eminent domain, promises by many landowners to fight for their rights in court, and the long list of towns, organizations and elected officials who oppose the project, is whether a mere one-year delay is in any way realistic given that the entire project is in jeopardy.