Massachusetts Ends Discussions with Northern Pass
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources announced today that they would terminate discussions with Northern Pass regarding the Mass Clean Energy RFP. Eversource and Hydro Quebec, partners in the proposed Northern Pass transmission line, had been counting on a guaranteed contract from Massachusetts to help pay for construction of the 192-mile line through New Hampshire.
This statement was posted on the MassRFP website March 28:
"The Electric Distributions Companies (“EDCs”) have terminated the conditional selection of the Northern Pass Hydro project (“NPT Hydro”). The EDCs are in the process of concluding contract negotiations with the New England Clean Energy Connect 100% Hydro project (“NECEC Hydro”) and intend to execute agreements with NECEC Hydro for submittal to the Department of Public Utilities, assuming negotiations are concluded successfully."
The "New England Clean Energy Connect" project is a partnership between Hydro Quebec and Central Maine Power.
In February, the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee voted to deny Northen Pass a Certificate of Site and Facility to construct the proposed line. Eversource appealed the decision prior to the issuance of a written decision. The SEC has set March 30, 2018 as a deadline for issuing it's formal written decision.
“Massachusetts came to the only logical conclusion, that Northern Pass won’t be built through New Hampshire, and isn’t an option going forward. The extension cord is now unplugged,” said Jack Savage, VP for Communications for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.
Click here to read Eversource's response to the Massachusetts' decision, in which they say that they and Hydro Quebec "remain committed to the success" of Northern Pass.
“The likelihood of Northern Pass as proposed finding a path forward in New Hampshire is slim to none," Savage said. "To think that the SEC saying no means anything other than no is corporate wishful thinking."
Click here to read the AP story in the Washington Post.
Click here to read coverage by Garry Rayno on InDepthNH.org.