Northern Pass Left Out of Three-State RFP
Eversource and Hydro-Quebec executives had been hoping for, if not counting on, having Northern Pass selected as a winner bidder into the three-state Request for Proposals (RFP) known as the Clean Energy RFP put out by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. When the winning bidders were announced to the public on October 25, Northern Pass was noticeably absent from the list.
Since the details of the competing proposals have not been made public, it's difficult to know what went wrong for Northern Pass or whether the ongoing uncertainty over its permitting in New Hampshire played a part in decision-making. They had been expressing confidence that their bid would be competitive.
But it is also the case that Northern Pass is just one of many proposed projects in a competitive energy market. Eversource had also bid another project they call Clean Energy Connect, which would be a new 600-megawatt, 25-mile transmission line between Hinsdale, Mass., and Easton, N.Y., but apparently got shut out of that, too.
In its response to the bad news, Northern Pass pointed ahead to a Massachusetts-only RFP that may solicit bids in the spring of 2017. That, too, is likely to be competitive, as projects competiting head-to-head with Northern Pass, such as the New England Clean Power Link, may bid as well. NECPL is a proposed underwater and underground transmission in Vermont designed to deliver 1000MW of power from Canada into New England that is much further ahead in its permitting than Northern Pass.
At least one Quebec news outlet characterized the news as a major setback for Hydro-Quebec.
You can read a story about the announcement here:
A more complete rundown of outcome of the RFP can be read here: