Southern New England States Reject Northern Pass

October 31, 2016

Northern Pass

Late last week the Northern Pass Transmission project received a significant blow undermining its financial viability and claims of urgent need for the power it proposes to sell in southern New England. A collaborative of states pooling their energy buying power to meet clean energy and emissions goals had issued the so-called New England Clean Energy RFP (request for proposals) late last year, an unusual process by which energy companies submitted bids to sell their energy to Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island customers (Northern Pass’s target market). On October 25, 2016, winners of the RFP process were announced, and Northern Pass was notably not among them. AMC welcomes this news and applauds these states for standing up to Northern Pass in support of clean energy alternatives that would meet their power needs without subjecting New Hampshire to the unsightly scar of Northern Pass’s proposed 192-miles of transmission corridor. You can read more about the RFP and the firms selected in Commonwealth Magazine.

AMC has actively opposed Northern Pass since the project was announced almost six years ago. Northern Pass has yet to receive any of the three permits it needs to proceed to construction. You can read more about the permitting process here. Most recently, AMC has intervened in the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (NH SEC) review of Northern Pass, as Northern Pass must receive a “certificate of site and facility” from the NH SEC to build the project in New Hampshire, regardless of what federal permits the project receives. In other words, the buck stops with the NH SEC. As an intervener, AMC is represented by legal counsel to facilitate our participation in this quasi-judicial adjudicatory process, and is challenging the testimony of witnesses presented by Northern Pass and critiquing the accuracy and thoroughness of resource reports and visual analyses contained in their 27,000 page application.

AMC is opposed to Northern Pass as proposed and will continue to engage in the decision-making process. AMC believes this project, if built as proposed, will have an unreasonable adverse effect on NH’s natural character and scenic beauty, including wide-spread negative impacts on natural, recreational, and cultural resources.

Pictured here are the existing towers (left) and the proposed Northern Pass towers (right)
Existing towers (left) and the proposed Northern Pass towers (right)

Susan Arnold

AMC’s Vice President for Conservation, Susan Arnold, joined the AMC in 2003.  As Vice President for Conservation, Susan oversees AMC’s policy, research, and trails departments, and is responsible for coordinating AMC’s overall conservation mission and strategy. She has lived in New Hampshire for thirty years, and grew up spending time outdoors in the Northeast and Midwest. She serves as Chair of the NH State Parks System Advisory Council, Chair of the Board of Directors of Conservation New Hampshire, and is a member of her town’s Zoning Board of Adjustment.  She loves hiking, swimming, skiing, biking, and kayaking, and shares a home with her husband, a dog and two cats, and a daughter who visits occasionally from the West Coast.