Eversource seeks second chance from SEC for rejected Northern Pass Project

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Eversource President Bill Quinlan, right, discussing the company’s position on Northern Pass. Photo/Laura Aronson

MANCHESTER, NHEversource New Hampshire President Bill Quinlin, joined by Northern Pass supporters, discussed the company’s February 28 motion to reconsider the NH Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) decision at Eversource headquarters in Manchester. The SEC rejected Northern Pass on February 1.

Quinlan said that Northern Pass will provide more than $3 billion in benefits, in additional tax revenues, lower energy costs, new jobs, and increased state gross domestic product.

He said that rehearing the motion would show that Northern Pass meets “Orderly Development” criteria by adding $75 million to the state funds for property value impact, economic development, and tourism growth.

Quinlan also said that Northern Pass meets “Public Interest” criteria through additional money for energy cost benefits, Coos loop upgrade, North Country Job Creation Fund, public interest programs, right-of-way lease benefits, and the Forward NH Fund.

Outside the event, protesters Patrick Bartley and Tim Madsen from Protect the Granite State, held signs saying Stop Northern Pass!

A pair of protestors on behalf of Protect the Granite State, outside Eversource on Feb. 28. Photo/Laura Aronson

The group issued the following statement:

“Eversource’s strategy for convincing the Site Evaluation Committee to reconsider its rejection of Northern Pass boils down to one thing: money. The company is claiming it can offer millions of dollars and 75 conditions as a “solution” to the severe impacts outlined by the SEC in their final deliberations. But these funds do nothing to actually help reduce impacts. A project that requires 75 more conditions is not one worth reviewing at all. Eversource just didn’t have a clear plan to address the negative impacts from the get-go, and money won’t change that.”

Mike Skelton, President and CEO of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said, “We’re here to offer our continued support to Northern Pass and are pleased to see the company ask for reconsideration. This is important to us because rising and unstable energy costs are one of the top challenges we hear from our member businesses.’

“This project represents the most significant, shovel-ready solution to address that issue. Our board voted to endorse the project over five years ago, and has re-affirmed it several times. ISO New England [the regional transmission group that oversees the operation of New England’s bulk electric power system and transmission lines] said that without new energy capacity, we face rising and unstable costs for the foreseeable future,” said Skelton.

“From an energy standpoint, if New Hampshire is serious, it must embrace an “all of the above” strategy including the fossil fuel we needed this winter. It is going away in 5-10 years, and must be replaced. The operators of the grid need baseload (large-scale) sources like Seabrook and Northern Pass,” Skelton said.

The SEC is expected to respond to Eversource’s request within 10 days.