Editor’s note: The following is a news release issued by Eversource with some additional information added about the No Northern Pass movement.
MANCHESTER, NH – Eversource and Hydro-Québec have reached a significant agreement that ensures Eversource customers in New Hampshire will receive a substantial supply of clean energy from the Northern Pass hydroelectric transmission project if approved. The power purchase agreement (PPA) is expected to deliver additional benefits that, combined with the lowering of market power prices, bring the total estimated energy cost savings for New Hampshire customers to over $1 billion.
“This agreement is great news for New Hampshire electricity customers who have been struggling to pay some of the highest rates in the country,” said Bill Quinlan, President of Eversource New Hampshire Operations. “New Hampshire is guaranteed a significant amount of clean, affordable power delivered to Deerfield, New Hampshire, when customer demand is highest. Our residential and business customers will get much-needed relief from the price spikes that have plagued the New England energy market in recent years.”
“Bringing clean, reliable, low-cost energy to New Hampshire and onto the New England power grid is critical for BAE Systems to remain competitive. It is also critical for our state’s economic growth,” said Paul Markwardt, Vice President and Deputy General Manager of BAE Systems’ Electronic Systems Sector, headquartered in Nashua. “One of the key factors in BAE Systems’ support of the Northern Pass project is the unmistakable benefits for New Hampshire’s residents and businesses. This power purchase agreement makes it clear that Northern Pass offers tangible benefits to New Hampshire residents and businesses in terms of real savings on electricity and helping stabilize our volatile energy market.”
Meanwhile, a group known as No to Northern Pass, explains the project this way on its website:
Northern Pass, a 192-mile, high-voltage transmission line proposed by Hydro-Quebec and Eversource, is neither green nor clean. The line would carry hydroelectricity from Canada to southern New England, simply using New Hampshire as a huge extension cord to bring power to Massachusetts and Connecticut.
New Hampshire needs our help to STOP Northern Pass from ruining its natural heritage. From the North Country to Concord, this project would destroy our scenic landscapes and habitats. People from not only New Hampshire but neighboring states as well understand that Northern Pass will degrade natural and recreation resources of state, regional, and national importance.
The PPA, which was filed Tuesday with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, is a 20-year contract that supports New Hampshire’s Ten Year Energy Strategy and its Climate Action Plan, as well as other regional carbon reduction goals.
“Hydro-Québec is pleased to reserve some of the power that will flow on this line for consumers in New Hampshire, the state hosting the project,” said Steve Molodetz, Vice-President of HQUS, Hydro-Quebec’s business development arm. “The low-carbon, reliable electricity will help the entire region move closer to meeting its ambitious climate change goals.”
The PPA will ensure New Hampshire receives:
A Fair Share: As part of the New England regional electric grid, New Hampshire consumes about nine percent of the power used in the region each year. The PPA guarantees that Eversource New Hampshire customers will receive their proportional share of the power from the Northern Pass line – approximately 100 megawatts, or enough energy to serve approximately 100,000 customers.
Reliable Power When Needed Most: It is essential to have a source of reliable, base load power during winter cold snaps and hot summer days. The PPA will provide a firm energy supply during peak hours each weekday for 20 years.
Price Stability: New England is plagued by volatile electricity prices and a tightening energy supply, as a number of the region’s older power plants have shut down or are scheduled to in the near future. The PPA’s pricing framework will help protect New Hampshire customers from future volatility by smoothing out price spikes and is expected to provide substantial savings over the life of the contract. Moreover, the PPA ensures that Eversource New Hampshire customers receive beneficial pricing for 10 years.
Environmental Attributes: As New England considers new ways to reduce carbon emissions and meet aggressive clean energy goals, large hydro is being recognized as a clean, renewable energy source. This agreement ensures that the power flowing over the Northern Pass line is 100 percent certified hydropower. The environmental attributes associated with this clean energy will flow to Eversource’s New Hampshire customers, delivering substantial value to them over the life of the agreement.
Northern Pass is currently progressing through the public permitting processes at the federal and state levels. In October 2015, the project filed an application with the NH Site Evaluation Committee for state siting approval which included a revised route that is 80 percent along existing transmission corridors or underground along public roadways, thereby eliminating potential view impacts in and around the White Mountain National Forest and Appalachian Trail. The application also outlined the project’s Forward NH Plan, an economic and environmental benefits package, which has received wide-ranging support from community and business leaders, legislators and other key stakeholders.
About Northern Pass
Northern Pass is a 192-mile electric transmission line project that will provide New Hampshire and New England up to 1,090 megawatts of clean hydropower. To learn more about Northern Pass, go to www.northernpass.us.
Eversource (NYSE: ES) is New Hampshire’s largest electric utility, serving more than 500,000 homes and businesses in 211 cities and towns. Recognized in 2015 as the top-ranked “green” utility in the U.S. by Newsweek magazine, Eversource harnesses the commitment of its approximately 8,000 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of delivering reliable energy and superior customer service. For more information, please visit our website (www.eversource.com) and follow us on Twitter (@eversourceNH) and Facebook (facebook.com/EversourceNH).