No decision yet on clean energy procurement
Utilities issue no decision as of late Tuesday
THE STATE’S THREE UTILITIES apparently have decided that a Tuesday deadline means they have until midnight, so there was no word as of Tuesday evening on the winner of the state’s multi-billion-dollar clean energy procurement.
The state had given the utilities until Tuesday to decide whether to stick with Northern Pass or shift gears and go with the runner-up proposal submitted by Central Maine Power. Still, the language was a bit vague, giving the utilities “the option of ceasing discussions” with Northern Pass and terminating its previously announced conditional selection by March 27.It was unclear whether the delay until midnight meant the utilities were at loggerheads, or whether the delay was caused by other factors. Eversource Energy is one of the utilities trying to negotiate a clean energy contract and it is also the transmission partner of the Northern Pass project, which seeks to deliver Quebec hydro-power into New England via a line through New Hampshire.
Eversource appeared to have won the contract on January 25, when state officials announced the conditional award. But the project was dealt a crippling blow when the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee denied Northern Pass a key permit on February 1. Officials decided to continue contract negotiations with Northern Pass until at least March 27 while also bringing in Central Maine Power to the talks.