Northern Pass is a clean energy solution  

Hydroelectricity project is an important part of the state's energy solution

CARBON EMISSIONS IN New England rose by 5 percent in 2015 after falling for several years. According to the regional grid operator, ISO-New England, this uptick is due to the fact that retiring nuclear generation has been replaced with natural gas. Clearly, the region needs a significant amount of clean reliable power that will keep the region’s emission reduction goals on track and also protect us from price volatility.

A growing chorus of clean energy advocates, state environmental and energy commissioners, scientists, and other energy experts support bringing additional Canadian hydropower to the region. Northern Pass will add up to 1,090 megawatts of new clean renewable hydroelectric power from Québec to the region, and is the cleanest, most reliable and cost-effective energy project being proposed in the marketplace today.

A recent opinion piece in CommonWealth has perpetuated some falsehoods about Northern Pass. Fortunately, because the project is currently in the midst of the federal and state permitting processes, the facts are widely available to the public and the project can be judged on its merits. Northern Pass is uniquely positioned to help the region, and the reasons are many:

  • Northern Pass will reduce CO2 emissions by up to 3 million tons a year, an amount equal to removing about 690,000 cars from the road;
  • Northern Pass guarantees firm power delivery when New England consumers need it the most — during high-cost periods when supply is most scarce;
  • Northern Pass includes a 20-year delivery commitment from a confirmed energy supplier with a proven track record in the region and gives consumers the opportunity for additional power beyond 20 years;
  • The hydropower delivered by Northern pass will add much-needed fuel diversity to the region’s energy mix;
  • Northern Pass will help reduce electricity costs across New England by $800 million annually.

New Hampshire, as the host state for Northern Pass, will receive an unprecedented benefits package, including 2,600 jobs created during construction; a $2.1 billion boost to the state’s gross domestic product over the project’s construction period and in the first 10 years of operation; an increase in local tax revenues; and, the investment of $200 million in economic development, community betterment, tourism and clean energy initiatives.

To address concerns about the project’s potential visual impact, Northern Pass proposes a route that is more than 80 percent along existing transmission corridors or underground along public roadways.  The plan to bury 60 miles of the Northern Pass transmission line eliminates view impacts in and around the White Mountain National Forest, Franconia State Park, and the Appalachian Trail.

Meet the Author
New England is facing serious energy challenges. When it comes to addressing those challenges and our clean air goals, it is important that facts help to guide the region’s decisions. The facts demonstrate that Northern Pass is a critically important clean energy project that will help to stabilize energy price volatility and get New England back on solid footing to reduce CO2 emissions and achieve clean air goals.  Details on how the Northern Pass can help are available on the project’s website, www.northernpass.us.

Martin Murray is a spokesman for the Northern Pass project.