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Northern Pass line clears regulatory hurdle

The group that manages the power grid in New England said yesterday it’s confident the proposed Northern Pass transmission line through New Hampshire can reliably connect to the existing system.

ISO New England said in a letter dated yesterday it has approved the interconnection application made by Northeast Utilities. It means Northeast Utilities can continue pursuing the project and is just one of many regulatory steps the company must clear on the way to final approval.

Northern Pass said it was “pleased with ISO New England’s findings on this issue as it’s the culmination of years of hard work by our project team.”

The approval came after the New England Power Pool Reliability Committee on Dec. 19 declined to support the application. The committee, which offers nonbinding recommendations to ISO New England, was worried about the effect the proposed line would have on existing power generators.

The $1.4 billion project would transmit 1,200 megawatts of Canadian hydroelectric power, enough to serve 1.2 million homes, from Hydro-Quebec into New England.

Opponents say the transmission towers would damage the environment, lower property values and hurt tourism. Supporters say the power would reduce carbon emissions.

The project has been in the works since 2010, and backers hope to have it online by 2017.

The ISO determination was contingent on Northeast Utilities meeting a number of technical requirements, including that it be limited to 1,200 megawatts of power imported from Canada and that further impact studies be completed.

Northeast Utilities will have to submit more detailed plans and information for the ISO to review before the project can interconnect with the grid.

Legacy Comments4

This approval is based on a number of requirements, one of which is to "underground" the section where it will cross the border. This is to improve reliability so no single event can take out both HVDC lines in that area. Does this imply that once it is back above ground, it's "unreliable"? Hey, here's an idea...underground it all...

"Backers hope to have it online by 2017" Are these guys stoned or just stupid? This is what they are telling their investors? It sounds like security fraud. They will still be looking for permits or fighting in court in '17 while West Point, Northeast Energy Link, Champlain Hudson Power Express, and New England Clean Power Link will be providing power via advanced Underground HVDC technology and Gary Long and Martin Murray will be selling reverse mortgages or used cars

I wouldn't buy anything from either one of them if they did... :0)

YAHOOOO - more common sense amongst the sea of NIMBY visual purist obstructionists. This project, just like the Keystone pipeline, is critical to the USA's future.

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