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Letter: Embrace Northern Pass

Many have realized that there is a serious need for power in New England, but don’t believe it’s New Hampshire’s responsibility to do anything about it.

I disagree.

As young professional working in science and technology, I’ve spent serious time studying energy, the costs and ways to produce it. As someone whose family owns property in Lincoln, I have also taken the time to understand the reality of the Northern Pass project – which proved difficult because of the opposition’s extensive and misleading propaganda campaign.

After gathering the facts, I’ve realized, and you would too, that the Northern Pass project is among the best options for supplying much-needed energy to our region and using inexpensive, renewable and environmentally friendly hydropower energy to the mix.

We currently rely on natural gas for 50 percent of our energy needs. While other energy sources such as wind and solar are “clean,” they both have drawbacks. Wind has low power output, and solar is very costly.

Gas and coal are both fossil fuels with high carbon emissions, and nuclear is often perceived as being unsafe.

Hydro is truly the best solution. It is time that New Hampshire citizens who care about reliable power in our future, stand up in support the 1,200 state jobs, millions in yearly tax revenue, and the clean hydropower supported by the Northern Pass.

Waiting for “better” options to come along is irresponsible because as the need for energy becomes increasingly urgent, the alternatives become more dire, especially for New Hampshire.

JENNA SELFRIDGE

Hudson

Ms. Selfridge neglects to mention the most glaring drawback of the Northern Pass project, and the presence of a viable solution that would remove it. NP's environmentally damaging design would scar NH for the foreseeable future. The impact of large towers on private property and the shared public landscape of our state would be serious and lasting. Northern Pass supporters find this acceptable; opponents do not. Northern Pass supporters like Ms. Selfridge accept that the project CHOOSES not to use the most modern, lowest impact technology available. Opponents see other Canadian hydropower projects running underground through Maine, Vermont and NY and ask why New Hampshire should accept anything less. Despite Northern Pass claims to the contrary, it is eminently feasible to move Canadian power south, underground, in a way that eliminates the current plan's environmental damage. One wonders why any responsible developer would choose otherwise.

In 4 years expect critical power disruption due to the Visual Purists. ISO currently buys power from outside the NE Grid and the NY democrats are trying to close that power plant.

There is absolutely no reason that NP cannot go underground along state roads. Visual purity aside, who wouldn't want the state's treasury to cop a much-needed infusion of cash from leasing the burial rights?

that must now be the 15th version the alarmist obstructionists have thrown out there - anybody remember back in the beginning all the bogus fear mongering they spewed?

Ms. Selfridge - the good news is that we don't have to wait for "better options" to come along. There's one already here. It's called buried ABB lite cable. As someone working in science and technology, you may have heard of it. It's HVDC cable buried underground at a depth far less (42") than that required to excavate for the monopoles (30' - 50') that would make up a significant component of the 2300 steel structures from 80'-155' tall that Northern Pass would like to build down the center of NH and - in Lincoln - across the Appalachian Trail and through the White Mountain National Forest. Is this type of buried line a figment of the "misleading propaganda campaign" you refer to? Ask the Department of Energy, which is now preparing the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Northern Pass. The DOE has just issued the Final EIS for the underground Champlain Hudson Power Express, a high voltage power line from Quebec to NYC. 141 miles of it uses buried ABB lite cable along roads and railway lines. The DOE not only finds it a feasible idea, but an advantageous one. Take a look at the details: http://chpexpresseis.org/library.php. The 21st century is here. Science and technology now provide a way to move beyond the antiquated, 19th century technology of wires strung on towers. Every other major merchant transmission project in the Northeast is using buried cable. Northern Pass won't be built if it doesn't. If your family owns a recently built condo in Lincoln, the lines into it are buried so you don't have wires on towers in your view and you have a more reliable power supply. Why shouldn't your neighbors have the same benefits?

Actually, the good news is a cold upcoming winter is predicted here in NH, and nothing has been done to prevent electric from skyrocketing. Nothing. My guess is, when enough people get a $1200 bill for the month of February, the phones will light up in the corner office. Until then...not many people care.

Canadian hydropower will not prevent our electricity prices from skyrocketing in the winter because of NG constraints. That's a myth. Quebec is winter-peaking, uses electric baseboard heating, and residents were asked to curtail use of electricity during the polar vortex. HQ's supply to NE was cut back 24 times in January to service the province first. They bought power elsewhere and sold it to us at a very high price. Even with Northern Pass, the phones would still light up in the corner office.

its almost poetic...everybody thinks somebody should do something...but nobody did...anybody can see that

As an older, retired, professional and scientist, not to mention living where a 70 foot tower would be less than 100 feet from my back deck, I have to emphatically disagree with you. Not to mention that your numbers sound like a regurgitation of NP info. 1200 new jobs? Really?? You mean while towers are constructed, by out-of-state workers? Millions in yearly tax revenue?? What have you been smoking?? Tax revenue?? To where? State or city?? NP would ignore tax requests or request any taxes be reduced or forgiven !! Jenna-you have read too much of NP's slanted info.

Scientist? You mean for state worker, environmental hack, right?

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