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Eversource Evaluating Northern Pass Decision
Published Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Following Friday's the decision by the NH Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) to deny a necessary permit for the Northern Pass project, a 192-mile electric transmission line, Eversource says it will likely file for a rehearing. The SEC ruled that Eversource failed to show that the project would not unduly interfere with the orderly development of the region.

Eversource says it will review the order, and expects to soon be filing a motion for rehearing. This comes on the heels of a decision Thursday by Massachusetts utilities to terminate the conditional selection of Northern Pass to provide energy and instead work with the New England Clean Energy Connect 100% Hydro project.

The SEC, in its 287-page order, wrote that it would have to find four things: the applicant has adequate financial, technical, and managerial capability to assure construction and operation of the project in continuing compliance with the terms and conditions of the certificate; the site and project will not unduly interfere with the orderly development of the region with due consideration having been given to the views of municipal and regional planning commissions and municipal governing bodies; the site and project will not have an unreasonable adverse effect on aesthetics, historic sites, air and water quality, the natural environment, and public health and safety; and  issuance of a certificate will serve the public interest.

“We could not grant a certificate even if the subcommittee were to find in favor of the applicant on the remaining three prongs. There is, therefore, no need to go further.”

Eversource meanwhile maintains its contention that the SEC's decision-making process failed to comply with state law and did not reflect the substantial evidence on the record. “As a result, the most viable near-term solution to the region's energy challenges, as well as $3 billion of NH job, tax, and other benefits, have been further delayed. We will continue to review all options for moving this critical clean energy project forward,” according to the Eversource statement.

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