The proposed Northern Pass Hydro-Quebec has the lead in the wing

News 1 February, 2018
  • Philippe Orfali and
    Robert Plouffe

    Thursday, 1 February 2018 16:24

    Thursday, 1 February 2018 21:58

    Look at this article

    Major setback for Hydro-Québec : less than a week after having concluded the contract to export the more profitable of its history, that is that the State of New Hampshire, it blocks the way.

    Massachusetts has confirmed its intention to purchase for almost $ 10 billion hydro-quebec, last week. The agreement of 20 years has been qualified as” historical ” by Hydro-Québec.

    But on Thursday, the State of New Hampshire, through which must pass the power transmission line Northern Pass, has decided to block the project.

    Photo courtesy

    For more than two years, citizens of New Hampshire are stepping up their efforts to show their opposition to the project, Northern Pass, which will pass through the region of the White mountains, the other side of the border. As of 2015, the protesters americans are attacked already at Hydro-Québec .

    The seven members of the Commission for the review of site (DRY) of the State of New-England were dismissed, unanimously, the project in its current form.

    The SEC believes that the proponents ” have failed to demonstrate that the proposed power line would not affect unduly the orderly development of the region. “A written decision shall be rendered on 31 march.

    The proposed Northern Pass involves the construction of a transmission line to high voltage of 242 kilometres for export of electricity to the United States and whose commissioning is scheduled for 2020. Its construction cost is estimated at more than $2.1 billion.

    Hydro disappointed

    Hydro-Québec does not hide his disappointment at this decision, but it is far from throwing in the towel.

    “We are disappointed ? Yes. Our u.s. partner, Eversource must take the time to examine the various remedies available to him “, explains the spokesperson of Hydro, Lynn St-Laurent.

    The rejection of the project, Northern Pass through New Hampshire was a known risk for Hydro-Quebec. Therefore, it had submitted two other projects in Massachusetts.

    Photo courtesy

    Last October, a hundred protesters gathered in the city of Plymouth.

    But the paths for these two options have not yet been established on this side of the border.

    Eversource said he is “shocked and outraged” by the announcement of the SEC. “The process has not complied with New Hampshire law and had not reflected the substantial evidence in the record. Therefore, the most viable solution in the short term to the energy challenges facing the region, as well as the $ 3 billion in jobs, taxes and other benefits are now threatened. Clearly, the DRY process is broken. “

    The company is committed to ” seek a reconsideration of the decision.”

    “Rethinking the project “

    The advisory Committee of the municipality of Saint-Adolphe-d Howard, who has led a relentless struggle for the burying of high-voltage line, said he was disappointed that Hydro-Québec could lose an important contract. Sarah Perreault, a member of the Committee, stated, however, that the arguments put forward by the american committee were the same as those of the opponents of the project. “This is a signal sent to Hydro-Québec to rethink this type of projects,” she said.

    The ex-representative to the congress of New Hampshire Judy Reardon, an opponent of the project, for its part, welcomed the decision. His group Protect The Granite State was for it to be rejected.

    “The SEC has heard the evidence presented came to the same conclusion as the citizens : the project will cause too much damage, and the game is worth the candle. The line passes through agricultural land and recreational, and it was feared that it causes damage to the tourist industry, but also, it would decrease the prices of properties “, she said in an interview with the Newspaper.

    “It is a victory for the State, and for citizens who are fighting against this project for the past 8 years. This is a big victory. “

    The next steps

    Even if Hydro-Quebec and its partner Eversource saw their project rejected Thursday, this is not the end of the power transmission line Northern Pass.

    • Eversource may request a new hearing before the Commission review of the site (DRY) in New Hampshire within 30 days of the formal response from the SEC, which is not expected until march 31.
    • It could accept or reject this request.
    • If a new hearing is held, the SEC could then hear new arguments and evidence, and possibly reconsider its decision
    • If the SEC refuses to re-evaluate the project, Eversource would then have 30 more days to appeal his case before the supreme Court of the State.
    • Massachusetts and Hydro Quebec could also present an amended draft. Thus, the current could pass through the State of Vermont, in partnership with Transmission Developers inc. or by the State of Maine with Central Maine Power as a partner.