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US DOE’s environmental impact study clears Northern Pass project

EBR Staff Writer Published 11 August 2017

The inter-country $1.6bn Northern Pass transmission project (NPT) has received a favorable Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) from the US Department of Energy (DOE).

A 309km transmission line, the NPT will deliver 1GW electricity from the hydroelectric plants of Hydro-Québec in Canada to New Hampshire and to the rest of the New England region in the US. It will be owned by a subsidiary of Eversource Energy, a New England energy utility.

The FEIS says that the project will result in only minimal environmental impacts and that the proposed NTP route is the preferred alternative which would provide substantial benefits for New England.

Eversource New Hampshire operations president Bill Quinlan said: “As this clean energy project continues to advance through the final stages of the New Hampshire permitting process, we are encouraged to have reached this major federal permitting milestone.

“We are now another step closer to realizing the many benefits Northern Pass has to offer New Hampshire and the region.”

According to the FEIS, the project would help New England to lessen carbon emissions by 9%.

It also underlines that the Northern Pass transmission project will bring about close to 7,000 jobs in the New Hampshire state during construction along with 901 permanent roles.

Other factors that went in favour of the project’s FEIS are that it will create over $734m of additional economic output during its construction stage. New Hampshire will also get surplus revenue of $37m in the form of yearly statewide property tax collections after the completion of the transmission line project.

In its FEIS, the DOE also stated that protected species in the region will not face any population-level effects and that the noise levels from the project operations are well under EPA guidance levels.