Northern Pass

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As Cold Sets In, the New England Winter Energy “Crisis” Fizzles
by Christophe Courchesne

As of this writing (mid-January), we’re reaching the end of our first major cold snap here in New England, so let’s take stock of how New England’s electric system and market are faring. In short, we are doing much better than expected, to the great surprise of the many “experts” who have said we are…

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Why Is Hydro-Québec So Intent on Overselling Its Hydropower?, Part III
by Christophe Courchesne

With the stresses that winter places on New England’s electric grid right around the corner, it’s a good time to revisit a crucial issue with increasing our reliance on hydropower imports from Canada—their reliability. The cause for concern? Last January, a very cold month, Hydro-Québec chose to curtail its exports to New England 24 times,…

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Why Is Hydro-Québec So Intent on Overselling Its Hydropower?, Part II
by Christophe Courchesne

CLF has been asking questions about the carbon footprint of large-scale Canadian hydropower since before the Northern Pass project’s inception. I recently raised our concerns in my list of three ugly numbers behind the regional push for more hydropower imports, pointing out that, in the first decade after flooding, greenhouse gas pollution from new hydropower…

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Lessons from 4 Years of Northern Pass Failures
by Christophe Courchesne

This month marks the four-year anniversary of the announcement of the Northern Pass transmission project in New Hampshire. It has been a long, tortured road that won’t get any easier for project developers Northeast Utilities, Public Service Company of New Hampshire, and Hydro-Québec. The project inspired a vigorous opposition, still active today, in the communities…

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Why Is Hydro-Québec So Intent on Overselling Its Hydropower?, Part I
by Christophe Courchesne

For years, Hydro-Québec—the provincially-owned Canadian utility and financial sponsor of the Northern Pass transmission project—has oversold the benefits and downplayed the costs of its large-scale hydropower. This campaign to confuse is profoundly frustrating: new imports from the north will likely be a part of our region’s energy future, and we need honesty, clarity, and integrity…

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Breaking News: NESCOE Suspends Votes on Tariff Proposals
by Shanna Cleveland

The New England States Committee on Electricity (“NESCOE”), an entity created to carry out the policy directives of the New England governors, had been hurtling down the track towards forcing electric customers to pay for a massive, new natural gas pipeline as well as new transmission projects to import large-scale Canadian hydropower. This morning at…

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Three Ugly Numbers Behind the Governors’ Push for Canadian Hydropower
by Christophe Courchesne

  As the New England Governors and the Eastern Canadian Premiers gather in Bretton Woods for their annual conference next week, it’s likely there will be much discussion of building new transmission lines to enable additional imports of Canadian hydropower into New England. Indeed, financing such transmission lines is the centerpiece of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s…

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CLF and Allies to Department of Energy: Take off the Blinders in Northern Pass Review
by Christophe Courchesne

Back in May, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a report listing the alternatives to the Northern Pass transmission project that the agency may study during its environmental review. As I explained at the time, the report was a hard-won victory for transparency in the federal permitting process for Northern Pass. Unfortunately, the report failed to…

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Reading Between the Lines of Northern Pass Polls
by Christophe Courchesne

In recent months, we’ve heard a lot from the developer of the Northern Pass transmission project, Massachusetts and Connecticut-based Northeast Utilities, about swelling support and rising poll numbers. It’s all part of NU’s effort to craft a public relations “narrative”—through weekly posts on its Project Journal blog, in executive presentations to investment analysts, and in…