What will Northern Pass mean for local renewable energy?

Tom Irwin | @TomIrwinNH

Among the many questions CLF is asking about Northern Pass — the 180-mile transmission line proposed to transport 1,200 megawatts of hydro-generated power from HydroQuebec into New England — is what the project would mean for the development of local renewable energy in New Hampshire and New England.  With the recent introduction of HB 302 in the New Hampshire legislature — to be heard by the House Science, Technology & Energy Committee on February 8 — we soon may learn at least part of the answer to that question.

In 2007, New Hampshire passed its Renewable Portfolio Standards statute, or “RPS” — an important law to encourage the development of low-emission renewable energy sources in New Hampshire and New England.  The law requires that by 2025  nearly 25 percent of the electricity to be provided in New Hampshire must be generated by qualifying low-emission renewable sources — sources such as wind and small-scale hydro.

HB 302 seeks to change this important law by allowing large-scale hydropower — including large-scale hydropower from outside the region — to qualify as renewable.  Clearly intended to tilt the playing field in favor of the Northern Pass, HB 302 will greatly undermine one of the core purposes of New Hampshire’s RPS law: the stimulation of investment in renewable energy technologies in New England and, in particular, in New Hampshire.

The Northern Pass project developers have repeatedly claimed that they do not need and will not seek to change New Hampshire’s RPS law to benefit their project.  We intend to hold them to those claims.  The development of local renewable energy in New England is essential to building a clean energy economy for the region.  Join us in supporting a clean energy future for New Hampshire and New England by contacting members of the House Science, Technology & Environment Committee and voicing your opposition to HB 302.

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4 Responses to “What will Northern Pass mean for local renewable energy?”

  1. annie Schneider

    I am dreadfully concerned with the attempt of the pseudo company Northern Pass ( directly and highly paid for by Hydro Quebec) to change New Hampshire’s criteria for renewable energy to suit their product which is far less than renewable or green through HB 302.
    This change will gut our current requirements, undermine and eventually eliminate our smaller renewable power plants through loss of existing incentives and big business monopolization of the industry. (By a foreign company, no less!)
    This is a lightly veiled step to qualify and then apply for Public Utility status and gain access to the right to EMINENT DOMAIN.
    Essentially this will gain Hydro Quebec, a HUGE company owned by the government of Quebec, the power to seize and hold a power corridor through the state of New Hampshire. Once this is in place, there will be no way to go back. Is this not troubling?
    This would be such a HUGE mistake on every front.
    I am hoping that you are very aware of this situation with the proposed transmission line down through our state, the devastation that it would cause, and that it is being created by a partnership between NStar and Northeast Utilities (a Boston firm and a Hartford CT firm to serve those states) along with Hydro Quebec.
    Ultimately, Hydro Quebec holds all the Power in every way.

    The 2007 RPS statute has served our independent, green and renewable power producers well. It was well crafted and had bipartisan support.

  2. annie Schneider

    I am dreadfully concerned with the attempt of the pseudo company Northern Pass ( directly and highly paid for by Hydro Quebec) to change New Hampshire’s criteria for renewable energy to suit their product which is far less than renewable or green through HB 302.
    This change will gut our current requirements, undermine and eventually eliminate our smaller renewable power plants through loss of existing incentives and big business monopolization of the industry. (By a foreign company, no less!)
    This is a lightly veiled step to qualify and then apply for Public Utility status and gain access to the right to EMINENT DOMAIN.
    Essentially this will gain Hydro Quebec, a HUGE company owned by the government of Quebec, the power to seize and hold a power corridor through the state of New Hampshire. Once this is in place, there will be no way to go back. Is this not troubling?
    This would be such a HUGE mistake on every front.
    I am hoping that you are very aware of this situation with the proposed transmission line down through our state, the devastation that it would cause, and that it is being created by a partnership between NStar and Northeast Utilities (a Boston firm and a Hartford CT firm to serve those states) along with Hydro Quebec.
    Ultimately, Hydro Quebec holds all the Power in every way.

    The 2007 RPS statute has served our independent, green and renewable power producers well. It was well crafted and had bipartisan support.

  3. annie Schneider

    I am dreadfully concerned with the attempt of the pseudo company Northern Pass ( directly and highly paid for by Hydro Quebec) to change New Hampshire’s criteria for renewable energy to suit their product which is far less than renewable or green through HB 302.
    This change will gut our current requirements, undermine and eventually eliminate our smaller renewable power plants through loss of existing incentives and big business monopolization of the industry. (By a foreign company, no less!)
    This is a lightly veiled step to qualify and then apply for Public Utility status and gain access to the right to EMINENT DOMAIN.
    Essentially this will gain Hydro Quebec, a HUGE company owned by the government of Quebec, the power to seize and hold a power corridor through the state of New Hampshire. Once this is in place, there will be no way to go back. Is this not troubling?
    This would be such a HUGE mistake on every front.
    I am hoping that you are very aware of this situation with the proposed transmission line down through our state, the devastation that it would cause, and that it is being created by a partnership between NStar and Northeast Utilities (a Boston firm and a Hartford CT firm to serve those states) along with Hydro Quebec.
    Ultimately, Hydro Quebec holds all the Power in every way.

    The 2007 RPS statute has served our independent, green and renewable power producers well. It was well crafted and had bipartisan support.

  4. annie Schneider

    I am dreadfully concerned with the attempt of the pseudo company Northern Pass ( directly and highly paid for by Hydro Quebec) to change New Hampshire’s criteria for renewable energy to suit their product which is far less than renewable or green through HB 302.
    This change will gut our current requirements, undermine and eventually eliminate our smaller renewable power plants through loss of existing incentives and big business monopolization of the industry. (By a foreign company, no less!)
    This is a lightly veiled step to qualify and then apply for Public Utility status and gain access to the right to EMINENT DOMAIN.
    Essentially this will gain Hydro Quebec, a HUGE company owned by the government of Quebec, the power to seize and hold a power corridor through the state of New Hampshire. Once this is in place, there will be no way to go back. Is this not troubling?
    This would be such a HUGE mistake on every front.
    I am hoping that you are very aware of this situation with the proposed transmission line down through our state, the devastation that it would cause, and that it is being created by a partnership between NStar and Northeast Utilities (a Boston firm and a Hartford CT firm to serve those states) along with Hydro Quebec.
    Ultimately, Hydro Quebec holds all the Power in every way.

    The 2007 RPS statute has served our independent, green and renewable power producers well. It was well crafted and had bipartisan support.

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