In a surprise early decision, the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) voted against the Northern Pass transmission line project.
Eversource, the company behind the Northern Pass, plans on appealing the decision.
About the vote
The SEC voted against the project because the transmission would violate one important criteria: it would “unduly interfere with the orderly development of the region.” The SEC referenced the potential negative impacts on tourism, business development, and property values.
The SEC will issue a written decision by March 31. Northern Pass has thirty days to file for a rehearing with the SEC. If the SEC votes against the project again, the Northern Pass can appeal to the state Supreme Court.
Northern Pass vows to appeal
A statement on the Northern Pass website reads:
“[The] most viable near-term solution to the region’s energy challenges, as well as $3 billion of NH job, tax, and other benefits, are now in jeopardy. Clearly, the SEC process is broken and this decision sends a chilling message to any energy project contemplating development in the Granite State. We will be seeking reconsideration of the SEC’s decision, as well as reviewing all options for moving this critical clean energy project forward.”
Northern Pass opponents celebrate
Opponents, including the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, praised the decision.
“In identifying the multiple reasons behind their conclusion, the subcommittee members discussed exactly the right issues: undue interference with land use, property values and tourism, and inadequate outreach to communities.”
Do you have an opinion on the SEC decision on the Northern Pass? Share your thoughts in the comments below.