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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) approved on Thursday a US$1.6-billion Canada-New Hampshire transmission line project that has been languishing in regulatory purgatory since 2010. The line will deliver up to 1,090 MW of clean energy from Hydro-Québec’s hydroelectric plants in Canada to New Hampshire and the rest of New England.
The 192-mile-long line proposes to deliver hydropower from Quebec to an existing substation in Deerfield, NH, and into New England’s electric grid.
Northern Pass will help meet the region’s increasing demand for power, while decreasing carbon emissions by up to 3.2 million tons annually.
According to Northern Pass, estimated wholesale electricity market benefits will be around US$600 million annually for New England and US$62 million a year for New Hampshire. Northern Pass construction is expected to create 2,600 jobs in New Hampshire during construction and boost the state’s GDP by an estimated US$2.2 billion over the construction period and in the first 10 years of operation.
The DOE is delegated to issue Presidential Permits for the construction, operation, maintenance, or connection of electric transmission facilities at the U.S. international borders. In Thursday’s decision, the DOE approved the Presidential permit for the project that has undergone many federal and state permitting regulations, as well as an Environmental Impact Statement since it was first proposed.
The transmission line also had to adjust its planned route in response to input from local communities as well as federal and state permitting agencies.
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The DOE’s approval allows the Northern Pass Transmission Line project to cross the international border and connect into the U.S. grid.
Construction is expected to start as early as in April 2018, pending approval by New Hampshire’s Site Evaluation Committee.
“Smart energy infrastructure development projects like Northern Pass – which support a reliable and resilient grid, promote economic growth, lower energy costs and benefit the environment we all share – shouldn’t take this long to approve,” Secretary Perry said. “This Administration is committed to improving our nation’s energy infrastructure while also reforming the federal permitting process so that projects like Northern Pass receive full, and prompt, consideration,” he added.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.