Northern Pass Transmission files service agreement with FERC

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Manchester, N.H., December 16, 2010 — A project aimed at importing low-carbon, hydroelectric energy into New England from Quebec reached a significant milestone yesterday with the filing of a transmission service agreement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The TSA details the terms for the commercial use of the proposed transmission line, Northern Pass, which would deliver energy into the region. The FERC must approve the agreement for the project to move forward.

The TSA was executed by Northern Pass Transmission and H.Q. Hydro Renewable Energy, Inc. (a U.S. unit of Hydro-Quebec) on October 4, 2010. Northern Pass is a New Hampshire company owned jointly by subsidiaries of Northeast Utilities (the parent company of Public Service Co. of New Hampshire) and NSTAR.

The filing summarizes the terms of the arrangements for service over the line and the cost-based formula rate for transmission cost recovery from H.Q. Hydro Renewable Energy, Inc.

The Northern Pass line will be capable of delivering 1,200 MW of competitively priced electricity from HQ hydroelectric facilities located in the province of Quebec.

With enough electricity to power over one million New England homes, this project would help to reduce the region’s greenhouse gas emissions, lower energy prices and lessen the need for natural gas generation.

“This will be one of the first “Ëœeconomic’ transmission projects built in New England to tap into low-carbon energy and will make a significant contribution to helping New England meet the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative targets that have been set. In fact, a comprehensive analysis by Charles River Associates (CRA) shows that, even with very conservative assumptions, the Northern Pass line will significantly benefit electric customers in New England,” said James Muntz, president of Transmission at Northeast Utilities Service Co. “The CRA report projects that energy prices in the wholesale market will be reduced measurably, potentially saving New England customers $200 million to $300 million or more in annual energy costs.”

In addition to cost savings for electric customers, the size of the project will also reduce the New England power market’s reliance on natural gas as a generation fuel, freeing capacity on New England’s gas distribution system to allow expanded access to gas for over 325,000 home heating customers.

The project is presently in a planning and permitting phase. The project’s preliminary preferred route and alternative routes are being evaluated and will utilize existing transmission rights of way as much as possible. Construction is anticipated to be completed in late 2015.

Northern Pass filed its first major permit application with the U.S. Department of Energy on October 14, 2010, for a Presidential Permit to cross the U.S. border. In addition, Northern Pass submitted a formal request to ISO-New England to evaluate the technical merits of the line and its impact on the New England transmission grid.

Hydro-Quebec is responsible for the government permitting of the Quebec portion of the line.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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