Opposition Grows to Northern Pass Power Line

The Northern Pass Project, a proposed overhead 180-mile-long 300-345 kilovolt transmission line through New Hampshire, continues to be opposed by residents, organized groups and politicians in the state. The line which would bring hydro-electric power from Quebec to New Hampshire would consist of 140 miles of DC line and about 40 miles of AC line.

It doesn’t seem to matter how many residents, organizations, municipalities and politicians at all levels voice their opposition to the line as proposed, the proponents – a variety of transmission companies and shell-like-company subsidiaries – just won’t listen. (This is typical of almost all transmission companies.) Those opposed to the line have repeatedly expressed their concerns about the negative impacts of an overhead line on property values, health, safety, the environment, tourism, recreation, and aesthetics.

The Laconia Daily Sun reports that presenters at a recent public hearing in Plymouth, New Hampshire, urged the legislative commission which is examining energy projects such as Northern Pass to return to its earlier positions that any new major power lines be buried and a one-year moratorium be imposed on such ventures. Speakers insisted if the project is to be built at all, the lines should be buried in order to protect the state’s scenic beauty, especially in the North Country where tourism is essential to the region’s fragile economy.

It’s almost impossible to count the number of organizations and other groups that oppose an overhead Northern Pass Project. Some of these include: Live Free or Fry, Bury the Northern Pass, Stop the Northern Pass, No Northern Pass, No Northern Pass Coalition, Responsible Energy Action LLC, Alliance Against Northern Pass, Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, Appalachian Mountain Club, Conservation Law Foundation and Nature Conservancy. Even Newt Gingrich, when he was running for the Republican presidential candidacy, said he would support the Northern Pass Project only if the lines were buried.

New Hampshire State Representative, Larry Rappaport,  has said he is sponsoring a bill which would require new transmission lines to be buried and another bill which would have new transmission lines use existing transportation corridors.

The proponents of the Northern Pass say it would be too expensive to bury the line. This is the attitude of many transmission companies in North America; however, transmission companies and cable experts in Europe, as well as some progressive North American transmission companies, disagree. Underground cable experts know that buried lines can cost about the same as overhead lines, when you combine the capital, maintenance and transmission loss costs over the life of a line. Capital costs may be a bit higher for underground lines, but that is offset by lower maintenance and transmission loss costs. DC high voltage lines, such as the Northern Pass, are even cheaper to bury than AC lines.

See this link for more information on the many benefits of burying power lines, and this link for more information on opposition to an overhead Northern Pass line.

~ by RETA on November 24, 2012.

 
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