Massachusetts Electric Companies Reject Northern Pass

Concord, NH -Massachusetts electric companies formally ended contract negotiations with Eversource’s Northern Pass transmission project for Canadian hydro today. The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee had already unanimously rejected the project with an oral decision earlier in the month, and is expected to issue a written order confirming that action this week.

At the end of January, Governor Baker proposed contracts which would have brought destructive hydropower from Canada via the Northern Pass transmission line, instead of local job-creating solar and wind energy projects. The Massachusetts administration has proposed an alternative, Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connect project, which brings many of the same problems as Northern Pass.

In response, Emily Norton, Massachusetts Sierra Club Chapter Director and Catherine Corkery, New Hampshire Sierra Club Chapter Director said the following.

“The rejection of the Northern Pass project is good news for Massachusetts and the region. The Northern Pass project would have increased electricity costs in the state, destroyed pristine wilderness in New Hampshire and continued the destruction of traditional hunting and fishing grounds of First Nations in Quebec, all while failing to reduce climate pollution in the region.

“It is too soon to celebrate however. Governor Baker’s second choice to meet Massachusetts’ energy needs, New England Clean Energy Connect, carries many of the same problems as Northern Pass.

“Governor Baker should choose the thousands of megawatts of new wind and solar projects in New England that offered competitive bids, that will actually reduce carbon pollution, and that can create the kinds of benefits for communities and workers needed without unnecessary negative consequences for the environment and First Nations communities.”