Blogs > Power to the People

Following energy issues in the state of Connecticut and beyond.

Monday, July 29, 2013

And Now A Few Words About Northern Pass....

Having grown up in New Hampshire and still having family in the state, I can say with great certainty that Northeast Utilities massive transmission project, Northern Pass, is highly unpopular with residents there.

It's hard to go anywhere in the Granite State without seeing dozens of lawn signs in opposition to the project. And now, Jan Marvel and Michelle Vaughn have created a film that seems to capture the level of frustration many feel.

"Northern Trespass" premiered July 10th at the Flying Monkey Movie House and Performance Center in Plymouth, N.H., a theater where I spent many a Saturday afternoon as a small child.  Marvel and Vaughn are two amateur filmmakers, who put the documentary together on a small budget over a two-year period.

The Northern Trespass website  includes a link to a trailer of the documentary on YouTube.

Martin Murray, Northern Pass project spokesman, told the Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader that the information in the video is "inaccurate and outdated."

"It is heavily focused on the false threat of eminent domain, which has been addressed by state law for over a year now," Murray said in a statement. "The current proposed route was created by working with willing landowners. The producers surely are aware of the facts surrounding this issue, yet chose to mislead the public."

He added: "New Hampshire is ready to debate this project on its merits, through honest debate. Unfortunately, this video only serves to distort the truth and mislead the public."
The 187-mile project, from the Canada-New Hampshire border to that state's southern part, calls for 7.5 miles of transmission line to be buried.

NU officials say the cheap hydropower that the transmission line will bring down from Quebec will translate into energy savings of between $20 million to $35 million for New Hampshire and from $200 million to $300 million for the New England region as a whole.

During the last legislative session, Connecticut lawmakers approved changes in the state's renewable energy portfolio to make it easier for the inclusion of hydropower in anticipation of when Northern Pass goes into service in mid-2017.

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