Following up on our previous blog on The Norther Pass, “Top 5 Reasons to Support or Oppose Proposed “Northern Pass” Transmission Line”, we recently received this mailer from the Northern Pass folks.
So far the polling results have been overwhelming negative with 92 percent saying “NO” and only 8 percent saying “YES”–albeit with only 12 votes. Both comments received have also been negative. Are there any supporters out there?
One aspect of the naysayers that bothers us is the lack of an alternative proposal for such plentiful and cheap electricity. As we laid out in a previous blog, electricity costs in New Hampshire are the 6th highest in country at 16.26 cents/kWh. It would be pretty hard for Northern Pass electricity to be any higher. This is negatively impacting economic development in New Hampshire and jeopardizing the restoration and preservation of towns and villages–don’t tourists come for that too?
Surprisingly, the Northern Pass mailer only addresses the cost of electricity on the very back page where they simply state: “All NH residents and businesses will benefit from lower market prices for electricity resulting from this project.” Even the Northern Pass economic study (pdf) does not attempt to quantify this significant, positive economic impact–is there another study forthcoming?
Let’s face it, 1,200 megawatts of electricity is a lot of power (again, the equivalent of the Seabrook nuclear facility in southern New Hampshire). Playing Devil’s Advocate, where else will we turn for that kind of power? Will Seabrook be expanded? Wind mills and solar would be more visually appalling than the transmission lines. We want to encourage a constructive dialogue . . . what’s the alternative? Please discuss.