Northern Pass: Transmission line selected in Massachusetts clean energy solicitation

Northern Pass on Jan. 25 said that officials in Massachusetts have announced that a bid submitted by Eversource Energy (NYSE:ES) and Hydro-Québec to use Northern Pass Transmission (NPT) to deliver hydropower to the New England grid has been selected in the Massachusetts Clean Energy solicitation.

According to the Massachusetts Clean Energy website, the distribution companies and state Department of Energy Resources have completed the evaluation of bids received in response to the Section 83D Clean Energy request for proposals (RFP).

The bid evaluation process included monitoring and assistance by an independent evaluator, the site noted.

“Northern Pass Transmission, Hydro was determined to be the winning bid, which represents an annual purchase of 9,450,000 [MWh] of clean energy generation for the commonwealth’s electric customers,” the site said.

The final acceptance of the bid and the award of a contract is conditional upon the successful negotiation of the contract and required regulatory approval at the state Department of Public Utilities (DPU), the site noted.

If the bid selected to advance to contract negotiation at this stage does not successfully negotiate contracts, then it may result in other bid(s) being selected to advance to contract negotiations, the site said.

According to the “83D Timeline” posted on the site, long-term contracts are to be negotiated and executed on March 27, followed by the long-term contracts being submitted to the DPU for approval on April 25.

As noted on Northern Pass’ website, the Northern Pass transmission line begins at the Canadian border in Pittsburg, N.H., and extends 192 miles to Deerfield, N.H., where it connects to the New England electric grid. More than 80% of the line would be located along existing transmission corridors or buried along roadways, the site noted.

The solicitation process was the result of a law passed in 2016 by the Massachusetts Legislature to provide new sources of clean energy by 2020, the site said.

The site further noted that Northern Pass expects to receive all state and federal permits by early 2018. The Province of Québec recently announced that it has granted HQ a permit to build the hydroelectric transmission line that will connect with Northern Pass at the U.S. border, according to the site.

All major contractor and equipment contracts are fully executed to begin construction by mid-2018, the site said, adding that Northern Pass is expected to be in service by the end of 2020.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3058 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.