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Northern Pass project obtains key permit from Quebec

New Hampshire Union Leader

December 21. 2017 10:52PM

CONCORD — The Northern Pass project took another step forward Thursday in the permitting process — this time north of the border.

Officials with the Province of Québec announced Thursday they have granted Hydro-Quebec (HQ) a permit to construct the hydroelectric transmission line that will connect with Northern Pass at the U.S. border. The approval was granted following two-and-a-half years of review by Quebec officials.

The provincial permit is needed for any U.S. project looking to connect a new transmission line to a Canadian energy source, and must now be formally approved by the Canadian federal government, said project spokesman Martin Murray. Northern Pass has already been awarded a presidential permit, allowing the project to connect to the HQ system at the international border, said Murray.

“Today marks a major milestone, adding one more key authorization to those that have already been granted on both sides of the border, and moving us closer to proceed with the Québec–New Hampshire and Northern Pass Transmission projects,” said Éric Martel, president and chief executive officer of Hydro-Québec. “I would like to thank our community partners, with whom we’ve been working closely, as well as the Québec government, which has supported us in our initiatives to grow our exports.”

The proposed $1.6 billion Northern Pass project, which runs through more than 30 communities, needs a handful of state and federal approvals before it can start operating by late 2020. The transmission-line route runs from Pittsburg to Deerfield and includes 60 miles of buried lines.

Many project opponents want more or all of the line buried underground.

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