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Site Evaluation Committee to meet May 24 to decide on Northern Pass negotiations

New Hampshire Union Leader

April 18. 2018 9:56AM
Laurent Rancourt, who owns an excavation company, fills out paperwork for during a job and supplier fair for Northern Pass in Concord in January. The state's Site Evaluation Committee will meet May 24 to decide whether it should resume negotiations on the proposed hydroelectric transmission project. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER FILE)

CONCORD — The state’s Site Evaluation Committee will meet May 24 to decide whether it should resume deliberations on a proposed Northern Pass hydroelectric transmission project.

The committee unanimously rejected the $1.6 billion project Feb. 1 and issued a nearly 300-page written decision and order March 30.

The committee will meet at 9 a.m. May 24 at 49 Donovan St. in Concord and will continue, if necessary, on June 4.

Northern Pass officials said they plan to file a motion for rehearing before the end of the month.

Project officials said the committee should have deliberated on all four criteria required for the project to receive a needed state certificate and should have considered conditions that could have helped eliminate or reduce concerns of committee members.

Northern Pass on Feb. 28 filed a motion for the committee to rehear the project and throw out its decision, but the committee said it wouldn’t consider the request until after issuing its written decision and order.

Project officials have said the project would deliver tens of millions of dollars in yearly property taxes as well as more than $60 million a year in energy savings for New Hampshire.

The proposed 192-mile Northern Pass route includes 60 miles underground.

The committee’s written report said the project, if built, would have a “negative impact” on land use and would deliver fewer financial benefits than promised.

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