CONCORD — Opponents of a state-approved $84 million transmission-line project designed to boost the reliability of the region’s electric system haven’t ruled out going to court to overturn its approval.
“At this point, the towns of Durham and Newington, as well as other intervenors, will have to review the actual permit language and decide whether a request for rehearing and ultimately an appeal to the NH Supreme Court is warranted,” Durham said in a statement released by Town Administrator Todd Selig on Friday.
His comments come after the state Site Evaluation Committee released its 300-plus-page written report on the Seacoast Reliability Project following the committee’s unanimous verbal approval in December.
The project would pass through Madbury, Durham, Newington and Portsmouth and will be buried partially in Little Bay.
Eversource, which criticized the committee when it rejected its $1.6 billion Northern Pass project last year, applauded the committee Friday.
“We commend the SEC for its deliberate and thorough consideration of this critical project and its recognition of our extensive efforts to work closely with the host communities throughout the planning and siting process,” Eversource said.
The SEC when considering the Northern Pass and Seacoast projects had some members who reviewed both projects and some who only judged one or the other.
Construction is scheduled to start this spring on the Seacoast line with it going into operation in December, according to Eversource.
The 13-mile long Seacoast project will produce more than $900,000 in tax revenues for those four communities in the first year that the project is placed into service, according to Eversource.
“In reaffirming the SEC’s unanimous approval of the Seacoast Reliability Project, this order represents another step forward in our efforts to enhance the reliability of the electric system and support continued economic growth in the Seacoast region,” Eversource said.
Opponents said their work helped improve the proposal.
“If the project ultimately proceeds to construction, the residents of Durham and Newington should know that it will be a better project for our efforts — less impactful on individual property owners, numerous conditions to mitigate impacts to scenic and historic resources, and important permit conditions to protect the Great Bay Estuary in the area of the planned Little Bay crossing,” Selig said.