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Northeast Utilities Announces Delay of Northern Pass Transmission Line

January 2, 2013

The Northern Pass project, a proposed 180-mile transmission line project connecting Northeast Utilities customers to power producers in Quebec, Canada, is delaying announcement of a new route until they communicate further with “local citizens, stakeholders, and public officials across New Hampshire”, according to the announcement. The project would bring hydro-electric power from Quebec to Southern New England but has caused outrage among residents and environmentalists about the proposed project’s effects on the landscape in New England.

The announcement of the delay only raises more questions about the credibility of Northeast Utilities and the company’s ability to complete the project. Northern Pass has the rights of way for 140 out of the 180 miles in the project but does not have the rights of way for the remaining 40 miles (the northernmost part). This remaining portion, along with the delay of the new route announcement, both further the doubts that the project will get done. If the Northern Pass project does not get completed, there would likely be less capacity in New England, and forward pricing for capacity would be expected to rise.