Tue June 12, 2012
Northern Pass Competitors: Project Needs Renewable Energy Funds
A group of power providers that would compete with the Northern Pass says the project can’t make money without some kind of renewable energy, government subsidy, an assertion Northern Pass disputes.
NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.
A group of New England power generators is worried Northern Pass will try to get federal or state subsidies by persuading government officials to declare its electricity is renewable.
Such hydro-electric power is not currently eligible for subsidies.
The New England Power Generators Association has released an analysis that concludes low prices for natural gas mean the project can’t make money. The group’s members would compete with the Northern Pass project.
The president of the association, Dan Dolan, worries that might mean Northern Pass will try to get more money by having its energy declared renewable.
“Is this going to be something that is qualified as a renewable resource that right now we think of as largely a wind or solar project.”
He says that would make Northern Pass profitable at taxpayer expense while making it harder for New England-based companies to compete.
But Martin Murray, a spokesman for Northern Pass, says there is no plan to seek renewable status.
“I would have to say they are reaching here a little bit. There has been no subsidy requested nor needed by this project.”
He also dismissed the gloomy financial analysis.
“This is an extraordinarily self-serving and speculative report. Here is an association that controls 85 percent of all the currently available energy in New England claiming a competitor doesn’t have a good business plan.”
Northern Pass is still working on a route through the North Country.
For NHPR News this is Chris Jensen