Hydropower

Keene Public Library

A group of residents in Keene has scrapped plans to build a hydropower facility on an old dam near downtown.

The city will now go back to the drawing board on what to do with the derelict structure.  

Nature Conservancy

A major study of the Connecticut River shows how its flow and ecosystem has been altered by dozens of dams.

The nonprofit Nature Conservancy worked with the Army Corps of Engineers to try and reconstruct how the Connecticut River might flow if not for the more than 70 large dams in its watershed.

Britta Greene for NHPR

Right now, a group of hydroelectric dams on the Connecticut River are undergoing a once-in-a-generation process – a federal relicensing. NHPR’s Annie Ropeik went to the dams and talked with people who live, work and play nearby about what they hope might change.  

Thomas Gehrke / Flickr Creative Commons

Energy developers are set to learn Thursday which of their projects will get long-term contracts to provide 1,200 megawatts of renewable energy to Massachusetts.

Several projects in New Hampshire are in the running.

Developers sent in more than 40 proposals to bring hydro, solar and wind power to Massachusetts, primarily from Northern New England and Canada.

NHPR

Sam Evans-Brown, host of Outside/In, the NHPR podcast about the natural world and how we use it, discusses the podcast's latest series, Powerline. We hear about how the development of the world's fourth-largest hydropower producer, Hydro-Québec, impacted French Canadians, and the indigenous people of Québec...also, how this hydropower company is connected to a controversial power project in New Hampshire, Northern Pass.

This show originally aired on November 29, 2017. 


NHPR File Photo

As Massachusetts prepares to announce where it will buy 1,200 megawatts of new renewable power, the 46 projects in the running – including many with a big footprint in New Hampshire – are hoping for the best.

Among the smaller-scale wind, hydro and solar installations that are vying for a Massachusetts contract are big transmission lines to carry Canadian hydro- and wind power.

Those include Eversource’s Northern Pass, and two National Grid plans to use mostly existing power lines in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Courtesy: Northern Pass

Northern Pass cleared another hurdle Thursday, receiving a Presidential Permit from the United States Department of Energy.

This is one of the final major federal approvals necessary for the Eversource-backed Northern Pass project, which seeks to bring hydropower from Quebec through New Hampshire on its way to Massachusetts.

What's Happening With The Northern Pass Project?

Sep 13, 2017
NorthernPass.us

The decision on the hydro-electric transmission project, which would bring power from Canada to New England, has been postponed yet again. We review the goals of this $1.6 billion proposal and examine how the debate around it has changed since it was first presented in 2010.


National Grid is holding a series of ‘community meetings’ to gather input and discuss details of its proposed Granite State Power Link project, which would bring hydropower from Canada through New Hampshire on its way to southern New England.

After meeting with residents in Littleton last week, National Grid is holding public sessions in Monroe on Monday at 6:30 pm inside the Town Hall. On Tuesday, representatives will be in Webster’s Town Hall, starting at 6:30 pm.

Ivo Rocha Jr / Flickr/CC

We’ll check in with where the Northern Pass project stands, and what’s next in the process.

 

GUESTS:

 

Lakes Region Planning Commission

A Boston hydropower developer is exploring the possibility of using two dams along a western New Hampshire river to generate electricity.

The Valley News reports Grafton Hydro has filed for a preliminary permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to find out if it's feasible to generate power from the

Eversource

Officials with Northern Pass, the controversial hydropower project, have announced an offer to bury an additional fifty-two miles of power lines – roughly a third of the total. But opponents still have concerns, including impacts on the environment and property values. We’ll get the latest, hear from both sides, and find out what might be next. 

Anthony Auston / Flicker CC

New England governors and policy staff met in Connecticut Thursday to discuss energy. The meeting didn’t produce any block-buster announcements, but in a joint statement the New England governors have pledged to work toward the goal of reducing the cost of energy.

Mac Armstrong / Flicker CC

State lawmakers are being asked to decide if hydro-power from Canada should be eligible for renewable energy subsidies.

The proposal was one of two presented by Republican David Murotake of Nashua that would make modifications to the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).

He says lumping hydro in as renewable energy would drive down the cost of meeting the state’s renewable energy goals.

natural gas drilling / Flickr CC

An Environmental Group says regional energy policy makers and the natural gas industry have too cozy a relationship. To prove their case the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released a series of documents obtained by right to know requests. Those indicated therein say the claim is overblown.

The release highlights a growing unease in the environmental community toward bringing new natural gas pipeline into New England.

State officials say Brookfield Renewable Energy is drawing down water and initiating an emergency action plan after a failed attempt to fix a minor structural issue with a dam in the North Country.

The dam in question is a 5 megawatt hydro power facility on the Androscoggin River, just south of Berlin in the town of Gorham.

This is a smaller, low-hazard dam, meaning even if it were to breach, the water backed up behind it wouldn’t even overflow out of the river banks.