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.
“The issuance of this permit is a culmination of a seven-year process that was incredibly comprehensive in terms of many, many public meetings and thousands of public comments,” says Martin Murray, spokesperson for Eversource. “So it was a long road, but we now have the permit in hand, and that is a very significant milestone for the Northern Pass project.”
Governor Chris Sununu also praised the decision from the Department of Energy. In a statement, he calls Northern Pass “a home run for small businesses, ratepayers, and clean energy advocates.”
The project still needs approval from New Hampshire regulators, with a decision expected early in 2018.
Opponents of Northern Pass say its electric towers will scar the region’s landscape and hurt tourism.
The project is one of many up for consideration by Massachusetts officials, as part of that state’s initiative to bring more renewable energy to the state.