Northern Pass Official: Full Burial Of The Line Would Make Project Uneconomical

Sep 10, 2015

In Whitefield Wednesday night, Northern Pass officials told Coos residents burying the entire transmission line would be so expensive the project couldn't move forward.

The public meeting for Coos County was one of a series required by the state before Northern Pass can seek approval from the state's Site Evaluation Committee.

About five dozen people spoke and the overwhelming theme - as with a meeting Tuesday night for Grafton County - was that all 192 miles of the transmission line should be buried, not just 60 miles.

One burial advocate was Susan Percy of Stark.

"It strikes me that you are asking those of us who enjoy the undeveloped and natural landscape to compromise our experience and tourism and recreation growth in order to save people pennies on our electric bills by refusing to bury the line," she said.

But Eversource New Hampshire president Bill Quinlan said burying the entire line would cost an addition $1 billion.

"If you were to add a billion to this project it basically become uneconomic," he said.

The idea that it would be necessary to cancel the project if burial was required brought cheers from the audience.

Those in favor of the project were outnumbered at least four-to-one. They argued Coos desperately needs the promised jobs and economic boost.

Opponents said the towers would hurt tourism and property values and the project is only designed to make money for Eversource.

The final public hearing is tonight in Laconia at the Lake Opechee Inn & Spa. The meeting begins at 5 p.m. with an open house. At 6 p.m. there is an overview. From 6:30 to 7:30 questions and answers. Public comments are accepted starting at 7:30.