seacoast reliability project | New Hampshire Public Radio

seacoast reliability project

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Eversource has notified the state that it plans to power up its new Seacoast transmission line at the end of this month, on May 29.

The Seacoast Reliability Project runs about 13 miles between Madbury and Portsmouth, with a mile buried underwater beneath Little Bay, between Durham and Newington.

Eversource proposed the project in 2015 as part of its response to a call for more reliable infrastructure from the regional grid operator, ISO-New England. The utility says the line will help carry electric load and back up other transmission lines in the area.

Eversource

The fight against Eversource’s new Seacoast transmission line is winding down, with construction nearly complete.

Environmental advocates withdrew their state Supreme Court appeal against Eversource’s Seacoast Reliability Project in mid-December.

The court challenge had been unsuccessful in blocking the most controversial part of the project – a process known as “jet plowing,” which buried the transmission line under Little Bay.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The state says Eversource should be allowed to proceed with a controversial plan to bury a new transmission line under Little Bay -- but it's not the last hurdle the utility must clear before construction begins.

Eversource wants to bury a mile of its 13-mile Seacoast Reliability Project power line underwater, between Durham and Newington.

Eversource

A new federal lawsuit is the latest effort by environmentalists to block Eversource from building a new power line on the Seacoast.

The Clean Water Act suit from the Conservation Law Foundation targets a federal permit that Eversource got last month to build the underwater part of its Seacoast Reliability Project.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: May 17, 2019

May 16, 2019

Governor Sununu makes it official, he's running for a third term - ending speculation that he would challenge Senator Jeanne Shaheen.  After nearly a decade of debate, the Northern Pass project presents oral arguments in its appeal to the state Supreme Court.  And it took a second try to live free and fly - the red-tailed hawk is one step closer to being the N.H. state mascot.

GUESTS:

Eversource

Opponents of a new Eversource transmission line on the Seacoast are asking the state Supreme Court to review the project, even as construction gets underway.

The Conservation Law Foundation and residents of Durham filed appeals Monday on the Site Evaluation Committee's decision last December to let construction of the “Seacoast Reliability Project” proceed.

Federal regulators will give Seacoast residents more time to weigh in on construction permits for a new transmission line.

Eversource commences work on the Seacoast Reliability Project this month, after winning a long-fought approval late last year.

But they still need permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build in sensitive wetlands and tidal areas.

USACE/Eversource

Eversource plans to break ground on a new Seacoast transmission line within two weeks.

But the utility still needs a federal permit to build in the Great Bay area, and environmental advocates want a public hearing before that permit is issued.

Eversource is seeking a Clean Water Act permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The state’s Site Evaluation Committee says it won’t reconsider its recent approval of a new transmission line on the Seacoast.

The Eversource proposal is known as the Seacoast Reliability Project. It's a 13-mile-long, high-voltage power line between Madbury and Portsmouth, partly buried underwater.

The Site Evaluation Committee approved the project in December. But opponents appealed for a new hearing, arguing in part that the SEC didn't fairly consider how the power line could affect the Great Bay ecosystem.

The SEC declined that appeal Thursday.

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee will decide next week whether to reconsider its approval of a new power line on the Seacoast.

Opponents of the Eversource proposal, called the Seacoast Reliability Project, appealed the SEC's December ruling Monday.

Haverfield Aviation

Eversource will fly helicopters around the Seacoast over the next week as it repairs some aging transmission infrastructure.

The choppers will take contract workers along a transmission line in Greenland, Portsmouth and North Hampton, weather permitting, through Jan. 10.

The utility says the repair crews will replace old insulators on that power line, which connects major electric substations in the area.

The project is meant to make the grid more reliable during storms, and aid in future renewable energy connections, says Eversource spokeswoman Kaitlyn Woods.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: December 14, 2018

Dec 13, 2018

Eversource wins state approval to build the Seacoast Reliability Project, an $84 million dollar project includes routing the line beneath Little Bay.  The New Hampshire G.O.P. works to avoid a primary challenge to President Trump in 2020 - but should it?  And we remember the ice storm of 2008.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The state Site Evaluation Committee has given Eversource the green light to build a new transmission line on the Seacoast.

They voted unanimously Monday to certify the so-called Seacoast Reliability Project, after more than two weeks of exhaustive deliberations.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

State regulators are in final talks about whether to approve a new transmission line on the Seacoast.

After two days of deliberations, the Site Evaluation Committee has agreed that the Seacoast Reliability Project meets some of the criteria required by state law.

State regulators will begin final deliberations Wednesday on a proposed Seacoast transmission line.

Eversource's Seacoast Reliability Project would span about 13 miles between Portsmouth and Madbury, with one mile buried beneath Little Bay.

The utility first applied to build the $84 million power line in 2016. The state Site Evaluation Committee, which must approve large energy developments, has been taking testimony on it ever since.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

At least 150 Seacoast residents packed a state hearing Thursday night to urge regulators to reject a proposed transmission line.

Eversource and the region’s grid operator, ISO-New England, say the 13-mile line between Madbury and Portsmouth is vital to improve electric reliability in the region.

The project’s $84 million pricetag would be spread across all New England ratepayers.

But residents like Robert Raymond of Newington want the utility to do and spend more to reduce local impacts, or call the project off altogether.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: October 12, 2018

Oct 12, 2018

The debate season is well underway, and in the first congressional district, the two candidates are staking out their differences - but both agree, the historic nature of their race is no big deal.  More than two dozen sites at the Saint Gobain plant are under scrutiny for contamination. And the bear-human conflicts continues this fall, with Fish & Game making the decision to shoot two bear cubs in Manchester. 

Seacoast residents can weigh in tonight on a transmission line proposal from Eversource.

The so-called Seacoast Reliability Project would span 13 miles between Madbury and Portsmouth, with a mile buried beneath Little Bay.

Eversource says the project will help shore up the area's electric service, as mandated in recent years by the New England grid operator.

Eversource

Hearings began Wednesday on Eversource’s proposed transmission line between Madbury to Portsmouth.

The Seacoast Reliability Project would span 13 miles between Madbury and Portsmouth, with a mile buried under Little Bay at Durham and Newington.

Final hearings are scheduled to start this week on Eversource's proposed Seacoast transmission line – but delays at the state Site Evaluation Committee are still possible.

The Seacoast Reliability Project power line would span 13 miles between Madbury and Portsmouth, with one mile buried beneath Little Bay between Durham and Newington. 

Eversource

Eversource is doubling down on what it says will be the best way to run a new power line under the Seacoast's Little Bay. 

The transmission line known as the Seacoast Reliability Project is how Eversource wants to meet the mandates of New England’s electric grid operator.

First proposed in 2016, the project includes a mile of cable buried beneath Little Bay, between Durham and Newington.

Eversource

The Department of Environmental Services has finished a long-awaited report on a Seacoast power line proposal from Eversource.

The DES is recommending the state Site Evaluation Committee approve the 13-mile reliability project – with conditions.

Those center on the potential water quality and sediment effects of Eversource’s plan to bury nearly a mile of cable under Little Bay, between Durham and Newington.

Before the state decides whether to permit the project, DES wants Eversource to test its proposed method, which involves blowing a trench across the bay bottom.

Jason Moon for NHPR

With Congress out on its annual August recess, New Hampshire’s congressional delegation has been enjoying more time in the state.

On Thursday, Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen spent the afternoon exploring Great Bay.

Senator Shaheen’s visit to Great Bay felt a lot like a school field trip.

It began at UNH’s Jackson Laboratory on Adam’s Point, where one scientist after another showcased their research on Great Bay’s marine life.

From investigating whether the invasive green crab problem could turn into a local culinary opportunity.

Eversource

Officials with the town of Durham say they remain concerned about a proposal to bury a long-distance power cable across a one-mile stretch of Great Bay.

Jason Moon for NHPR

People concerned about a proposed utility project on the Seacoast gathered for a demonstration Wednesday afternoon.

Outside the offices of the Department of Environmental Services in Portsmouth, roughly 20 people held signs showing their support for the environmental health of the Great Bay estuary.

The state's largest utility, Eversource, is hoping to bury a portion of a proposed transmission line beneath Great Bay.

Demonstrators here say that could do permanent damage to the tidal estuary. Eversource maintains it won’t.

Eversource

Experts hired by the town of Durham are raising concerns about the potential environmental impact of a proposal to bury a power line beneath Great Bay.

The utility company Eversource is hoping to build a 13 mile transmission line on the Seacoast, burying a portion of it beneath Great Bay.

After residents raised concerns about the environmental impact of burying the cable, the town of Durham hired a consultant to review Eversource’s proposal.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: January 13, 2017

Jan 13, 2017

The New Hampshire Senate moves quickly on hot-button GOP priorities like Right-to-Work and Concealed Carry.  Senator Jeanne Shaheen grills Rex Tillerson about lifting Russian sanctions in confirmation hearings for Secretary of State.  And the issue of "ballot selfies" continues to be a topic of debate in the state.


Jason Moon for NHPR

A bill that would require towns to sign off on new electric transmission lines is before lawmakers in Concord.

The bill would require power companies to win approval from a town’s governing body or via referendum before building high voltage transmission lines through a community.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Disputes between utility companies and local residents over new power lines are a familiar story. But on New Hampshire's Seacoast, a version of that story is playing out with a few twists. For one, the power lines would go underwater. And two, they would go through a town that prides itself on its history of opposing energy projects.