River Alliance of CT > Priority Topics > Hydropower
Feb 5, 2018
New Hampshire Nixes Controversial Hydropower Project
On February 1, New Hampshire regulators unanimously rejected the controversial Northern Pass Transmission project, which is supposed to deliver hydropower from New Hampshire to southern New England. The Northern Pass route, which would run through the White Mountains, has been vigorously opposed by environmentalists, especially since other routes are available. The bad news stunned Eversource and the state of Massachusetts. For some reason environmental opposition was not taken seriously. But New Hampshire values its natural resources and the tourism they inspire. The vote in the state Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) was 7 to 0. Eversource can appeal. But how about honoring the importance of open space and wildlife (here in Connecticut, too)?
Here’s a link to one of the many press reports: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-hampshire/articles/2018-02-01/state-regulators-vote-to-kill-northern-pass-project
Sep 25, 2017
Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) Comments by Rivers Alliance and Others
In addition to our support of the comments we refer to in our submitted material below, Rivers Alliance of CT commends the extensive efforts reflected in the comments submitted by: CT League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, Clean Water Action, Connecticut College Arboretum, The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut, Council on Environmental Quality, and many, many individuals too numerous to mention here.
Here is what we submitted:
Rivers Alliance of Connecticut writes in general support of the comments submitted jointly by Acadia Center, et al. [Acadia Center, Citizens Campaign for the Environment (“CCE”), Coalition for Community Solar Access (“CCSA”), Connecticut Fund for the Environment (“CFE”), Northeast Clean Energy Council (“NECEC”), Solar Energy Industries Association (“SEIA”), and Vote Solar]. We also second comments by Joel Gordes.
The merger of energy-policy policy entities with the Department of Environmental Protection to for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) created the potential for a forceful, integrated state program maximizing the development of high-quality clean energy. That potential has yet to be realized. I recently was driving on state roads in Massachusetts, where numerous solar arrays are situated roadside. I return to Connecticut to hear community complaints about a solar array planned for the middle of a forest. Why can’t we have more solar arrays in medians and roadsides, and fewer proposals for arrays in farmland and forest?
Community solar is a popular concept with the public (which by and large evinces a strong desire for more clean energy). Why is progress so slow? Why does the new strategy limit support for residents who wish to install solar or other clean power infrastructure, when the funding comes from residential customers themselves?
The comments of the environmental coalition (Acadia et al) and Joel Gordes point to several of problems with state procurement efforts that appear to stem from an unwillingness to downgrade support for megaprojects as opposed to smaller, decentralized projects. The economic arguments in favor of this inclination may be at least partially flawed. The security arguments in favor of decentralization put forward by Joes Gordes also appear increasingly valid with each new report of national and international cyberattacks, to say nothing of devastating weather events.
Connecticut has an ambivalent or at least unclear attitude toward monopolies. A new one is being created today with the proposed merger of Eversource with Aquarion Water. We ask DEEP to reexamine the incentives in the Comprehensive Energy Strategy and to clarify the structure it believes is best suited to bringing our vital utilities into line with the new and urgent needs of our time.
We do appreciate the work done by DEEP on energy strategy. But, yes, we are asking the agency to do more.
Respectfully, Margaret Miner, Exec. Dir., Rivers Alliance of Connecticut