Sierra Club Maine

Northern Pass Transmission Line Proposal

The proposal is for 1200MW transmission line from Canada to an undetermined location in the town of Pittsburg, the state’s northernmost town, through Coos County and the White Mountain National Forest to the City of Franklin.  Franklin will host a substation to convert the Direct Current power to Alternating Current power.  The facility is expected to require 23 acres.  From Franklin the AC transmission lines will go to the town of Deerfield to another substation and from there through the existing transmission lines to Massachusetts.

The project is proposed by Northeast Utilities and NSTAR.  Northeast Utilities is the parent comany of Public Service Company of New Hampshire.  The companies must obtain a Presidential Permit from the Department of Energy, a process that will include the National Environmental Permit Application, which will address the environmental impacts for the proposal through the White Mountain National Forest, as well as financing, ratepayer impacts and future impacts on renewable energy and existing energy facilities. 

The Chapter is very worried that the impacts on National Forests lands will be significant and the transmission lines will adversely impact the charactor of the communities in the North Country.  The source of the electricity is also problematic in that the large scale hydro is not a proven carbon neutral or carbon negative source and the local impacts are unclear.  Also at issue is the impact on future renewable energy projects and existing plants.

The Chapter is working on our position and our plan.  We encourage you to contact Chapter Director Catherine Corkery, 603-224-8222 or

Newspaper articles:

Concord Monitor Interviews PSNH President about NH Energy
Concord Monitor: Power line project nets interveners
Keene Sentinel Opinion Column from PSNH President Gary Long

Important Links

Environmental Impact Study Information
Federal Presidential Permit Information

Application for Federal Presidential Permit
Another view of Federal Presidential Permit
Map of proposed lines
Company Website