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NH PUC approves lease agreement for Eversource's Northern Pass transmission line

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NH PUC approves lease agreement for Eversource's Northern Pass transmission line

Northern Pass Transmission LLC has received approval from the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission to lease transmission rights-of-way from Eversource Energy.

The approval marks the last of three necessary approvals needed from the New Hampshire PUC for Northern Pass.

The commission's lease approval is conditioned on the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee's, or NHSEC's, construction permit. Northern Pass said it plans to file a motion to reopen the NHSEC negotiations, after being previously denied a permit. The NHSEC stated in the Feb. 1 decision that Eversource had not met its burden in showing Northern Pass would not "unduly interfere with the orderly development of the region."

The project has already received key federal approvals, including the Presidential Permit and the final Record of Decision.

Under the agreement approved by the New Hampshire PUC, Northern Pass Transmission will provide $15 million in annual payments which will be under the control of the commission for investments in distributed generation, energy storage, electric vehicles, demand response and other initiatives, according to a Feb. 12 release. Northern Pass will also make annual lease payments to Eversource to offset Eversource's transmission costs, which are borne by customers.

The project is expected to provide customers with "more than $3 billion in economic and environmental benefits to New Hampshire," Eversource New Hampshire President Bill Quinlan said in the news release.

The Northern Pass project will also provide $7.5 million to the North Country Job Creation Fund to develop and retain jobs, $200 million to the Forward NH Fund to support clean energy initiatives, economic development, community investment and tourism and deliver 1,090 MW of renewable hydroelectric energy in the area.