There was the recent announcement by Eversource Energy, the developer, that contractors had been signed to build the project. Although a primary sales pitch for Northern Pass has been the New Hampshire jobs it will create, the retained companies are not local. Instead, they are all national or multi-national corporations. Given the specialized nature of the project, I suspect Eversource always knew that it would outsource construction.
Other news involves the Colebrook Board of Selectmen and the North Country Chamber of Commerce. Selectmen drafted a letter to the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee, which is reviewing the Northern Pass project. The letter praised the $200 million Forward New Hampshire Fund promised by Eversource if Northern Pass receives approval. It also asked that more transmission lines be buried, which Eversource has opposed. When Les Otten, a principal of the planned Balsams redevelopment, heard about the letter, he asked the board to remove the language about burying the lines. Selectmen agreed.
Why did the selectmen care what Otten wanted? The Balsams is a big, expensive project that will provide badly needed jobs if the resort reopens. Otten disclosed that Northern Pass has already committed to make a $2 million loan from the Forward NH Fund to the Balsams. He also hopes to utilize additional Forward NH funds.
To read the full version of this op-ed by Kathy Sullivan in the Union Leader, click below.