It’s time for state-owned power corridors



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To the editor:

After years of discussion, it remains unclear how much of Hydro Quebec’s energy will be provided exclusively to New Hampshire. Likely, little to none at all. More likely the major beneficiaries will be Connecticut and Massachusetts. Ironically Connecticut apparently no longer permits above-ground transmission projects. 

New Hampshire stands to benefit the least yet bear the most: 132 miles of DC electrical lines draped over our heads (snapping, crackling and popping) supported by hundreds of electrical towers 85 to 155 feet tall (mature New Hampshire trees are 50 to 80 feet tall). Worse, this infrastructure will likely be in place for decades, an ugly scar imposed on us by a non-critical, greed-driven, private-industry project.

Ugly, noisy, prone-to-failure, easy-to-target-towers from the Canadian Border to Bethlehem, from Bristol to Deerfield – 132 miles of industrialized ugliness. How could this have progressed so far and been a thorn in our side for so long? How much time and money has been wasted by both opponents and proponents? My guess: millions and millions.

Eversource has the potential to affect thousands of private citizens financially and esthetically, yet they operate solely with their financial interests in mind in ways many would describe haphazard or worse as an uncontrolled bully. 

This project will affect New Hampshire for decades, yet it seems as if there’s nothing ordinary citizens or concerned towns can do. Nothing is in place to constrain a corporate board bent on growing the top line to the detriment of anyone who gets in their way. The world is too small for this myopic thinking.

One glimmer of hope is House Bill 626 that sees New Hampshire creating formal energy corridors where all projects of this nature must reside. Hopefully, a reasonable charge will be levied on companies (Hydro Quebec, for example) for its use by the state of New Hampshire so we can all profit from our assets.

Bottom line: everyone wins when New Hampshire formalizes the concept of state-owned power corridors. HB 626 does this. Contact your state rep and ask that they support it.

David Rivers

Thornton

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