Town Manager Kevin Smith has received information about a proposed 36-inch gas pipeline that would pass through 17 communities in Southern New Hampshire, including Londonderry.
Smith said he first learned of Tennessee Gas Pipelines’ proposed Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline (NED) project when he read about it in a newspaper, “which was a little surprising.” But once it was out in the media, representatives for Kinder Morgan, the third largest energy company in North America, called to set up a meeting and sent him information, which he passed along to the Town Council.
“They want to get together after Thanksgiving to come in and discuss the project with me, then sometime before Christmas or right after there will be a public presentation to the Town Council,” he said.
Kinder Morgan partnered with New Hampshire-based McLane Government and Public Strategies to help with public outreach in the local communities to be affected.
The pipeline would cross into New Hampshire from Massachusetts, starting in Winchester and winding through 17 communities in Southern New Hampshire until it passes back into the Bay State.
The 17 communities that may be affected by the project are Winchester, Richmond, Troy, Fitzwilliam, Rindge, New Ipswich, Greenville, Mason, Milford, Brookline, Amherst, Merrimack, Litchfield, Londonderry, Hudson, Windham, and Pelham.
In October, Hollis residents voted at a special meeting in favor of several warrant articles that gave the sense the Town was opposed to the pipeline’s passing through the community due to environmental and water impacts, as well as the impact to the Town’s Open Space Plan, Hollis Town Administrator Troy Brown said.
As a result, the energy company designed an alternate route that avoids Hollis and now includes Londonderry.
A pipeline installation in Londonderry is something the Town has seen before – a pipeline cuts through the Town to the Granite Ridge natural gas power plant in the north end of town.
Richard Wheatley of Kinder Morgan said the alternate route is to be filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee on Dec. 8.
“It appears to be a very viable route,” he said.
According to the proposal for the project, the proposed pipeline would follow the right of way of an existing power line in New Hampshire, which the energy company said would minimize the impacts to the environment and landowners. The proposed power line route would be approximately 70 miles of mainline routed through Southern New Hampshire with approximately 64 miles being co-located with an existing 345 kV power line corridor.
The pipeline would provide the State with additional access to lower cost, clean, abundant and domestic natural gas supplies, enabling the development of gas distribution systems to serve communities and industries where natural gas is not available today, the proposal states. The availability of a low cost energy source is critical to attracting new industries that can bring jobs and economic growth to the State.
Because the Town has only just received information about the proposed pipeline, Smith said it’s too early to take a position on the project, but noted the Town plans to hold public hearings on the proposal so that the community has the chance to weigh in.