Town Council Gets Briefed On Proposed National Grid Project

By Alex Malm

The Town Council received a presentation from representatives of National Grid and Twin State Clean Energy regarding a proposed project to bring 1200 megawatts of clean hydro power from Quebec to the region.
“We’re here because we really want to get input,” Theran Hill, a representative from Twin State Clean Energy, said.
He explained that energy bills are high and it’s partially because New England is heavily relying on natural gas. During the winter months, they are usually getting that supply from other countries.
“Because of that the price of electricity does fluctuate,” Hill said.
He said if the project was to be completed they would be able to bring new energy supplies to the region and at times when they have excess energy they would be able to sell it back.
As part of the project, they would be using a transmission line from Canada that would go through Vermont and New Hampshire using existing right of ways, and they would use existing lines and substations after making improvements to them, which would lead to tax revenue for host communities. As part of the proposal, it would pick up on the National Grid transmission lines in Londonderry.
Town Council Chair, John Farrell, asked if there would be any impacts on abutters where larger trees would have to be removed.
He was told they would mainly be doing sideline trimming and they wouldn’t have to expand the right of way.
Farrell also asked if the abutters to the project would have views of the power line, which he said reduces the values of homes.
“What I want to know is those abutters to those corridors going to be looking at power lines,” Farrell said.
Shawn Downey, representative from National Grid, said he’s been doing outreach efforts for a number of years and they would be for this project as well.
“My team and I will knock on every door on the right of way and make sure individual folks know what’s coming and when,” Downey said.
Farrell also suggested that they work with Town Engineer, John Trottier, and explain what their plan is for the proposed project so he can then brief the council.
“I want to know from John what it is,” Farrell said.
Hill said they would have open houses beginning this summer in different communities to discuss the proposal.
He also told the Town Council that it takes about two years to get permits and if they were to move forward, construction wouldn’t be until 2026.
Farrell told them to expect the public to have a lot of interest in the project after what has happened in the past with different projects.
“You’re going to be met with a skeptical community,” Farrell said.
Utilities Committee Chair, Lynn Wiles, said during a previous Town Council meeting he was looking forward to working with them on the project.
‘I think it’s going to be a wonderful project for Londonderry,” Wiles said.

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