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Page A10 • NEW HAMPSHIRE SUNDAY NEWS • May 15, 2011

Northern Pass ity rights of way through 1,081 parcels and a preferred route for 40 miles of new rights of way involving an additional 187 properties. Murray said he expects the final route for the 40-mile new stretch to involve fewer than 187 properties. In a 75-minute interview Thursday, Long said he wasn’t surprised by the level of the project’s opposition from North Country residents. “I was surprised that those who are true believers and advocates of climate change and carbon reduction are opposing the project,� Long said. “I’d expect they would support it.� The chief executive pulled out a 2009 copy of the New Hampshire Climate Action Plan that showed Will Abbott, an executive with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, backing a recommendation to “Enable Importation of Canadian Hydro and Wind Generation.� Abbott, an outspoken Northern Pass critic, said Friday that the ends don’t justify the means, calling the 2009 report “a concept� and not a detailed project proposal. “I think if you go up to 40,000 feet and look at what are the great assets the state of New Hampshire possesses, one of the great assets New Hampshire possesses is the rural landscape in northern and central New Hampshire,� Abbott said. “It’s totally about what you’re ruining to get that power to market.� The 180-mile preferred route would run through 31 New Hampshire communities from the Canadian border to Deerfield. Hydro-Quebec, in association with Northeast Utilities and NSTAR, is proposing to build the $1.1 billion project to convey 1,200 megawatts from Quebec to New England. PSNH said it would deliver cheaper electricity to residents. The first electricity wouldn’t reach New England until 2015. The 40 miles of new rights of way equals about 740 acres, Murray said. Northern Pass

A hot day for Granite Thunder Continued from Page A1

PSNH: Electricity for regional pool Electricity from Northern Pass will be sold into the regional power pool just like energy from 350 other generators sited around New England. “It’s more like a bucket of water and everyone pours in a little bit,� said Public Service of New Hampshire spokesman Martin Murray. “The bucket is sized differently every day due to demand.� Murray said the Northern Pass power will replace “higher-price generation that will otherwise be in the power pool.� According to a federal filing by the Northern Pass project, an economic study done by Charles River Associates said the additional capacity provided by the Northern Pass project “will still needs state and federal approvals. Long said he wasn’t sure whether the project would require the use of eminent domain, but he criticized House Bill 648, which would prevent public utilities from taking private land unless a project was needed for the reliability of the electrical system. “It’s an attempt to change the rules in the middle of a project, which is very bad business,� Long said. “It sends a very negative signal to anybody who wants to do development in New Hampshire — that be careful because New Hampshire may change the rules on you mid-stream.� The bill, which passed the House on March 30, will be heard by a Senate committee at 1:15 p.m. Thursday in Representatives Hall. Rep. James Garrity, R-Atkinson, chairman of the House Science, Technology and Energy Committee, backed the bill and said Long should realize laws can change.

reduce congestion by allowing more power to be delivered during the hours when prices are highest and to the market where the power is valued most. “The result of the congestion relief will be lower ISO-NE prices, lower fossilfueled generation in New England, reduced production costs, and lower costs of wholesale power purchased through the New England market in order to serve load customers ... .� PSNH also is hoping to reach agreement with Hydro Quebec to purchase a certain amount of power at a sub-market price. Said PSNH President and CEO Gary Long: “This idea that electricity somehow stops at the New Hampshire border is a myth.� “He’s entitled to his opinion, but again, public utilities know when they get into the public utilities business it’s subject to public policy decisions ...,� Garrity said. “Northern Pass was in the mix definitely, and in my opinion, (House bill) 648 is not intended to stop Northern Pass, but it’s basically sending a message to the developer: ‘You go right ahead and do what you’re doing, but getting property by eminent domain is off the table.’ � Calling Northern Pass an “absolute home run,� Long said the project would deliver jobs, electricity savings and greener electricity for New Hampshire and New England. “This project is the largest project for reducing carbon in New England,� Long said. “Carbon reduction benefits everyone. It knows no borders.� According to a study on the Northern Pass website, the project should save New Hampshire $23 million in wholesale electricity costs in 2015, growing to $37 million in

2024. Long said New England has enough power sources today, but is too dependent on one source of fuel for electricity, with 45 percent coming from natural gas. Northern Pass would help protect ratepayers against price spikes or gas pipeline problems, he said. In March, several North Country officials reported receiving calls from people seeking information on requesting property tax abatements. Forest Society spokesman Jack Savage said the cost of potential abatements must be weighed against $17.4 million in local and county tax revenues that PSNH says Northern Pass will generate annually. “There are some landowners starting to get some professional appraisals to determine what impacts are going to be in terms of the loss of property values,� Savage said. The lack of a final route, Savage said, has “sort of brought things to a halt in terms of people willing to buy property and property owners being able to sell it.� Asked whether property values would decline and lead to abatements, Long said: “Is that fact or fiction? There is no evidence that that would be true.� Long said he believes the odds are “very high� Northern Pass will get needed governmental approvals and get built. “With time, the chance goes higher and higher.� Abbott offered the flip-side prediction. “I am not a betting person, but I think this project as it’s been proposed by Northern Pass will never be built. The public doesn’t want it,� he said. “The public interest should be what the public says it is.� Long said a recent announcement that the project plans to use existing rights of way for 140 miles of the transmission line south of Groveton has “really calmed down the opposition.� But Abbott disagreed. “I think the intensity is only growing,� he said.

The temperature reached 108 degrees in the shade outside the 197th Fires Brigade headquarters on Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, last week. More than 700 New Hampshire Army National Guard members are serving on bases in Kuwait with the brigade. COURTESY GRANITE THUNDER FACEBOOK PAGE

Laconia native turns over command of U.S. task force in Afghanistan Special to the Sunday News

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Col. Don Bolduc, a native of Laconia, N.H., will turn over command of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan to Col. Mark Schwartz today. Last spring, Bolduc assumed command of the Special Operation Task Force, which consists of up to 5,000 personnel from each branch of service and several coalition nations. This is his seventh tour supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. “It has been my honor to serve as the CJSOTF-A commander. The soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and civilians of this command have performed their mission magnificently and have achieved outstanding effects against the insurgency and in support of the Afghan people,� Bolduc said.

During his 21 months in Afghanistan, Bolduc implemented several successful programs designed to improve security, development and g ov e r na n c e for the Afghan people, neutralize the insurgents, and support the Afghan government. credits COL. BOLDUC He the success of these programs to the men and women of the CJSOTF-A. Bolduc looks forward to returning to his family. He has been married for 22 years to his wife, Sharon, and they have three sons.He is the son of Armand and Janet Bolduc. Bolduc will next work in Washington, D.C., as assistant deputy director for Special Operations on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon.

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