On June 12 the New Hampshire Senate voted to concur with the House's version of SB 99, a bill that requires the Public Utilities Commission to hire an outside consultant to evaluate the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC). The SEC is responsible for approving new energy projects in the state.
SB 99 now heads to Governor Maggie Hassan.
The original, Senate version of SB 99 required a one year moratorium on large energy projects, including the Northern Pass transmission line project. Many moratorium supporters are concerned that new wind farms and the Northern Pass will degrade property values.
Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) opposed a full moratorium because of the potential for a moratorium to disrupt grid reliability. However, Bradley acknowledged the concerns surrounding the SEC process, and supported the study proposed in the House version of SB 99.
"This [study] can't happen fast enough because we don't have good siting criteria," Bradley said, according to the Union Leader.
Some Senators are still concerned that the study will have a negative economic impact on New Hampshire's energy market, however.
"This body overwhelmingly opposed a moratorium," testified Sen. Lou D'Allesandro (D-Manchester). "By concurring, you are enacting a de facto moratorium."
to learn more about the debate over the Northern Pass, or CLICK HERE
to learn more about opposition to wind farms in New Hampshire.
to read coverage from the Union Leader.