FAQ: This is complicated! Can you give me some simple examples and analogies so I can get Northern Pass straight in my mind?

Remember, think of Northern Pass as nothing more than an extension cord connecting Hydro-Quebec’s generators into the New England grid, so the electricity can be delivered to pockets of demand in southern New England. Northern Pass is not a necessary improvement, nor indeed any improvement at all, to the New England power grid. It is just a hook-up by a generation company into the grid. In technical parlance, Northern Pass is a “connector line” or a “generator interconnection” that is 100% for the benefit of Hydro-Quebec.

Here’s an analogy.

Imagine your neighbor up the hill (Donna) wants to make some extra money. She has strong winds on her hill, and she puts up a windmill to generate electricity.

Your neighbor down the hill (Gary) has a big mansion and wants to buy the power from the windmill (Gary likes to feel socially responsible!).

The only practical way to get the power from Donna’s windmill to Gary’s mansion is to cross your land. So Donna hires high-priced lawyers and puts in an application to run a new transmission line right across your land, to get her power to Gary.

No regulator anywhere said this is at all necessary. Donna just wants to make some money.

Yup, you got it:

  • Donna = Hydro-Quebec
  • Gary = The pockets of electricity demand in southern New England
  • You = New Hampshire

You are “just kinda in the way,” as is New Hampshire for the Northern Pass proposal.

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