Amid Controversy Over CMP Project, Developer Seeks To Revive Competing Northern Pass Proposal

May 16, 2019

As the controversial Central Maine Power project slogs forward, the previously competing Northern Pass transmission line proposal landed in New Hampshire's Supreme Court Wednesday.

Developer Eversource wants the court to give the project a new shot at state approval. The central question is whether Eversource met its legally-required burden of proof to show the state site evaluation committee, or SEC, that Northern Pass wouldn't do outsized harm to orderly development in the region.

The SEC found Eversource had not met that test when it denied the project early last year.

At Wednesday's oral arguments, Eversource attorney Bill Glahn said they did pass the test - the SEC just didn't look at the evidence closely enough. "What they did was put us in a position where we could not win."

Chief Justice Robert Lynn suggested the SEC had no legal obligation to do more than they did. He said Eversource seemed to assume the SEC was supposed to approve the project.

"And that seems to me to be, in some ways at least, inconsistent with the burden of proof."

The court's order is not expected for several months, at least.

New Hampshire Public Radio's Annie Ropeik produced this story for the New England News Collaborative.