Permit Approval Status

The Northern Pass project requires certain federal and state permits before construction can begin. The project will need to meet all necessary federal and state permitting requirements for the proposed transmission line, including a detailed Environmental Impact Statement.

This permitting process includes many opportunities for public input. In addition, the Northern Pass project team will make public presentations in communities along the proposed route and continue to meet with local officials and landowners to share information and listen to residents’ concerns and suggestions. If you are looking for more details about the Northern Pass permitting process, you can find project filings in the Northern Pass online document library.

Status of Approvals

Federal Decisions

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

  • The project's participant-funded financing approach was accepted by FERC in May 2009
  • The project's Transmission Service Agreement was accepted by FERC in February 2011

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

  • The project submitted its Presidential Permit application to the DOE in October 2010
  • An addendum to the Presidential Permit application was submitted in February 2011
  • The DOE held public scoping meetings in seven locations in New Hampshire between March 14 and March 20, 2011
  • The project submitted a letter to the DOE on April 12, 2011, withdrawing support for some routing alternatives. The letter also requested an extension of the public scoping period for the identification of an improved route and to allow for additional public comment.
  • The Northern Pass announced an improved project design and a new, preferred route on June 27, 2013. The project submitted an amended application for a Presidential Permit to the Department of Energy which reflects key developments in the project since the filing of the original application on October 14, 2010.
  • The DOE held four public scoping meetings throughout the state between Sept. 23 and Sept. 26, 2013. A draft Environmental Impact Statement from the Department of Energy is expected by late 2014. Another public comment period will begin after this statement is released.

U.S Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service

  • Northern Pass submitted a Special Use Permit (SUP) application to the United States Forest Service on June 29, 2011. The permit will authorize Northern Pass to construct, own, operate, and maintain an electric power transmission line crossing portions of the White Mountain National Forest. (See also related material in the PSNH power line application)
  • An amended SUP application was submitted in September 2013 to the U.S. Forest Service, detailing the changes resulting from the June 2013 project redesign.

The U.S. Department of Energy has created the Northern Pass EIS website to provide information for those interested in the project’s progress. Here you will find information on the federal permitting process, how to submit comments, and documents related to the project.

If you would like more information about the Northern Pass project or would like to be added to the documents mailing list, contact Department of Energy officials Brian Mills or Carol Borgstrom here.

State Decisions

New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC)

  • The state's comprehensive SEC review process is expected to begin in 2014

Regional Decisions

Northern Pass’ 1.3.9 application was accepted by the regional power grid operator ISO-New England in December 2013, determining that the project can reliably interconnect with the New England grid.