Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pushing Quebec hydro into New England a hard sell: Maisonneuve

The spring issue of Maisonneuve magazine (on newsstands Friday 21st) has a major cover story on the contention over a major project that would carry Quebec hydro into New England. 

"Northern Impasse", by Michael Lee-Murphy, reports that for all the "green" benefits claimed, what's called the Northern Pass is proving hard to swallow for landowners and residents along the route. The story is illustrated with photography by Nate Mosseau; the striking cover (right) is by the magazine's art director Anna Minzhulina.

The massive transmission line in partnership with Hydro-Quebec would carry 1,200 megawatts of power into southern New England. It's a crucial part of the Quebec government's Plan Nord, which means to encourage northern development by finding hungry customers for power in the United States. The result, as Lee-Murphy says, is not quite what was expected:
"To a dispassionate observer, the transmission line looks like a win-win-win: cash for Quebec, clean power for New England and less carbon in the atmosphere. But like most development projects, Northern Pass will leave a certain amount of destruction in its wake. The transmission line would cut a gash through northern New Hampshire, marring some of New England's most beautiful wilderness and tarnishing the deep connection to the land felt by the region's residents. Many blame Quebec and its namesake energy corporation for their predicament. For a province rarely cast as the marauding bully, it's an unusual role."

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