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After Court Defeat, Eversource Spikes Northern Pass Hydropower Plan

Opponents of the proposed Northern Pass power project protest outside the New Hampshire Supreme Court on May 15 in Concord, N.H. (Michael Casey/AP)
Opponents of the proposed Northern Pass power project protest outside the New Hampshire Supreme Court on May 15 in Concord, N.H. (Michael Casey/AP)
This article is more than 2 years old.

Eversource has officially pulled the plug on the Northern Pass transmission line.

The utility filed a notice with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission late Thursday, a spokesman says, “reflecting our conclusion that Northern Pass has unfortunately been brought to an end.”

The filing notifies shareholders that the company sees no way forward for its signature project, which it spent nearly a decade promoting.

The decision comes after the New Hampshire Supreme Court last week affirmed state regulators' rejection of the project.

Eversource says it spent $318 million trying to get the controversial power line built. Its SEC filing says it's writing off about $200 million of that after taxes, equal to about 64 cents per share of the company’s stock.

A company spokesman says the write-off will have no direct effect on customers or electric rates.

Northern Pass would have brought Canadian hydropower to the New England power grid by way of the White Mountains. The project faced years of strenuous opposition from residents and nonprofits.

In a statement, Eversource says it still sees an urgent need for reliable renewable energy in New England. It says it will "continue working toward new, innovative solutions."

The project's defeat prompted Massachusetts to shift to a similar one that would bring Canadian hydropower through transmission lines in Maine.

The $1 billion New England Clean Energy Connect has won the support of Maine Gov. Janet Mills. The Maine Public Utilities Commission also gave its approval, but several other agencies must sign off on the project.

With reporting from the Associated Press. This story was first published by New Hampshire Public Radio.

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