NH Supreme Court Decision Puts New England Pipe Back in Play

A recent New Hampshire Supreme Court decision may breathe new life into a natural gas pipeline project believed to be dead–or at least on life support. Spectra Energy (now owned by Enbridge) first announced an unnamed pipeline project to shuttle gas from the Marcellus/Utica to New England in July 2014 (see Spectra Energy to the Rescue! New England Pipeline Expansion). In September 2014 Spectra announced they had named the project Access Northeast and added Northeast Utilities–now called Eversource Energy–as a partner (see Spectra Energy New England Pipeline Gets a Name & a Partner). In December 2014, Spectra formed an alliance with a competitor, the Iroquois Gas Transmission pipeline, to further extend the reach of the project (see Spectra Energy Alliance with Iroquois to Sell Marcellus Gas to NE). The project is pegged to cost around $3 billion and would connect four different pipeline systems: Texas Eastern, Algonquin Gas Transmission, Iroquois and Maritimes & Northeast. But then Spectra/Eversource was dealt a body blow by Massachusetts in 2016 (see MA Supreme Court Ruling Endangers New England Gas Pipelines). The project was dealt a second body blow in 2016 by New Hampshire when regulators said Eversource could not pass along some of the costs of the pipeline to electric rate payers (see NH Regulators Veto Access Northeast Pipeline Contract). The NH Supreme Court has just overturned the ruling by NH regulators and has said yes, Eversource CAN pass along some of the costs, because electric customers will directly benefit from the pipeline project…

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