I came across a recent column in a Connecticut newspaper regarding power line rights-of-way as havens for some nesting birds.
“…The most important source of habitat for shrubland specialists are the open corridors (rights-of-way) maintained along power lines…”
Here in New Hampshire, when our hikes include a utility right of way, we often spot birds and other wildlife.
Global emissions of carbon have experienced their largest annual increase ever, as described in this recent NY Times report.
One of the benefits of The Northern Pass project is that it will replace an identical amount of energy produced by the burning of fossil fuels. A study by Charles River Associates found that that the project may result in an annual reduction of up to 5 million tons of CO2 emissions.
This was on my mind today when I read this NYTimes green blog post noting the difficulty in getting new, significant, renewable energy projects up and running.
Given the economic challenges around the world, projects are being stalled or cancelled due to financial worries.
The Northern Pass doesn’t require a subsidy, like wind projects, for example. It is participant funded, meaning we customers won’t be charged for the infrastructure needed to connect the source of the power to our regional marketplace.
We don’t have many opportunities to reduce carbon emissions at the rate that The Northern Pass offers.
Let’s take advantage!
The environmental benefits of The Northern Pass are tough to dispute. The project has the potential to displace up to 5 million tons of carbon emissions each year it is supplying energy to our regional power grid.
Everyone wants to reduce manmade carbon emissions, but itâ€™s a challenge: to date thereâ€™s been no technological breakthrough to reduce carbon from existing fossil-fueled plants; some have argued that a tax on carbon emissions makes sense; while here in New Hampshire weâ€™re part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which has earned both praise and criticism.
The source of the energy to be transmitted on The Northern Pass is about 98 percent hydro-electric. The resultant reduction in carbon emissions will occur as that more economic energy displaces other sources that are more expensive and contain carbon.