CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy has granted a key permit for a transmission project that would carry hydropower from Canada to energy markets in southern New England.
The awarding of a presidential permit Thursday would let the $1.6 billion Northern Pass project take hydropower across an international border and connect to the U.S. grid if the project is approved. It's the latest sign of progress for a 192-mile project debated for years.
The project pits supporters who argue it'll create jobs and cut energy costs against critics who fear it'll destroy scenic views, reduce property values and hurt tourism.
Republican New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (soo-NOO'-noo) favors the project, which would pass through his state and could provide it power.
State regulators are expected to announce their final written decision on the project by March 31.